I’m sure the title of the article is a complete shocker. You did not think that can blowing your nose cause brain damage and could really have such big repercussions.
But before we go ahead and understand this we should know that the nasal deposit and even the drainage is not some foreign body acting on our body.
It actually is our body’s reaction to that pathogen. It is basically the immune response against cold, flu, or sinus infections which helps you to overcome this illness.
Sometimes, it is okay but then you can not let it drain naturally all the time as it will get really messy and miserable.
Blowing out your nose is a very common activity only and literally that’s what the whole world does, and it is safe. But the problem occurs when you blow too hard.
1. What Happens When You Blow Your Nose?
Here are some of the consequences of how blowing your nose can have a serious impact on your body.
Keep in mind that a runny nose is already irritating, so if it is accompanied by another problem it might get pretty troublesome.
If you blow your nose very hard it can actually lead to a nosebleed.
This happens because the pressure developed on the nose is very high and due to this extreme buildup, the blood vessels burst thus causing bleeding.
This pressure is more than the pressure exerted on the membrane when you’re sneezing. Nosebleeds also tend to create problems while breathing.
1.2. Ear and Sinus Infections
The ear, nose, and throat are basically one system, they are all connected and can affect one another, and due to this connection blowing your nose too hard can actually affect your throat and ears as well.
So, if you have a runny nose or a stuffy nose which is caused by a bacterial or viral infection and then you blow your nose, it might lead to the spreading of germs which might enter your throat and ear, infecting them as well.
And making your cold situation much worse than it normally is. Similarly, with sinuses also the viruses actually travel to your sinuses, and create problems with that.
1.3. Eardrum Ruptures
Infection is one thing that can affect your ear, but blowing your nose hard can also lead to rupturing your eardrum, although not very often there is a possibility of this happening since the ear and nose are connected by the eustachian tube.
The pressure buildup due to blowing can lead to the building of a hole in your eustachian tube.
Your ear is not just a body part that helps you to hear, it actually serves a lot of purposes. Primarily, body balance.
The inner ear is where the vestibular system which controls your body’s balance sense is located.
So, there is a possibility that you feel dizzy after blowing your ear and that is because of transmission of pressure to your inner ear.
The Eustachian tube which we talked about above has the function to maintain the balance on both sides of your eardrum.
But when you blow your nose too hard then it can put a lot of pressure on the little bones of your ear.
1.5. Air Pushed into Your Lungs
If you push yourself too much, and blow your nose very hard it might blow air into your lungs and actually lead air into places that it should not enter into.
During this process, if the pressure increases a lot in your lungs then it can enter the tissues in your lungs which can lead to chest pain.
2. Can Blowing Your Nose Cause Brain Damage?
If we consider the studies done by the American Heart Association, we can say that blowing the nose too hard can also lead to some cardiac problems, and what we are referring to here though is a brain aneurysm, which can sometimes lead to a stroke.
An aneurysm is basically a sudden blood pressure rise that comes due to forceful blowing of the nose.
Not a very common occurrence, a rupture might actually lead to bleeding and even fatal brain damage.
The problem with aneurysms is that they are very abrupt, not accompanied by a warning.
Research has also shown that blowing your nose too hard can cause a permanent brain hemorrhage.
3. Safely Blowing Your Nose
A stuffy nose is very uncomfortable, but so are the consequences of harsh nose-blowing.
Things to keep in mind are, if you are blowing your nose and you see no mucus then stop. You are just exerting your nose for nothing.
When you blow your nose always go one nostril at a time, while keeping your finger at the other side of your nose and gently closing the nostril.
First, breathe in and then blow out from the open nostril. Similarly, do this for the other nostril as this will reduce pressure on the eustachian tube.
4. Final Thoughts
What you can probably keep in mind is that, if you’re blowing your nose too hard then the reason is that the deposited mucous is actually not runny but stuck to the insides of your nose.
And based on the nature of the substance and the softness of your nose skin, rather than forcing it out what you should do is try softening it by using steam or hot water, or even applying some cream or saline nasal spray; so that it becomes lubricated and can then be ejected, while your nose skin will also not get disrupted.