Be Careful When You Blow Your Nose

Try to tell someone with a stuffy nose or a cold not to blow his or her nose and you’re likely to be completely ignored. A congested or very dry nose is just begging for relief.

Anthony F. Jahn, MD, FACS, FRCS, offers some helpful tips to avoid the side effects of the simple act of blowing your nose:

• Avoid blowing both nostrils at the same time. Instead, press a finger over one nostril and gently blow your nose into a tissue through the one open nostril. Switch sides and repeat.

• Many people feel most “stuffed-up” upon awakening, after lying flat all night. Don't blow your nose immediately. Sit upright five or 10 minutes before doing so.

• Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day—especially when you have a cold. This will help thin out the mucus, making it easier for it to be removed by blowing gently.

• Blow your nose after taking a steamy shower as the warm environment of the shower may help loosen mucus.