A Woman Nearly Went Blind After Blowing Her Nose Too Hard

Published On 11/04/2015 Published On 11/04/2015

Everyone knows that cold and flu season can seriously blow, but apparently, you may want to exercise caution when -- of all things -- blowing your nose. 

Consider the story of a 32-year-old woman in the UK, who ended up in the hospital and nearly blinded herself... after "forcefully" blowing her nose, according to a report by the Independent. The woman, who was not named in the report, sought medical attention after her eyes swelled to the point where she couldn't see. That must have been some serious snot. 

The journal BMJ Case Reports, which detailed the incident, said the condition is known as orbital emphysema and that it typically occurs as the result of trauma, but can apparently happen after forcefully blowing your nose, too. The intense swelling is the result of air forced into the soft tissue around the eyes, per the report. That just sounds awful. And frightening.

But this isn't the first time we've been warned about blowing our noses too hard. Late last year, a report by The Wall Street Journal suggested gently blowing your nose -- and even spraying a saline mist in your nostrils -- to avoid shooting the mucus into other parts of your sinuses and spreading the infection. Who knew boogers and mucus were so dangerous?

Ultimately, the woman suffered a broken nose and doctors put her on antibiotics to treat the swelling, according to the report. Cheers to never blowing your nose again!

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and is even more terrified about cold and flu season now. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.



Learn More