A runny nose is annoying but blowing it the wrong way could be doing you more harm than good.
A recent article published on The Conversation warns "vigorous blowing" comes with certain risks.
"On balance it seems repeated and vigorous blowing of the nose may carry more risk than benefit, even though it seems to be a natural response to nasal congestion," writes David King, a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland.
Referencing a 2000 study, David said researchers found blowing your nose generates ten times more pressure than sneezing or coughing.
“More worrying was their second finding – viscous fluid from the nose had found its way into the sinus cavities after vigorous nose blowing,” he said.
“The researchers said this could be a mechanism for sinus infection complicating some colds, with the introduction of nasal bacteria to the sinuses. But they did not produce evidence for this.”
Instead, David said removing the need to blow with a decongestant or antihistamine is the key. Blowing one nostril at a time is also effective.
“If you have mucus in the nose, it is probably best to get it out, so blow gently or by clearing one nostril at a time,” says David.
"Use of appropriate treatments can lessen the need to blow, and the force required to clear your nose.”