High blood pressure (HBP) is typically not a direct cause of nosebleeds. However, having HBP may put a person at higher risk for nosebleeds or make it more difficult to stop them.

HBP, or hypertension, includes a systolic blood pressure over 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a diastolic blood pressure over 80 mmHg. HBP puts a person at risk for stroke and heart disease.

Nosebleeds, which doctors call “epistaxis,” are common. However, they are rarely life threatening and occur when a blood vessel in the nasal tissue ruptures.

This article explores the link between HBP and nosebleeds. It also discusses other causes of nosebleeds, how to stop them, treatments for recurring nosebleeds, and more.

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The link between HBP and nosebleeds is controversial in the medical world, and several studies have explored the connection.

A 2020 study involving 71,498 people found that those with HBP had a higher risk of nosebleeds than those without it. They also visited the emergency room more often and required more nasal packing procedures.

An older study from 2015 measured the blood pressure of 80 people over 3 months and found that half the participants experienced regular nosebleeds.

The researchers found no clear connection between nosebleeds and blood pressure readings. They concluded that HBP did not cause nosebleeds, but the bleeding was more difficult to control in people with HBP.

Learn more about HBP.

Nosebleeds occur when delicate blood vessels in the nasal septum rupture. This can have various causes, such as:

Read more about why nosebleeds start.

If a person has a nosebleed, the following steps can help stop the bleeding:

  • Sit or stand with and tip the head slightly forward.
  • Apply pressure to the nose for 10 minutes by pinching the cartilage at the tip of the nose.
  • Apply ice, if available, to the bridge of the nose.
  • Avoid tiling the head backward and causing blood to flow down the back of the throat.

If bleeding is severe and does not stop, the person may need medical treatment to stop the nosebleed.

Recurrent nosebleeds

If a person experiences frequent nosebleeds, they need to consult a doctor. The doctor can run tests to determine the underlying cause of the bleeding and recommend appropriate treatment.

In some cases, cauterization or other medical procedures may be necessary to stop recurring nosebleeds. Cauterization involves a doctor applying an electrical device or chemicals to the mucous membranes in the nose to prevent bleeding.

Read more about stopping a nosebleed.

The American Heart Association (AHA) says HBP typically has no symptoms, so people should have regular doctor visits and know their usual blood pressure numbers.

A hypertensive crisis is when a person’s blood pressure rises too quickly and is severely high. Readings of hypertensive crises are 180 mmHg/120 mmHg or higher.

Someone in a hypertensive crisis may have symptoms such as:

A hypertensive crisis is an emergency that requires immediate medical intervention.

Read more about HBP symptoms.

If a person with HBP experiences a nosebleed that does not improve after 15 minutes, they should seek emergency medical attention.

It is also crucial to seek emergency care if a person experiences symptoms of a hypertensive crisis.

People who experience frequent nosebleeds need to contact a doctor to determine the underlying cause.

Some research suggests that people with high BP have an increased risk of nosebleeds, but more research is necessary. Even if high BP does not directly cause nosebleeds, it may make them more difficult to control.

Nosebleeds are common, and their causes include dry air, injuries, and allergies. In the event of a nosebleed, people should tip their head forward slightly and apply pressure to the tip of the nose.

If a person experiences recurrent nosebleeds or consistently high BP, they should contact a doctor.