One of the worst things about having a cold is that you have to blow your nose incessantly. After a while, you could even blow your nose too hard, hoping you could get rid of all the mucus and expel it out of your system. Unfortunately, this is a very bad idea. And this woman learned it the hard way.

A woman from the United Kingdom had to be rushed to the emergency room at the Leicester Royal Infirmary University Hospital. According to her, she blew her nose so hard and this caused her right eye to bulge in almost the equivalent size of a golf ball. For hours, this woman could not open her eyes due to the extreme swelling.

What Happened to Her?

When the doctors investigated what happened to her, it turned out that she had orbital emphysema. This is a condition where air unnaturally goes to the soft tissues that surround the eye. The patient also had a nose fracture, but the doctors needed to look more into the incident to determine whether the excessive nose blowing caused the fracture or not. Fortunately for the woman, she was able to reach the hospital in time and was treated right away. If not, the doctors said she could have lost her eyesight.

What is Orbital Emphysema?

Typically, orbital emphysema is a benign condition that is generally caused by a hard blow or trauma to the face. In the case of the woman from the UK, the doctors said what happened to her was rare because she did not experience any trauma. However, because of vigorous nose blowing, her face showed signs similar to the condition. To reduce her eye’s swelling, she was given some antibiotics, which she had to take for two weeks, according to reports.

Is It Really Dangerous to Blow Your Nose Too Hard?

Don't blow your nose too hard, some damages may be irreversible
Don’t blow your nose too hard, some damages may be irreversible

Without a doubt, it is not advised to do some forceful nose blowing no matter how fed up you are with your cold. But how hard is too hard?

  • Experts say there is no simple answer to this question.
  • However, a good guideline is to make sure you don’t feel pressure in your sinuses prior to blowing your nose. After blowing, you should not feel it as well.
  • You blew too hard if there’s no pressure before blowing, then you felt it right after.
  • There should not be a crackling sound as well, which you will hear in your ears if you blew too hard. This is caused by excess mucus that went back to your middle ear if you blow your nose harder than what is supposed to.

Next time you blow your nose, make sure it is not too hard just to clear your airways. If your nose is too clogged up, you can try saline spray, which can loosen up your mucus before you start blowing your nose.