“Some pain you can distance yourself from, but a headache sits right where you live.”
They’re hard to escape, can be more frequent than you’d like, and often come on when you least expect it. Headaches can be a real pain on their own, but pair them with a nosebleed, and you may find yourself wondering and worrying about the combination.
Here’s what you need to know about headaches and nosebleeds that hit together.
Headaches, whether from dehydration, stress, allergies, or something else, aren’t uncommon. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve dealt with at least one or two if not hundreds. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 50% of adults have a current headache disorder (symptoms at least once during the last year).
The same could be said of nosebleeds. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 60% of people have experienced a nosebleed during their life. This may be the result of an injury to the nose, an allergic reaction, a medical condition, or even the old standard of picking. In any case, the delicate blood vessels of the nose become damaged, causing the nosebleed.
While most people only experience one at a time, occasionally a headache and nosebleed happen at the same time and may require a little more digging as to the cause and even, in some cases, medical care. Here are common reasons you may be experiencing a headache and nosebleed:
A virus or infection – Whether it’s the common cold virus wreaking havoc on your nasal passages and sinuses or a sinus or other infection in the nose, it’s not uncommon to experience a headache and nosebleed along with other symptoms of a virus or bacteria.
Allergies – similar to a virus, allergies can have a seriously uncomfortable effect on your head and nose, leading to headaches and nosebleeds. Pair this with too much allergy medication, decongestants or nasal sprays, and it’s a recipe for these symptoms.
The weather – If you’ve ever been through a long period of especially dry weather, you may be familiar with how it can make your nasal passages painfully dry and whip up the worst of headaches.
Head injury – It may go without saying, but it’s common for a hit to the head in sports or similar head injury to result in both a nosebleed and headache.
Anemia – If you have these two symptoms, low iron levels could be to blame.
Migraine – Some research has indicated that nosebleeds may indicate the beginnings of a migraine and that those who live with migraines may be more susceptible to nosebleeds.
Deviated Septum – It’s not uncommon for this to be the reason behind a headache and nosebleed combo as the displaced nasal septum can become especially dry.
More serious health conditions – In rare cases, a more serious condition may be behind your headache and nosebleed, such as congenital heart disease or leukemia.
In most cases, nosebleeds and headaches are harmless and easily controlled with gentle pressure, tissue, and possibly a pain reliever. In some cases, they may require medical attention. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as fainting, nausea, dizziness, fever, trouble moving, bleeding that won’t stop or similar along with your headache and nosebleed, contact your ENT or physician immediately to determine the cause.