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25th Mar 2018

Apparently, we’ve been blowing our noses wrong this whole time

Alan Loughnane

Take note…

When you’re stuffy and suffering from a cold or flu, chances are you put a tissue up to your nose and give it a good blow to clear out the nasal passages.

It’s very tempting to blow your nose into a tissue when you feel congested, but when you blow your nose forcefully, both nostrils at a time, it may actually make you feel worse.

This pressure can cause mucus to shoot up into your sinuses, instead of out of your nose. When you’re sick, this mucus may contain viruses or bacteria and can cause you a nasty sinus infection.

“On balance it seems repeated and vigorous blowing of the nose may carry more risk than benefit, even though it seems to be a natural response to nasal congestion,” David King , a senior lecturer at The University of Queensland wrote for The Conversation.

So what’s the right way to blow your nose?

Many experts suggest you close one nostril at a time and lightly blow through each one, this reduces the risk of mucus shooting into your sinuses. Anti-inflammatories may also be helpful in reducing swelling and allowing the mucus to escape.

A variety of sprays are also available to soften the mucus.