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Life StyleForced nose blowing when sick may do more harm than good

Forced nose blowing when sick may do more harm than good


Many of us have been taught from a young age that vigorously blowing our nose is the best way to clear congestion when we have a cold. However, new research reveals this common practice may be doing more harm than good.

According to ENT specialists, forceful nose blowing can upset the delicate balance in our nasal passages and sinuses. The rough tissue use can rupture small blood vessels and cause irritation and inflammation. This exacerbates the congestion instead of relieving it.

Even more concerning is the direct connection between our nose and ears. Energetic nose blowing creates significant negative pressure that can suck mucus into the eustachian tubes linking the throat to middle ears. This introduces pathogens to the ears and increases the risk of painful ear infections.

Experts warn the strong airflow may also damage delicate ear structures through barotrauma or pressure trauma. Repeated overuse puts chronic pressure on the ears, possibly causing long-term issues.

Rather than clearing mucus, doctors say blowing too forcefully can shove secretions deeper into the sinuses. This raises pressure inside and aggravates sinusitis symptoms. The expelled aerosol from nose blowing may also spread viral particles to others nearby if sick.

So what's the safest way to unclog nasal congestion? ENT specialists recommend gentle blowing of one nostril at a time while keeping the other pinched shut. Steam inhalation and saline rinses thin mucus for easier expulsion without harsh friction or stressful pressure. With a little patience and care for our delicate nasal and ear anatomies, we can relieve congestion without exacerbating issues or putting our at risk.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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