Interesting fact of the day

February 11,2009
Lindsay Hutton( )
Apparently we've all* been doing it wrong. Blowing our noses, that is. Researchers at the University of Virginia conducted CT scans and other measurements as subjects sneezed and blew their noses. Any guesses as to what they discovered?

Nose blowing propels mucus into the sinuses every time. Dr. J. Owen Hendley says his research also found that nose blowing generated enormous pressure, "equivalent to a person's diastolic blood pressure reading." Dr. Hendley says it's unclear whether reversing the flow of mucus into the sinuses is harmful in a healthy person. However, if you're sick, blowing your nose incorrectly could shoot viruses or bacteria into the sinuses, possibly causing further infection.

So how should you blow your nose? According to Dr. Anil Kumar Lalwani, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the New York University Langone Medical Center, you should blow your nose one nostril at a time to prevent a buildup of excess pressure. Dr. Lalwani also suggests taking decongestants when needed.

*Were any of you taught the correct nose blowing method?