You're probably tempted to grab a tissue or hanky to clear your nose when you're feeling runny, but could you be doing more harm than good? Cold season is upon us – and there are some ways to blow your nose that could actually make it worse.
The wrong way to blow your nose may make it more stuffed up, which is why we should all be blowing our noses gently and not pushing mucus into our sinuses, say top editors.
The best way to blow your nose is to close one nostril at a time and lightly blow through it. It's also a good idea to use anti-inflammatories, which can reduce swelling and open a passage for mucus to flow out of your nose.
When you're sick, your mucus may contain viruses or bacteria that can get into your sinuses if it doesn't come out. Having a lot of mucus in your sinuses can trigger infections, which can then make you feel even more miserable.
You should avoid blowing your nose if you have any symptoms of a sinus infection, such as fever, headache and ear pain. You should also stop using a nasal spray or humidifier, as this may increase pressure in your nasal cavities, which could lead to a sinus infection.
Your eyelids have openings called puncta that let tears run across the eyes to lubricate them and drain into ducts. Problems can arise when air and fluid flow in opposite directions – the small size of these openings and gravity usually prevent this from happening.