Symptoms of a nosebleed 

During a nosebleed, blood will flow from one nostril or sometimes both nostrils. It may last anywhere from a few seconds to more than 10 minutes.

Nosebleeds can also occur while you're asleep.

You may feel liquid in the back of your throat before blood runs from your nose. This usually happens while you're lying down.

When to seek medical assistance

Visit your GP or call NHS 111 if you have the following symptoms:

  • heavy bleeding from your nose
  • an irregular heart beat (palpitations)
  • shortness of breath
  • you turn pale
  • you swallow large amounts of blood that makes you vomit

If a nosebleed continues for longer than 30 minutes, go to the nearest hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E) department as soon as possible.

Bleeding may be prolonged and harder to stop if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure, a blood clotting disorder, or if you're taking anticoagulants (blood-thinning medicines), such as warfarin or aspirin.

If you're taking warfarin and have heavy or re-occurring nosebleeds, you should also seek medical advice immediately.


Page last reviewed: 31/05/2013

Next review due: 31/05/2015