My nose is bleeding
February 28, 2005 3:11 AM   Subscribe

About three weeks ago I had a nasty cold. Headache, congestion, nose running 24-7. Since then, I wake up every morning to blow my nose out, thick, green, blood speckled mucus having accumulated there. This morning I blew my nose and afterwards a fresh stream of blood poured out. I've never had a nosebleed in my life nor have I ever stuffed any junk up there. Does this warrant a visit to the doctor? ps: I'm not a hypochondriac, it's just that I've never been sick.
posted by jsavimbi to Health & Fitness (23 answers total)
This happens to me after a nasty cold. The nose walls are very thin so i don't think a bit of blood is much to worry about. IANAD though!
posted by derbs at 3:38 AM on February 28, 2005

Considering that your nose has probably been taking a bit of damage from high-velocity pieces of dried mucus, a nosebleed is nothing to worry about. I've found that with allergies, my nose bleeds on occasion after particularly nasty bouts.
posted by Saydur at 3:40 AM on February 28, 2005

Thanks for the feedback. For a moment there, I thought I'd drunk too much.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:54 AM on February 28, 2005

If the bleeding continues, you should see a doctor. I too, had never had a nosebleed until last year, and after 3 days of dealing with it, I went to the ER with a nasty sinus infection. This year, I got another one, and rushed to my doctor's office that very morning. To my relief, I did not have an infection, but there was some irritation. My doctor recommended three things: A humidifier,
Alkalol which is a topical mucous and solvent cleaner, and Ponaris Nasal Emollient, which is used by NASA. I have faithfully used all three this winter and have had no further issues.

This site offers some nasal irrigation info, including a couple of recipes for the DIY crowd.
posted by lobstah at 4:18 AM on February 28, 2005

Perfectly possible to have one out of nowhere, with no pre-existing stuff going on. If it gets a little wilder than a few drops, the pressure point is to lay a finger across your upper lip. It's recommended that you pack something between your lip and teeth before pressing, but most of the time just pressing against the teeth will do it.
Please ignore those helpful people who will try to get you to "put your head back." The blood ends up in your stomach that way, and you may vomit about the time you get the bleeding under control, which starts the whole cycle off again.
It doesn't sound like yours are that much of a problem, just mentioning for the sake of reference if someone searches later.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:00 AM on February 28, 2005

You may want to see a doctor sooner rather than later, it sounds like a sinus infection to me. Thick, green mucus is a common symptom.

From Early in the course of an acute sinus attack, there is nasal blockage and congestion, excessive mucus in the nose and throat, sneezing (especially when there is an allergic component), and some malaise and fatigue. If fever is present, it is usually low-grade. The presence of facial pain or headache suggests that a sinus infection is developing. If the symptoms of a common cold last more than a week, you should begin to suspect a sinus infection. Fever may elevate, and mucus in the nose and throat may become thicker and discolored, usually yellow or green.
posted by blackkar at 5:03 AM on February 28, 2005

i'm with blackkar--sinus infection--you need antibiotics.
posted by amberglow at 5:27 AM on February 28, 2005

Green? Jesus, go to a doctor.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:28 AM on February 28, 2005

Sinus infection
posted by caddis at 5:35 AM on February 28, 2005

Sinus infection. One does not have that much mucus for so long after a cold, and if you never had a nosebleed in your life before , a couple of morning nose-blowings won't cause one.
posted by dabitch at 5:45 AM on February 28, 2005

I'll fourth or fifth or whatever the sinus infection analysis. I'd about guarantee you have one. Sounds like a nasty one, but some antibiotics should get you back to normal in short order.
posted by robotspacer at 8:17 AM on February 28, 2005

My understanding of green or yellow mucus is that it is indicative of a sinus infection. Go to a doctor so you can get some antibiotics and clear it up. Your nose might be bleeding from all the blowing; also possibly from the dry air (consider a humidifier).
posted by suchatreat at 8:32 AM on February 28, 2005

again: sinus infection. Go to the doctor. If there's blood, it may be bad - the time when I had symptoms you describe was about the sickest I've ever been. Sinus infections also don't necessarily go away on their own, it may take antibiotics.
posted by advil at 9:22 AM on February 28, 2005

Yeah, sinus infection. I personally think antibiotics are over-prescribed, so if you don't have a fever, you can probably take care of this yourself. Stop consuming dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Drink copious amounts of water. At least twice a day, put boiling water in a bowl, a towel over your head, and breathe deeply until the water stops steaming. Do NOT blow your nose with any force at all.

If you don't improve after three/four days of this, see your doctor.
posted by Specklet at 10:25 AM on February 28, 2005

There are a lot of downsides to using oral anti-biotics for sinus infections. I believe there's an irrefutably superior alternative for sinus infections:...

Grapefruit Seed Extract Nasal Spray from Nutribiotic.

Consider it "localized antibotic". A friend suffers from pseudo-annual sinus infections and hadn't heard of this. He tried GSE spray on his most recent infection: it went away in 3 days, compared to the normal 2 weeks.

Even though a single anecdote constitutes absolute proof (obviously), do some googling about GSE. It's wicked cool.

Your infection stands not a chance against the mighty forces of GSE.
posted by Moistener at 11:13 AM on February 28, 2005

Thanks Moistener, but I can't ingest any type of grapefruit, grapefruit product or derivative while I'm on this other med for a non-related reason.

I'm a mess.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:35 AM on February 28, 2005

If you haven't already, invest in a humidifier for your bedroom: it can really help protect your already-assaulted nose from dry air, which can aggravate any existing condition.
posted by moxyberry at 12:17 PM on February 28, 2005

I am not a doctor, but I have had sinus infections when I was very far away from competent medical care. I read about this in an herbalist book and it worked for me several times with low-grade sinus infections. Mash up one clove of garlic into a few tablespoons of disilled water. Strain the garlic out. Use the water as a nose spray. The first time you do this it will feel as if your head is going to explode, but it will also make your nose run copiously. Do this 3-4 times a day along with drinking lots of water/liquids and limiting your dairy intake. I also agree with all the inhale-steam recommendations.
posted by jessamyn at 12:48 PM on February 28, 2005

I'm a mess.

Rats. Sorry to hear that. But I'm glad you mentioned that.

"I'm a mess" sounds to me like someone who is witnessing something beyond Symptom A and Problem N5 -- perhaps you're noticing system-level ungoodness. I dunno... just speculating.

NAET is a really odd and powerful healing modality. I've had very good results from it. (I'm putting it mildly.) Prepare for the onslaught of well-meaning skepticism from yourself and others.

If you're willing to experiment with seeing a nearby NAET practitioner, you'll likely soon feel a little less like a mess. I'm putting that mildly, too.
posted by Moistener at 12:56 PM on February 28, 2005

Too much nose candy!!!!!

{Cocaine is God's way of telling you that you're making too much money. - Robin Williams}

posted by berek at 2:11 PM on February 28, 2005

Tagging along with jessamyn, garlic, especially in its raw form, is a very potent antibiotic and that is what can help with your sinus infection.
Also, if you take vitamin supplements with extra iron, lay off them. Invaders live off of your iron supply- if you cut off their supply to vital nutrients such as iron, the illness will go away a lot faster.
posted by jmd82 at 3:14 PM on February 28, 2005

I'm just going to put out there that besides a humidifier (which actually makes my nosebleeds worse), you should also invest in some plain saline nose spray. It helps keep your nasal passages moisturized when you're inside in the dry heat.

If you ever have a slight nosebleed from just blowing your nose, saline will clear it up very quickly.
posted by somethingotherthan at 11:16 PM on February 28, 2005

The humidifier will definitely get you where you're going. Also, garlic helps with just about everything. Good luck!
posted by Sammery at 11:39 AM on March 1, 2005

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