The reason you have to teach a child to blow there nose, is because it is not
a natural reflex, like sniffing is. Mother Nature assures me that she prefers
that a child sniff, rather than blow. Blowing not only forces germs into your
sinuses and middle ear, but helps to spread the cold. I know this this idea
of sniffing snot may be hard to swallow (heh), so here is a reference for you
close to home, Dave.
NOSE BLOWING MAY MAKE COLDS WORSE
October 01, 1999
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Health) -- One sure sign of the common cold is nasal
discharge, and blowing your nose to clear it. But nose blowing may propel
bacteria or viruses into the sinuses, which can make the cold even worse,
according to a study presented this week at the Interscience Conference on
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy meeting in San Francisco.
Cold treatments that reduce nasal mucus should be started early, the
researchers advise, to "help prevent spread of the cold to the sinuses."
Dr. Joseph O. Hendley of the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center
and colleagues compared the pressure in the nasal cavities of four healthy
adult volunteers during nose blowing with that created during coughing and
sneezing to determine if any of these activities could force mucus from the
nose into the sinuses.
Pressure in the sinuses during sneezing and coughing was 6 to 8 mm Hg, but
jumped tenfold to 70 to 80 mmHg during nose blowing, Hendley said.
The research team also studied a fluid of similar viscosity, or 'stickiness,'
to nasal mucus, and found that at the pressure caused by coughing and
sneezing, mucus is unlikely to be forced into sinus cavities. But at the
pressures caused by nose blowing, such fluid could be forced into sinuses.
The researchers continued their investigation by squirting a radio-opaque dye
into the nasopharynx of 10 healthy volunteers who then coughed, sneezed, or
blew their noses. Follow-up CT scans showed no dye in the sinuses of the
three who coughed or the three who sneezed. However, "...dye was found in the
sinus cavities of all four individuals who blew their noses," Hendley told
Cold treatments that reduce nasal mucus "are desirable," write the
researchers, "not only because of their symptomatic benefits but also because
of the possibility that they may help prevent spread of the cold to the
Hendley and colleagues note that a previous study showed that cold sufferers
blow their noses about 45 times per day on the first 3 days of a cold.