Last updated: June 17, 2022 at 10:54 am
We’ve all been there before when you’re sitting in a meeting, classroom, airplane or even the bus, and suddenly you get that feeling in your nose. It’s time to blow.
But there are people all around you – how on earth do you blow your nose whilst maintaining a shred of dignity? Well, the answer is simple. You do it quietly.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- 1 Why Do We Blow Our Noses?
- 2 Is There a Wrong Way to Blow Your Nose?
- 3 Do You Constantly Need to Blow Your Nose?
- 4 How to Blow Your Nose Quietly
Why Do We Blow Our Noses?
Whilst it may seem embarrassing and inconvenient, blowing your nose is a completely normal action that everyone does. We all must blow our noses at some point, it’s just how our bodies work.
We blow our noses to prevent mucus from building up and leaking out of our nostrils onto our face, as well as to help our breathing when our nose feels congested.
Is There a Wrong Way to Blow Your Nose?
Surprisingly, there is a wrong way to blow your nose. Blowing your nose too hard will not only make a lot of noise, but it has been known to cause;
- pierce eardrums
- and even fracture eye sockets
Blowing your nose too aggressively can result in significant pain as well as attracting unwanted attention from those around you.
That’s why it’s important to take care when clearing your nose. Not only are there ways to do it safely, but there are ways to do it that ensure you’ll go unnoticed, no matter where you are.
Do You Constantly Need to Blow Your Nose?
Blowing our noses is a completely natural thing to do, however, if you find yourself constantly suffering from nasal congestion or a runny nose, it might be a sign of illness or allergies. If this sounds familiar, there are a few things that you can do.
Take a Visit to Your Doctor
Your doctor will be happy to feel your sinuses, throat, and glands to see if you’re getting sick, or whether it is something else.
They will also be able to recommend the best course of action for you with knowledge of what other medications and conditions you might have.
Try Some Allergy Medication
Is your nasal congestion seasonal? Or perhaps it happens whenever you go to visit a friend who has a very affectionate cat or dog? Then it is likely that your nasal congestion is caused by an allergy of some kind. All you need to do to battle it, in which case, is to take some allergy relief tablets or invest in a nasal spray.
There are plenty of these types of medication around, and many of them are targeted at specific allergies. For example, there are hay fever sprays, animal dander sprays, etc. These sprays and medications are perfect for anyone with allergies and will help to reduce the discomfort in your nose as well as how often you feel like you have a blocked or runny nose.
Try a Saline Spray
This is a completely natural method of clearing out the nose and the sinuses. Saline is simply salt water and will do a great job of reducing the congestion, hopefully reducing the amount you have to blow your nose!
Try Out Sinus Decongestion Methods
There are lots and lots of sinus decongestion methods out there, and some of them will work for you. From placing a warm and wet towel on your face to having a hot shower and breathing in the steam, there are plenty of ways to break down the mucus in your sinuses and nose and clear it out before you leave the house.
Doing this will help to reduce the stagnating mucus in your nose, which consequently will reduce the amount you feel the need to blow your nose.
How to Blow Your Nose Quietly
When it comes to blowing your nose, there are a few ways that you can limit the noise, whilst still preventing the mucus from building up within your nose.
Step 1: Blow One Nostril at a Time
Often, people’s approach to blowing their nose is to use as much force as possible through both nostrils at once to clear out their nose quickly and efficiently. However, not only is using too much force bad for your nose but blowing your nose this way will always be loud. Instead, try blowing one nostril at a time.
Place the tissue over your nose, and block one nostril by pinching it shut. Then, through the other nostril, exhale sharply with enough force to budge any mucus, but not so much as to make the whole room aware of what you’re doing. Once done, repeat for the other nostril.
Step 2: Use a Nasal Lubricant
Nasal lubricants (here’s one from Boots) come as sprays or gels and are designed to lubricate your nasal passage. This helps to decongest the passage and is also helpful when it comes to blowing your nose.
Occasionally, the trouble with blowing your nose is that the harder, crusted mucus is stuck in place and doesn’t budge. With a nasal lubricant, this mucus is more likely to move, which means that you don’t have to blow as hard to remove the mucus build-up.
Step 3: Blow Gently
This method can and should be used in conjunction with the other methods and should be your go-to method regardless of whether you’re trying to be quiet or not.
Blowing gently guarantees that you’ll be making less noise and helps to reduce the risk of any pain or damage to your sinuses, nose and face.
Step 4: Use More Tissues
You should always blow your nose into something. Usually, that’s a tissue. But if you’re trying to reduce the noise of your nose-blowing, then it is worth piling on the tissues.
Gather a little collection in front of your face and hold your hands around the tissues and your nose in a cup shape – like you’re about to sneeze.
This will provide more barriers for the sound to escape through, ultimately deadening the noise as much as possible.
Step 5: Turn Away
If you don’t have enough tissue, or even if you want to mute the sound even further, then simply turn away from everyone else. If you’re in a classroom, turn to face the corner, or if you’re in the library, move your head down towards the desk.
Moving the source of the noise further away from everybody will automatically make the sound of you blowing your nose much quieter.
Step 6: Leave the Room
This isn’t always possible (like if you’re on public transport, or in a meeting), but often you can excuse yourself for a moment just to go and blow your nose.
It won’t take long and will save you the anxiety of whether everybody is judging you for how loud you’re being.
Step 7: Reduce the Need to Blow
Just like taking decongestants, you can reduce the need to blow your nose with a few lifestyle changes. There are things that exacerbate runny noses and allergies that you can cut out of your life if you’re blowing your nose so often that it’s irritating you.
One such thing is smoking. Smoking cigarettes greatly exacerbates the symptoms of allergies, making your nose more congested, and throat sore and can also worsen the symptoms of illnesses such as a cough or a cold. Cutting out smoking will help to reduce the amount you’re blowing your nose.