Turn on a movie or TV show that takes place in a hospital and you’d think it’s all horrific injuries, all the time.
And sure, any doc who spends time in the ER will see his share of traffic accidents, gunshot victims, and heart patients. But the most common ER patients aren’t the ones you see on Grey’s Anatomy or General Hospital.
They’re folks with everyday conditions… like nosebleeds.
If you’ve never had the kind of nosebleed that sends you rushing to the ER, count your blessings. Some folks are gushers — one little burst up in the pipes and it all comes rushing out.
It’s scary, especially if you’re a senior — and especially if you’re on blood thinners, and it seems like the bleeding will NEVER stop.
Now, the latest research shows one quick and easy way to cut the number of bleeds that works as effectively as drugs — and all you have to do is spray a little saline up there.
In the new study, a saltwater spray was put up against three different meds — drugs that all pack side effects, some of which are especially dangerous in seniors.
But plain old saline did the job just as well.
The only real side effect? A good squirt up the nose can make your eyes water a little.
Other than that, it’s safe as can be — and a squirt or two up the honker can help keep things moist and less likely to dry up and split open.
This study focused on people with a serious but relatively rare condition called “hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia,” which causes more nosebleeds than the cheap seats at the Rose Bowl.
But there’s no reason this shouldn’t be at least a little helpful to other folks, especially seniors who have bleeds so often they fill their candy bowls with cotton balls just to keep them handy.
And if you do have frequent nosebleeds, there are some more steps you can take to cut the risk of gushers and keep you out of the hospital — or at least stop you from grossing out your spouse.
First, as the drier air of autumn and winter approach, break out the humidifier — because dry air can crack the mucus membrane, leading to nosebleeds.
Second, put a little Vaseline up your nose, as far as you can get without hurting yourself.
And third, get tested for vitamin K, as low levels of this nutrient can cause frequent nosebleeds. Just don’t take K supplements willy-nilly; it can interact with meds such as blood thinners, so speak with your doctor first.