When you catch a cold, the nose tends to get blocked and after some time it becomes really irritating. Many of us start blowing the nose as hard as possible to get some relief, but this is a wrong practice and can be harmful.
Side Effects of Blowing Nose Too Hard
1. It Can Do Harm to the Sinus
When you blow your nose very hard, the pressure inside the nasal cavity increases a lot, which can propel the mucus into the sinus. The mucus carries the bacteria or virus into the sinus and can lead to infection.
Besides, forceful nose blowing can also push some air into the sinus and therefore form mucus bubbles which can increase the pressure inside the sinuses, causing severe headache and inflammation of the sinus.
2. It May Cause Ear Infections
Ear, nose and throat are interconnected. If you blow your nose forcefully, you can sometimes hear crackling sound in your ear. This happens because some mucus can enter the middle ear due to the pressure. On this occasion, virus or bacteria will be transmitted to the ear, causing ear infections and earache.
How to Blow Your Nose Correctly
If you have a habit of blowing nose too hard when you get a blocked nose, you need to change that. Here are some suggestions for you to blow your nose correctly.
1. Keep Your Mouth Open and Your Eyes Closed
Before you start to blow your nose, close your eyes and keep your mouth slightly open. This will be comfortable because there will be less pressure on your face.
2. Blow Each Nostril Separately
Start with one of the nostrils and press the other with a finger. Choose one nostril, keep it covered with a tissue or a handkerchief, and gently blow it. Refrain from blowing too forcefully. After the nostril is cleared, wipe with a clean tissue and repeat the same process with the other nostril.
3. Handle the Tissue and Handkerchief Properly
When you are done, clean and wipe the nose and make sure that no mucus is left on your skin. If you used a tissue, dispose it in a waste bin to avoid spreading the germs. If you used a handkerchief, wash it with warm water.
4. Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands
The final part that should never be forgotten is to wash your hands thoroughly after blowing your nose. Use warm water and soap, and dry the hands afterwards. This is the best way to avoid the spread of infection.
How to Clear Nasal Congestion Without Blowing Nose
There are certain ways which can help clear your nasal congestion without blowing nose too hard.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can thin the mucus and let mucus get cleared easily. Besides, it can also help strengthen the immune system, which enables you to recover faster. Take a cup of warm water, and add one tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Drink it two or three times a day for maximum benefit.
2. Steam Inhalation
For instant relief of nasal congestion, steam inhalation is an effective option. It acts as a natural expectorant, which can relieve your congestion and lubricate the respiratory tract. Simply take a big bowel of hot water, and put your nose rightly above the bowl to inhale the steam for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can add some herbs like caraway seeds or some essential oils like peppermint oil in the water for better results.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation with saline is also an effective way to get rid of excessive mucus without blowing nose too hard. You can make the saline or salt solution by mixing a teaspoon of salt in two cups of warm distilled water. There are certain devices available for nasal irrigation, such as a neti pot. You can use these devices to do nasal irrigation twice a day. Be careful and always clean the irrigation device after using it and let it air dry.
4. Herbal Tea
Herbal teas, such as peppermint tea, are very good in thinning the mucus, therefore drinking a cup of herbal tea daily can provide relief from nasal congestion. What’s more, herbal teas can remove the toxins from the blood, which will promote a faster recovery.
5. Spicy Tomato Tea
If you have a blocked nose, the spicy tomato tea can be a perfect solution for your problems. This tasty tea is easy to make and is very effective in clearing the nasal passages.
To make it, you need to take a cup of tomato juice and put it in a pan, then add a pinch of salt, some hot sauce and a tablespoon of lemon juice and chopped garlic. Mix all and bring it to a boil. Enjoy while it is still hot.
6. Take Over the Counter Medications
If the blocked nose is giving you a lot of trouble, you can take some over the counter medicines for relief.
- If your nose is blocked due to a cold, the best choice is decongestant medications. Those medications come in many forms and the most commonly used are tablets and nasal sprays. Decongestants can reduce the swelling of the nasal cavity and make breathing easier. However, it is not advised to use decongestant nasal sprays for more than three days.
- Take antihistamines for allergy induced nasal blockage. Allergies can cause nasal blockage and antihistamines are very effective to treat the symptom. Be careful as these medications can make you sleepy.