nose blowing

What do you do when you have a cold and stuffy nose? Blow the nose, right? That is what most people do, believing that it would help in speedy recovery. Turns out, it might make your cold even worse.

Breaking the myth

Blowing the nose surely alleviates the stuffiness of the nose, but some people argue that it is not good to reverse the flow of mucus into the sinuses and slowing the drainage process.

A test conducted by Dr. J. Owen Hendley and other researchers at the University of Virginia revealed that coughing and sneezing generate little pressure on the nasal cavities as compared to blowing the nose. In fact, coughing and sneezing generate only one-tenth of the pressure generated by blowing the nose. When a person blows his or her nose, each nose can move approximately one millimeter of mucus into the sinuses.

Blowing the nose puts enormous pressure on the nasal cavity, which is equal to a person’s diastolic blood pressure reading. Though it is still unclear whether entry of mucus in the sinus is harmful or not but it is true that the entry of viruses or bacteria in the sinus when you are sick can lead to further infection.

What is the right way to blow the nose?

The best way to get rid of congestion is to blow one nostril at a time and to take decongestants. This prevents the buildup of excess pressure on the nasal sinuses.

Moreover, it is best to start treatment as soon as you experience the onset of flu/cold rather than waiting for a day or two to see if it will go away on its own.