Yes, this is a serious post. A couple of days ago I, and surely many of you, came across the posts by Glo and kluxorious which talked about nosebleed in anime and a lot of people raised questions regarding the rationale behind this condition. Yesterday coincidentally, I was in the Emergency department and met three ladies who entered the room with their hands covering their noses and their clothes stained with fresh blood. It seems like I just have to post something about this and though this post might end up pretty lame, here I go.
About nosebleed in general
Nosebleed or Epistaxis is, obviously, a bleeding from the nose. It mostly occurs in the anterior part of the nasal cavity where there is rich vascular supply (the area is called ‘Little’s area’) and these blood vessels lie very close to the surface. Thus, with minor triggers like cold/dry weather, rhinitis, nose blowing, nose picking or high blood pressure, nosebleed can occur to anyone. In some cases, nosebleed is caused by systemic condition that impairs the mechanism which is supposed to help stop the bleeding automatically (hemostasis) such as the disease of blood vessels, disorder of platelets or coagulation factors. Certain drugs also make you bleed more easily.
How to take care of it
Like bleeding in any part of the body, the first and mostly effective method is to compress the bleeding site. Stay upright and lean forward so that the blood doesn’t pour down into your throat and pinch your nose for five to ten minutes. Applying an ice pack also helps because the cold makes the vessels constrict and slows the bleeding. If this simple measure fails, you should seek medical attention because other intervention like nasal packing may be needed.
Do I have some rare deadly occult disease?
Nosebleed happens but when it happens unusually often for no obvious reason or when you also have bleeding in other parts of your body, you should see a doctor immediately to find out if you have any hidden dangerous conditions.
The big question; what about nosebleed in anime?
I know that there is social and cultural background behind nosebleed in anime but since this post deals with medical issue, I’ll not go into that matter. Medically, it’s just impossible for a young healthy person to have a nosebleed every time he is excited. But I’ll try to explain it anyway. When a person is excited, his body responds by increasing the metabolism (through sympathetic system) and subsequently, the body temperature and heart rate rise. In respond to the increased temperature, the vessels dilate. Plus, as a result of higher heart rate, the blood pressure becomes higher. When you have a ballooned blood vessels and high pressure inside, it’s not so surprising that the part where blood vessels are abundant and weak (remember the Little’s area?) is very prone to bleeding. Does that make any sense?
If you want to tell me that ‘I am too serious and this is futile’, don’t say it because I already know that, O_o