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If you blow your nose with the force of a typhoon, you may be making yourself sicker in the process. That’s according to Dr. Neil Schachter, medical director of the Respiratory Care Department at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. He says, typically when we blow our nose, we produce 10 times as much pressure as when we sneeze or cough. And the more pressure, the more likely it is that mucus will shoot into our sinusesspreading the infection. So how hard is too hard when blowing your nose?

Dr. Schachter says, if you don’t feel any pressure in your sinuses before you blow, but then feel it afterwardyou’ve blown too hard. And beware of a crackling sound in your ears. That’s excess mucus being blown back into the middle ear – hello, ear infection. So if you’re completely congested, the best thing to do is to loosen mucus before you blow. You can do that by spraying a saline mist into your nose – give it a minute to settle in and work – then blow gentlyone nostril at a time.

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