Q: I have been having nosebleeds most nights for the last month or so. Thinking it might be a sign of something serious, I went for a checkup with my doctor. Luckily, she found nothing serious or new.
While I'm glad that it's not a big deal, I would still like to stop the bleeding. By the time I wake up, the nosebleed has stopped, but my pillowcases and sheets have blood smeared all over!
What can I do about my frequent nosebleeds?
A: Nosebleeds are common for seniors, as drier, thinner skin has the tendency to crack and bleed.
The natural aging process causes skin to get thinner and more easily damaged, making small irritations into a huge mess. Seniors are forced to think twice about habitual actions, like blowing or picking at their noses.
Even though you can't avoid the facts of aging, you can do your best to avoid the immediate causes.
You're probably already familiar with the usual suspects for nosebleeds -- dry air, a cold or allergies. Less familiar causes include overconsumption of alcohol -- which interferes with clotting and blood vessel size -- medication side effects or chemicals.
Polluted air also causes nosebleeds, as it irritates and damages the skin inside your nose. Try to stay inside, especially if there are fires outside.
If you smoke, here's another reason to consider stopping. Tobacco also affects delicate skin, making it more likely to tear.
To cut down on the bleeding, be gentler on your nose and make sure your nails are well-trimmed. You can also moisturize the inside of your nose with a saline product or petroleum jelly. During the night, a humidifier will help with the dry air.