curing a runny nose medical equipment

7 Ways to Prevent A Runny Nose

I am an adult. To me this is abundantly clear. The signs are everywhere for all to see. Yet I am still plagued by dilemmas not befitting an adult. Often not befitting a child either. My current dilemma is about tissues, more accurately what to blow my nose in.

I have a cold – one of those horrible snuffly buggers that makes you feel like your brain is a widget bobbing up and down in some Supermarket value brand stout. A murky fug weighs heavy on my brain-face and I feel like I am trying to balance a bowling ball on my neck. A bowling ball that oozes snot. So back to that dilemma – the tissue-issue, the hanky-quandary, the wipe gripe. My nose is a snotty spigot, dripping like a faulty faucet. So how do I prevent a runny nose?

woman using nasal spray to cure running nose

Image from Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery – 1913 via Flickr – No known copyright restrictions

1. The Sniff

My sniffing has already caused someone in the office to dry heave into their opened laptop, pretending, out of kindness, to be blowing pastry flakes from around the space bar. I know otherwise. The sniff is not appropriate for public places and is not a valid long term strategy.

2. The Handkerchief

Even the name handkerchief when said aloud drapes itself around your tongue like a piece of antique lace. I am not a Victorian. I am not a gentleman. I do not own a handkerchief. I am also not an aristocratic toddler so I do not own a hanky either.

In fact, the thought of using a square of fabric as some sort of portable snot sponge repulses me. A handkerchief is like a holeless butterfly net for catching sneezes; a flannel for phlegm.

Ways to Prevent A Runny Nose

Image via Clipart Panda – free to use

There is something about adding repeated amounts of snot to the same receptacle that is abhorrent, depraved even. Like a weirdo who collects body parts in jars of formaldehyde and arranges them on shelves in his basement.

3. The Toilet Roll

My default, sadly. The variety of toilet paper that I buy dissolves into a million tiny pieces at the mere guff of nasal activity. A careless whisper sees it disintegrate into a handful of confetti, of no use to a dripping nose. Destined for the gutter theatrics of a tramp wedding, perhaps.

And removing toilet tissue from your pocket to blow your nose is an art in itself. I hate few things more than having to drag a raggedy chain of ripped bog tatters from my person, like some magician pulling endless multi-coloured ribbons from a sleeve.

In order to then use this stuff to blow your nose, you have to fold and squeeze, pinch and tuck until you have a surface large enough. A wholly embarrassing ceremony. When you have finally managed to soak up some snot, these used clumps of anti-tissue then crust in your pockets, fossilising, before throwing themselves from your trousers at inopportune moments like Lemmings.

4. Tissues in a Packet

I am not a grandmother. Or a member of the royal family. I cannot afford to have these, the caviar of nose-blowing apparel. A handbag that contains 10 balm-infused gossamer three-ply nose nappies is an aspiration that I will never fulfil, much like travelling to the moon or canoodling with Beyonce while listening to late nineties Britpop 45s.

5. Paper Towel

Holy mother of God, these great slabs of industrial sandpaper, half-inched from some Canadian lumber yard are more suited to making smooth the gnarled limbs of a 500 year old oak than mopping a delicate nostril cavity.

My nose is already crimson but it does not, until now, bleed. Only in desperation do these grizzly bastards get a look in.

6. The Tissue

Purpose built so the ideal choice or so you would think. The tissue is not for leaky man noses, however. Far from it. These are designed for girls to blot tears from their cheeks when Bieber doesn’t reply to their tweet or when a chick flick goes all weepy.

7. Kitchen Roll

Not as unmercifully rippy as the paper towel (just rough enough to ready an antique dresser for a fresh coat of varnish) nor as disgustingly weak as toilet roll. Not as perversely permanent as the handkerchief nor as luxurious as the ten-pack nasal pamperers. A good choice then, maybe. Dilemma resolved?

Don’t use any of these…Sleeves? Magazines?

Tell me your methods to prevent a runny nose, please. Or let me know on Twitter.


Header image from Modern medicine and bacteriological review” (1894) via Flickr – No known copyright restrictions


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Tom Spooner

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