Can Allergies Cause Nosebleeds?

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Allergens are substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Some allergens include dust, food, pollen, and other substances. Environmental allergens irritate the inside of the nose, which can cause a nosebleed. Although rarely serious, nosebleeds should not be ignored.

This article discusses the common causes of nosebleeds due to allergies and how to treat and prevent them. 

blood on tissue from nosebleed

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Causes of Allergy Nosebleeds

For people suffering from seasonal allergies, nosebleeds can be quite common. This is due to blood vessel damage in the nasal septum just inside the nose (the wall that separates the left and right sides of the nose).

This damage can result from:

  • Dry or fragile mucosal tissue inside the nose
  • Antihistamines and decongestants used to treat allergies
  • Irritation due to blowing or picking the nose, minor injuries, or other irritants

Dry Nose

If the interior of the nose becomes too dry, it can lead to damage of the nose’s blood vessels. A dry nose can occur as a result of:

  • Low humidity (lack of moisture in the air)
  • Blowing your nose often
  • Dehydration

Antihistamines can also dry out nasal passages, and improper technique with intranasal corticosteroids can also cause nosebleeds.

Antihistamines and Decongestants

Antihistamines and decongestants dry out nasal secretions, which helps to manage seasonal allergy symptoms but can also then lead to adverse effects. They can dry out the nose, leading to blood vessel damage. 

Irritation 

There are a number of irritants that could lead to a nosebleed.

For instance, if you blow your nose often as a result of your allergy symptoms, it could cause a nosebleed. Picking the nose can also irritate the mucosa, resulting in a nosebleed.

Minor injuries that result in direct contact with your nose could also lead to a nosebleed.

Diagnosing a Nosebleed

The obvious sign of a nosebleed is blood coming from the nose that continues for several minutes and doesn’t stop until you take action. If necessary, a healthcare provider can examine the tissue in your nose to determine if the cause is related to your allergies.

How to Treat a Nosebleed

Treating a nosebleed is usually pretty simple, but it does take a few minutes.

Adults

  1. Start by sitting down, tilting your head forward slightly, then pinching your nose just below the hard part of the nose.
  2. While breathing through your mouth, squeeze your nose for 10–15 minutes. After that, check if the bleeding has stopped. If not, squeeze again for another 10 minutes.
  3. Once it stops bleeding, do not blow your nose, and avoid using any allergy medication for a few days.

Children 

To treat a nosebleed in children, first check to see if there is an object inside the nostril. If not, follow the same steps as above. Applying pressure is the best way to stop the bleeding, but do not put tissues or other items in the nose.

If the Bleeding Doesn't Stop

If your nosebleed continues for more than 30 minutes, call your healthcare provider for further instructions, or seek medical care at your local medical center.

How to Prevent Nosebleeds Caused by Allergies

To prevent nosebleeds caused by allergies, start by identifying any symptoms that could lead to a nosebleed. For instance, if your nose is dry due to low humidity, put a humidifier in the room to add moisture to the air.

If you use a nasal spray, make sure to use it correctly. You should spray away from the middle of the nose, with the spray angled up and pointing toward the ear on the same side of the head as the nostril you're spraying into. 

Limiting how much you blow or pick your nose can also reduce the risk of damaging delicate blood vessels that could lead to a nosebleed.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you have nosebleeds often, or have difficulty stopping a nosebleed, you should contact your healthcare provider. A provider will examine your nose tissue to determine the cause of the nosebleeds, how serious they are, and if additional treatment is needed.

Summary

People with allergies may get nosebleeds because of dryness inside the nose, the use of antihistamines or decongestants, or from other irritants. Although usually not serious, a nosebleed caused by allergies must be treated to stop the bleeding. If you have nosebleeds several times a month, you should see your healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

A Word From Verywell

Having a nosebleed due to allergies can be more than an inconvenience. If you have difficulty stopping the bleeding or you have frequent nosebleeds, talk to your healthcare provider to see if changes to your allergy treatment plan are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it normal to have a nosebleed during allergy season?

    Yes. If your allergies are in overdrive, blowing your nose often or breathing in a lot of dry air could lead to a nosebleed.

  • How long should a nosebleed last?

    Nosebleeds typically stop after 10 minutes of treatment, but could last as long as 30 minutes. If bleeding hasn’t stopped after 30 minutes, call your healthcare provider for further instructions.

  • What types of allergies cause nosebleeds?

    Allergies triggered by any number of allergens could lead to a nosebleed, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander.

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6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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