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Can Stress Cause Nosebleeds?

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Stress is a condition of mental pressure caused by stressors. It is usually your body’s reaction to foreign situations or events that sometimes seem threatening.

Your body, in its bid to cope with new situations, triggers certain responses that have both positive and negative affects. Stressors can be many things, ranging from an interview, a new relationship, trauma, work issues, your environment.

Nosebleeds are simply bleeding or blood flows from the insides of the nose, either from one or both nostrils. It may be a onetime condition or frequent recurrence and may be severe or easy to treat.

This condition is common in children of 10 years of age and older adults between 60 to 70 years and above. Triggers of nosebleeds include constantly picking your nose, blunt force to the nose, accidents, physical trauma.

Although not uncommon, stress and anxiety can also induce nosebleeds. This happens when stressors put strain and tension on your body that influence your mood, health, and behaviors.

Stress does not directly trigger nosebleeds, it only stimulates responses that may become habits, which in return, induce bleeding. Stressors also trigger or aggravate underlying medical conditions, signs of being stressed include headache, tensed muscles, irrational worry, fear, fatigue, insomnia, anger, restlessness, anxiety.

Stress can go unnoticed for a long period in some individuals. It can lead to crippling health problems and negative life effects if left untreated.

What Are Nosebleeds?

Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, is bleeding from the nostril, nasal cavity, or nasopharynx. It is one of the most common ear, nose, and throat emergencies with a high prevalence rate of 60% in the general population.

Its mean age of onset is in children of ages 10 and adults between ages 70 and 79 years. Although it may occur in children under age 10, mostly being an uncomplicated issue or a more severe and rare case in children under the age of 2.

Nosebleed bleeding varies in severity and duration. This means that it may be recurrent and appear in minor bleeding episodes in some people or be more severe in others.

This bleeding affects the quality of life and has different treatment interventions, ranging from self-treatment and home remedies to more intensive interventions.

Nosebleeds can be compounded by nasal inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, genetics, nasal picking, digital trauma or sometimes associated with hypertension.

Types Of Nosebleeds

There are two main types of nosebleeds, anterior nosebleeds and posterior nosebleeds.

Anterior nosebleeds – more prevalent in children, are bleeding from the anterior nasal blood supply. This is a more common type of nosebleed, it is usually an uncomplicated problem.

Posterior nosebleeds – are more difficult to evaluate and treat because of bleeding happening from a higher and further area deep within the nose.

This type of nosebleed requires a more complicated process of treatment.

Anterior nosebleeds are more prevalent in children, while posterior epistaxis is more common in older adults and often harder to control.

What Are The Symptoms Of Nosebleeds?

The major symptom of a nosebleed is bleeding from the nose, this may be from one nostril or both nostrils. Although usually from a single nostril. Blood flow can range from heavy to light.

Bleeding can occur, either while you are sitting or lying down. When bleeding happens while lying down, you will feel a sensation of liquid at the back of the throat before it reaches the nose.

Swallowing at this point may cause nausea and vomiting.

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Other signs to look out for include:

  • Heavy blood flow
  • Feeling faint and lightheaded
  • Occasional swallowing sensation that may cause nausea
  • Congested and stuffy nose
  • Nasal infection that may occur occasionally
  • Finding it difficult to breathe through the nose

What Are The Common Causes Of Nosebleeds

A variety of factors can cause nosebleeds, some of which are:

Nose picking

Most common in children picking the nostrils with long, sharp fingernails or objects can induce bleeding. This can cause or exacerbate irritated nostrils.

Blunt Force

A punch, blow, or knock to the nose can cause damage to the delicate blood vessels and lead to nosebleeds. This may be from accidents, punches or hits to the face, or being hit with an object.


Allergies, cold and flu can lead to excess or hard blowing of the nose, which in return irritates tender nostrils and may cause bleeding.


Using certain medications can induce or aggravate nosebleeds.

Nasal Surgery

Recent nasal surgery can also cause bleeding from the nose, most especially when the nose is constantly being irritated and not completely healed.

Broken nose

Being hit in the face with a baseball, getting punched while being involved in a fight and lots more can cause a broken nose amongst others.

High Blood Pressure

There are no exact reasons yet for the relationship between epistaxis and hypertension, however, they are known to be intertwined.

Weather changes can also affect your nose, resulting in nosebleeds from dry, cracked nostrils.

Constantly poking your nose with foreign objects can cause infections and irritations likely to spike bleeding.

Can Nosebleeds Be Triggered By Stress?

Stress and anxiety are some of the risk factors for nosebleeds, with a higher occurrence in children and adults. When stressed, tense, or under a lot of pressure, your body automatically develops responses to help cope with the situation. These reactions have effects on your physical, mental, and psychological health, some of these influences may stimulate nosebleeds.

Stress may not trigger nosebleeds, however, stress can cause certain habits that induce nosebleeds. Stress-induced situations, lifestyle, and medications are also risk factors of anxiety.

Some stressful triggers include:
Nervous habits such as tapping your fingernails, picking or scratching your nose can lead to nosebleeds. Excessively blowing your nose when stressed or anxious can also induce bleeding from the nose.

Hypertension. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, may trigger nosebleeds. Although the reasons this happens is yet to be narrowed down to a specific cause, there have been cases where those with high blood pressure experience nosebleeds.

Physical trauma. A blow to the face, an accident, a punch, getting in the face and lots more can cause bleeding from your nostrils, along with other risk factors.

How To Stop Stress-induced Nosebleed

There are different methods used to stop a nosebleed, ranging from home remedies to more complicated medical procedures.

Self-treatment and home remedies are used to treat anterior nosebleeds while posterior nosebleeds require a more practical and careful process since ruptures are further up in the posterior nares blood supply.

Follow these steps to stop an anterior nosebleed.

  • The first thing is to stay calm, so as not to aggravate bleeding.
  • Try as much as possible to sit and not lie down
  • Sit and slightly lean forward to hold the blood from flowing into your nasal posterior area.
  • Tightly pinch nostrils for 5 to 10 minutes to apply pressure and stop the bleeding.
  • Breathe through your mouth while pinching nostrils.
  • If bleeding does not stop, apply decongestant directly to bleeding areas by spraying them directly or using a cotton ball soaked with a decongestant.
  • Apply a small amount of ointment or petroleum jelly to keep the area moist.
  • Monitor bleeding for 30 minutes
  • Visit the emergency unit immediately if bleeding does not stop after 30 minutes.

Sometimes, blood flow may not stop until large clots are removed, or packing is applied.

Call your physician if:

  • You hit your nose hard
  • Nosebleeds occur frequently
  • If blood flow lasts longer than 20 minutes and does not stop after applying pressure.
  • To prevent nosebleeds
  • Always keep your nostrils moist.
  • Discard unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking
  • Keep your fingernails short and clean. Dirty, long nails can irritate you.
  • Stop picking your nose all the time, and use materials that are soft to touch to clean the insides of your nose.
  • Don’t use medications you are allergic to. Always speak with your doctor before taking medications.


Nosebleeds are a general occurrence, prevalent in childhood and older adults. Most cases of nosebleeds in children are usually anterior bleeding, while cases in adults are mostly in the posterior area.

Sometimes nosebleeds can happen without a particular source and can affect your overall quality of life.

Bleeding from the nose is also likely to be influenced by stress and anxiety. Nosebleeds can be easily intervened if it occurs in the anterior area of your nose, however, they require a much more careful process for posterior bleeding.

This is because, while anterior nosebleeds are more common, they are less severe and sometimes self-induced, while blood flow from the posterior part is much more difficult to control.

Anterior nosebleeds can also result in posterior bleeding if not properly treated. Always keep your fingernails short and clean to avoid irritating your nostrils. Make sure the insides of your nose are moist to prevent dry and cracked nostrils.

Apply treatment remedies to nosebleeds as soon as they occur and visit your doctor for complications and recurrence.

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