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It’s a cold winter day and you want to be comfortable, so you turn up the heat. Then, you feel something on your face. You look in the mirror. Darn it! You have a nosebleed. Again. What’s going on? Is the heat giving you a nosebleed?
Heat, dry air, and nosebleeds
Nosebleeds aren’t directly caused by heated air, but the answer isn’t that straightforward. Yes, nosebleeds are common in the winter, but that’s because the air is very dry. Dry air can crack the skin in your nose, which makes it likelier you get a nosebleed.
So why do people think heaters dry out the air even more? Well, that’s because older furnaces do. They would draw air from the house into their combustion chambers, which meant the house was then filled with the dry air from outside.
However, modern furnaces only draw air from outdoors, leaving the air inside untouched. Therefore, the air will not get drier if you turn on your heat. Also, newer furnaces have humidification systems, which further help keep the air moist, CEENTA ENT doctor Gregory Parsons, MD, said.
How can I help my nose?
Dry air is going to be a problem no matter what the temperature is. Fortunately, a humidifier can help rectify that. Not only will it keep your nasal passages moist, but it could help relieve cold and flu symptoms you may be experiencing, too. However, mold and dust allergies are common in the winter, and mold thrives in damp environments, so running a humidifier for too long could be detrimental.
How can I treat my nose?
“You can help your nose by applying bacitracin ointment with a Q-tip inside your nose at night,” Dr. Parsons said. “However, if your nosebleeds don’t resolve in two weeks, you need to see your primary care physician or your ENT doctor.”
Dry winter air and the nosebleeds it causes can be uncomfortable, but with a little bit of preparation, you can keep your home comfortably warm and nosebleed free.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with Dr. Parsons? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
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