Struggling with a blocked-up nose or stuffy feeling in the head?
It’s that time of year, but while the temptation is to keep blowing your nose, it probably won’t help.
A blocked nose from a common cold is caused not by mucus, but by swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels in the nasal airways, triggered by the infection, explains Dr Ayah Al Ayoubi, consultant Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon at Chase Farm Hospital, London. Not only will blowing not work, studies show that forceful nose blowing can propel some infection-laden mucus into the sinuses, where secondary bacterial infections may take hold.
So if you must blow your nose, it’s best to blow gently, one nostril at a time.