The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Does Having High Blood Pressure Cause Nosebleeds?
In most cases, high blood pressure does not cause headaches or nosebleeds. The best evidence indicates that high blood pressure does not cause headaches or nosebleeds, except in the case of hypertensive crisis, a medical emergency when blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher.
Heart conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure) and congestive heart failure can also cause nosebleeds, as can hypertensive crisis — a sudden, rapid increase in blood pressure that may be accompanied by a severe headache, shortness of breath, and anxiety, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Does high blood pressure cause nosebleeds?Whether high blood pressure causes an increased risk of nosebleeds remains a topic of debate. Although high blood pressure isn’t known to directly cause nosebleeds, it’s probable that it may cause the blood vessels in your nose to be more susceptible to damage and increase bleeding time. In a recent 2020 study, researchers used data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service to examine the risk of nosebleeds in people with high blood pressure. In a group of 35,749 participants, researchers found people with a history of hypertension had an increased risk of nosebleeds requiring hospital visits compared to people with no history of high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure doesn’t cause nosebleed unless you have extremely high blood pressure called a hypertensive crisis.
What is a high blood pressure (hypertensive) crisis?A hypertensive crisis is a sudden spike in your blood pressure over 180/120 mm Hg that can be life-threatening. It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. When your blood pressure reaches this level, you’re at a high risk of blood vessel damage that can lead to serious conditions like:
- heart attack
- kidney damage
- eye damage
- pulmonary edema
- severe anxiety
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?High blood pressure is often called the silent killer. It usually doesn’t produce noticeable symptoms unless you have a hypertensive crisis. The only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to get a test. Although you may not be able to notice it without a test, chronic high blood pressure can raise your risks of developing a number of serious conditions like:
- heart failure
- heart attack
- transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- kidney disease
Can having high blood pressure with nosebleeds be a sign of another condition?Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure. It’s relatively common to have high blood pressure and also experience nosebleeds for unrelated reasons. Exposure to dry air, picking your nose, and many other conditions can lead to nosebleeds. Experiencing nosebleeds and high blood pressure together can also be caused by use of illegal drugs like cocaine.
What can frequent nosebleeds be a symptom of?Nosebleeds are often harmless. The most common cause of nosebleeds is nose-picking (medically termed “digital manipulation”). Conditions that dry out the membrane of your nose, some drugs, and injuries are also common causes. Here are some conditions that can directly or indirectly lead to a nosebleed.
- cuts and scrapes in your nose
- foreign objects stuck in nose
- inhaling chemicals
- inhaling cold or dry air
- nasal cannula use
- traumatic nose injury
- upper respiratory infection
- vigorous nose blowing or sneezing
- blood vessel deformities
- von Willebrand disease
- illegal drugs like cocaine
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin
- platelet aggregation inhibitors and anticoagulants
- supplements like vitamin E, ginkgo, or ginseng
- nasal sprays
When to see a doctor
Most nosebleeds aren’t a sign of a serious condition. However, if bleeding lasts longer than 20 minutes, you have a heavy blood flow, or if it developed after a head injury, you should see a doctor. High blood pressure becomes more common with age. Visit your doctor regularly to monitor your blood pressure and track how it changes with time. Leaving high blood pressure uncontrolled puts you at risk of developing a number of potentially life-threatening conditions. If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg, you should seek immediate medical attention.