It sounds like something a kid would dare another kid to do: try to hold back a sneeze. But doing something that unnatural can lead to serious consequences.
One man from the UK found out that holding your sneezes can land you in the hospital. A “previously fit” man presented in a local hospital’s Emergency Room complaining of pain in his throat and neck after having suppressed a forceful sneeze. What doctors discovered was a bit more serious than the consequences of a childhood dare.
The patient, it was discovered, had blown a hole through his throat by trying to suppress his sneeze. This resulted in air bubbles being forced into the man’s muscles and deep into the tissue in his neck. This condition is called surgical emphysema.
This gentleman was treated with antibiotics and had to eat through a tube for seven days. In the end, he eventually made a full recovery.
A sneeze can produce forces that exceed 100 miles an hour. When you stifle a sneeze, that force, that pressure will need to go somewhere. This can result in sinus problems, middle and inner ear damage, ear infections, surgical emphysema and ruptured eardrums.
Sneezing is a natural function of the body. It is meant to expel an irritant from the nasal passages. If you have to sneeze, don’t hold back, but be as polite as possible about it. If you must sneeze in public, try to refrain from sneezing openly or into your hands. Instead, try to use a tissue and if one isn’t immediately available, sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
Share This Article with Someone Who Might Benefit from It!