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Blowing Your Nose When You Have A Cold Isn't Helping

You know that gross wad of snotty tissues that piles up when you have a cold? There's no need for it. Turns out, blowing your nose when you have a cold is a bad idea.

But, Mom Always Said....

For anyone whose mother shoved a tissue in their face whenever they had the sniffles, this will come as a surprise. But blowing your nose isn't a good idea when you have a cold, or any time, for that matter. "Blowing your nose with too much force can actually cause breakage of vessels and undue stress," allergist and immunologist Purvi Parikh, M.D. told Men's Health. In addition, blowing your nose can actually force bacteria and viruses back up into your sinuses, putting you at greater risk of infection. And, when all is said and done, blowing your nose isn't going to rid you of mucus. If you're sick, you'll just make more.

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So, What Should I Do?

If you want to get rid of all the mucus clogging up your nostrils, blow one at a time, Dr. Anil Kumar Lalwani, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the New York University Langone Medical Center, told the New York Times. That, plus taking nasal decongestants, will prevent the pressure buildup.

Editors' Picks:

Why Blowing Your Nose Makes Your Cold Worse

(And how not to feel like a walking germ.)

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Studies discourage blowing your nose when you or sick, and even when you're healthy. 02:45

  2. The amount of pressure generated when you blow your nose is more than your body is designed to handle. 03:00

  3. Blowing your nose could actually force bacteria or viruses back up into your sinuses. 03:09

Why Does Your Nose Get Runny In The Cold?

It's called cold-induced rhinorrhea, or skier's nose.

How Does The Common Cold Work?

It's actually just a set of symptoms.

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