Why Does the Nose of Some People Start Bleeding at Higher Altitude?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The nose of some people starts bleeding at a higher altitude because of a decrease in atmospheric pressure with increasing altitude. As we ascend, the atmospheric pressure decreases and begins to fall, resulting in a greater amount of pressure in the blood vessels in comparison to the outside pressure. The blood vessels rupture as a result of the high internal pressure. As a result of this phenomenon, mountaineers’ blood vessels in their ears or nose rupture and begin bleeding regularly.

Nose Bleeding at a Higher Altitude

Most of the time, people moving up to higher altitudes and hilly areas experience nose and ear bleeding. This occurs because the Atmospheric Pressure decreases on the way up while the internal pressure rises, causing blood vessels to rupture and bleed.

Atmospheric pressure, also known as Barometric Pressure, is the pressure created within the Earth’s atmosphere. It is formed because all of the air around us has a certain weight and exerts pressure on the surface as it is drawn toward the Earth by Gravity.

Causes of Nose Bleeding

Here are some other common causes of nose bleeding:

  • Direct Injury: A blow to the face can damage the lining of a person’s nose, resulting in bleeding.
  • Irritation: Constant picking or blowing of the nose can cause the lining to bleed.
  • Foreign bodies: In the nasal cavity, it can disrupt local tissue and blood vessels.
  • Changes in altitude and air pressure: It can cause nasal blood vessels to expand and contract when flying. These disruptions can cause nosebleeds.
  • Inflammation: Allergic or infectious inflammation, such as sinusitis, can damage blood vessels in the nose.
  • Low humidity: Environments can cause nasal tissue cracking. This, in turn, can result in bleeding.
  • Liver disease: It can interfere with blood clotting and cause frequent or severe bleeding.

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