This is how you should be doing it
It’s gross, but when you’ve got a cold and want to unblock your nose you probably just grab a tissue and give it a good ol’ blow.
But actually, this might not be the best way to get yourself breathing normally again. In fact, forcefully blowing both nostrils at once could make you feel worse.
This is because the pressure can cause mucus to shoot up into your sinuses, instead of out of your nose. When you’re ill, this mucus may contain viruses or bacteria and can cause an unpleasant sinus infection.
Not only that, but the stuffiness you’re feeling isn’t from the mucus – it’s from inflamed blood vessels. Blowing hard will just irritate these more, which could increase the swelling.
‘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 best way to de-congest?
Experts suggest you close one nostril at a time and lightly blow through each one. Anti-inflammatories may also help reduce the swelling and open a passage for the mucus to flow out, while nasal spray loosens any dried mucus.
Yeah, it’s all pretty rank. But TBH, we reckon we’ll really appreciate this advice next time we’re in bed with the lurgy.