January 07, 2010

NYT: Blowing the Nose May Actually Make You Sicker???

On February 9, 2009, the New York Times published an interesting story regarding what happens if you blow your nose too hard. The story "The Claim: Never Blow Your Nose When You Have a Cold" reported that nose blowing generated enormous pressure — “equivalent to a person’s diastolic blood pressure reading,” — and propelled mucus into the sinuses every time. It was unclear whether this was harmful, but added that during sickness it could shoot viruses or bacteria into the sinuses, and possibly cause further infection.

The story is based on research done at the University of Virginia and published in the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2000. Read the research here.

Based on this research, it does seem wise to avoid nose-blowing, but if one must, to use decongestants and blow only one nostril at a time gently. Using saline flushes would be helpful as well.

Read the story here.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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