Pulling Your Nose: Is It Really Dangerous?

Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Mojpe

If people suffering from a cold pull up their noses, can the pathogens spread further in the body? We’ll explain what’s behind this assumption and whether it’s really healthier to blow your nose.

During the cold season, loud sniffles can be heard from all sides. Many people not only find sniffing up an unpleasant sound, there is also a stubborn belief that it is unhealthy: sniffing up would spread the pathogens in the body. We explain to you how much truth there is to the myth.

Pulling up your nose: is that dangerous?

When the nose is pulled up, pathogens are decomposed in the stomach.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Ralphs_Photos)

When people with a cold pull mucus up their noses, it is carried into the nasopharynx, then swallowed and then broken down in the stomach by gastric acid. It also kills the common cold. It is therefore not true that the cold pathogens are distributed in the body by pulling up your nose.

Which is healthier: sniffing or blowing?

If you’re prone to sinus infections, it’s better to pinch your nose than blow it.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / ArtsandExpressions)

However, under certain circumstances, blowing your nose can not only be less hygienic than pulling it up, it can also be hazardous to your health: According to Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), if you press your nose too hard when you blow your nose, mucus can get into the sinuses or even the middle ear. Then sinus infections or otitis media can develop. Especially people who have already had an operation on the sinuses should rather sniff.

Whether sniffing or blowing your nose, you should be careful in both cases. So be careful not to pull your nose up too hard or squeeze it too hard when blowing your nose. According to the NDR, when blowing your nose, you should alternately hold one nostril and then blow carefully into the cloth.

For the sake of the environment, use recycled paper handkerchiefs and dispose of them immediately or put cloth handkerchiefs in the washing machine immediately after use, because the germs stay on the cloth and spread more easily the more you use them. Also, always wash your hands thoroughly after blowing your nose.

It is also important to know that when you have a cold, your nose is not blocked up because of the mucus, but because the mucous membranes are swollen. On the other hand, neither pulling up vigorously nor blowing your nose can help. Instead, decongestants, a nasal douche or a steam bath can clear the nose.

Read more on Techzle.com:

  • Exercise when you have a cold: you should know that
  • Cold tea: These varieties help against coughs, colds and sore throats
  • Runny nose: You can do this if your nose is constantly running

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