Most commonly, nosebleeds are due to smacking your nose on a tree or the ground when you
part company with the bike. But some bikers get nosebleeds with the physical activity of
riding. The cause is a ruptured vein inside the nose. Dry air, altitude, forceful
breathing, and a deformed nasal septum predispose to spontaneous nosebleeds.
Most nosebleeds aren't serious. You could fill your water bottle with blood from a
nosebleed and still not be in big trouble. So relax. If you bumped the nose, check for the
signs of fracture: deformity, severe swelling, or inability to breathe through the nose.
See the doctor if:
a nosebleed doesn't stop after 1/2 hour
bleeding is severe (running out rather than dripping)
there's deformity of the nose
you can't breathe through the nose
pain is severe
If there aren't any signs the bumped nose is serious, pinch the entire soft part of the
nose closed for 15 minutes. The nosebleed should stop.
If a nosebleed doesn't stop with pinching, blow out all
the blood. Now spray several times into the bleeding nostril with a nasal decongestant
spray. Again hold the entire soft part of the nose shut for 15 minutes.
|A cold-pack may slow the bleeding, but shouldn't interfere with pinching
After the nosebleed stops, rest for a half hour. Leave your nose completely alone. Resist
the temptation to wipe the clots out and blow the nose.
Once things settle down, put a
little lubricating gel or ointment just inside the nostril.
|The ointment should be applied very gently, only about 1 cm inside the
nostril. Repeat twice a day for a week.
Keep the air humid. Don't blow or pick your
nose. Avoid aspirin for a few days.
is our photo model for the nosebleed instructions above?
It's little Matthew Flygare, in photos taken by Dr.
Argyle over 25 years ago.
See Matt in a more glorious role in our mountain
biking videos, for example Gooseberry Mesa.
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