Why Cyrano Shouldn't Have Used a Kleenex

  • Share
  • Read Later
Got the sniffles? You may want to put down that Kleenex. A study released Friday at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco says that nose blowing may prolong and even worsen a cold. Researchers at the University of Virginia had healthy volunteers blow their noses and measured the pressure inside the subjects’ sinus cavities. They found that nose blowing creates an enormous amount of internal pressure — a force that can drive mucus streaming with bacteria and viruses back into the sinuses, possibly making a cold worse.

What’s a sniffler to do this cold season? Muzzle the mucus before it gets bad. And that means one of those decongestant/antihistamine combos you may already be using (like Triaminic, Contac or Drixoral). Of course, you're then faced with cracked lips, a scratchy throat and stinging eyes, but it's good to know that apart from drying up the offending effluent they are probably helping to shorten the disease cycle. So stock up on those pills and syrups, and just think — this winter, you could be spared one of the annoyances of the season: the inevitable balls of lint left sticking to clothes after a long-forgotten tissue is put through the laundry.