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COVID-19 Symptom: Nose Bleed

Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team

Updated on


  • COVID-19 can increase your risk of nosebleeds.
  • Individuals with a history of nosebleeds, allergies, or chronic sinus problems may be at a higher risk of developing a COVID-19- related nose bleed.
  • Inflammation in the nasal passages, leading to dryness and irritation, can make the blood vessels in the nose more susceptible to breaking and cause a bloody nose with COVID-19.
  • Proper hydration and using a humidifier may help prevent nosebleeds and alleviate symptoms associated with COVID-19-related nasal irritation.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have been studying the various symptoms and complications associated with the illness. One symptom that has recently come to light is nose bleeds. The inside of your nose contains tiny, delicate blood vessels that can become damaged and bleed relatively easily, especially when sick with a cold or virus like COVID-19. 

This article explores the link between COVID-19 and nose bleeding, including the risks, causes, expected duration, and treatment options.

What is the cause of COVID-19 nosebleeds?

While many COVID-19 symptoms affect the nose, the exact link between COVID-19 and nose bleeding is not fully understood. However, it’s thought that the virus may cause inflammation in the nasal passages, which can lead to dryness and irritation. This can make the blood vessels in the nose more susceptible to breaking and cause nosebleeds. COVID-19 could also cause blood clotting issues.

The risk of nosebleeds with COVID is higher in people with a history of nosebleeds, allergies, or chronic sinus problems. While nosebleeds are typically related to other COVID-19 nose symptoms, one study found that nosebleeds were the only symptoms experienced by 15% of people with COVID-19 illness.

COVID testing can also lead to nosebleeds or blood in the nose mucus due to the nasal trauma caused by the swab. Minor trauma to the nasal passage can break fragile blood vessels and cause bleeding. 1

What else can cause nosebleeds?

There can be several other factors that can cause a bloody nose besides the coronavirus. Common causes of nosebleeds include: 2 3

  • Irritation caused by allergies, colds, sneezing, or sinus problems.
  • Exposure to very cold or dry air.
  • Blowing the nose too forcefully or picking the nose.
  • Injury to the nose, such as a broken nose or an object lodged in the nasal passage.
  • Previous sinus or pituitary surgery (transsphenoidal).
  • Deviated septum, which is a shift in the tissue that divides the nose into two nostrils.
  • Chemical irritants, such as medications or sprayed or snorted drugs.
  • Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays.
  • Oxygen treatment through nasal cannulas.
  • Cocaine use, which can cause irritation and damage to the nasal passages through snorting.

Occasionally, bleeding can come from the blood vessels deeper within the nose. This can be caused by a blow to the head, recent nasal surgery, and hardened arteries (atherosclerosis).

How long does a COVID-19 nosebleed last?

The duration of your COVID-19 nosebleed can vary depending on the underlying cause of the nosebleed. In most cases, a nosebleed should stop within a few minutes to an hour. However, seeking medical attention is essential if the bleeding persists or is heavy.

How do you treat COVID-19 nosebleeds? 

If you experience a nosebleed, there are a few steps you can take to stop the bleeding: 2

  • Hold your nostrils tightly shut for at least 10 minutes to control the nosebleed.
  • Apply pressure to the soft cartilage area of your nose, not the bony part.
  • Lean your head forward and inhale through your mouth while applying pressure to let the blood exit through the front of your nose and prevent it from flowing down your throat.
  • After 10 minutes, release your nose and place a wrapped ice pack or frozen vegetable bag over the bridge of your nose for about 10 minutes.
  • Stand or sit during and up to an hour following the procedure to diminish the blood pressure in your nasal blood vessels, which helps to slow the bleeding.

After a nosebleed, avoid blowing or sniffing your nose for several hours. If the bleeding continues, a nasal spray decongestant like Afrin or Neo-Synephrine may be used to constrict small blood vessels and manage the bleeding. 3

To prevent future nosebleeds, you can do the following: 2

  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and to avoid dryness in the nasal passages
  • Try nasal saline spray, gel, or rinses to moisturize and soothe the nose
  • Avoid nasal trauma such as scratching or rubbing your nose to minimize the risk of developing a bloody nose.

Wrapping up

While nosebleeds are not a common symptom of COVID-19, they can occur in some cases. If you experience a nosebleed or any other symptoms of COVID-19, it’s crucial to seek medical attention and get tested for the virus. If you have been diagnosed with COVID and experience a bloody nose, remember that they’re often not dangerous and can be managed at home effectively.


Q: Is a bloody nose a sign of COVID-19?
A: Yes, there’s a link between COVID-19 and nosebleeds. It’s not a common sign, but many patients have reported nosebleeds with their COVID-19 diagnosis.

Q: Why do you get nosebleeds with COVID-19?
A: While the direct link between COVID-19 and nose bleeding is unknown, patients may experience nasal irritation or dryness from the virus, potentially leading to nosebleeds.

Q: Is it normal to have blood in mucus when blowing my nose with COVID-19?
A: It is common to experience some nasal irritation and dryness when you have COVID-19, which could lead to blood in the mucus when blowing your nose. If you are concerned about blood in your mucus or if it persists, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor. 

Q: How can you prevent COVID-19 nosebleeds?
A: To prevent nosebleeds, turn on a humidifier to add moisture to the air and your nasal passages. A nasal saline spray, gel, or rinse can also help moisturize and soothe your nose. Additionally, treating allergies and avoiding nasal trauma, such as scratching or rubbing your nose, can decrease your risk of developing a bloody nose.

Q: Can COVID-19 testing cause nosebleeds?
A: Yes. Getting a nasal swab for COVID-19 testing can cause minor trauma to the nasal lining, which can lead to nosebleeds even in the absence of COVID-19 infection. However, individuals with COVID-19 may be at a higher risk of experiencing nosebleeds after the swab due to the inflammation caused by the virus in the nasal passages.