Suppressing a sneeze might be harmful to your health. A new study has warned that stifling a sneeze can rupture your throat, burst an eardrum, or pop a blood vessel in your brain. A lot of people block all the exits when they feel a sneeze coming on. They essentially swallow the sneeze’s explosive force.
A 34-year-old man recently showed up at the emergency service of a hospital in Leicester, England with a swollen neck and in extreme pain. The patient told the doctors that his problems started after he tried to stop a forceful sneeze by pinching his nose and closing his mouth. He eventually lost his voice and spent a week in the hospital.
“When you sneeze, air comes out of you at about 150 miles per hour,” said Dr Anthony Aymat, director for ear, nose and throat services at London’s University Hospital Lewisham.
“If you retain all that pressure, it could do a lot of damage and you could end up like the Michelin Man with air trapped in your body.”
A CAT scan confirmed what they suspected: the force of the suppressed sneeze had ruptured and torn open the back of the throat. The doctors admitted the person to the hospital gave him a feeding tube and administered antibiotics, according to details published in BMJ Case Reports. He was discharged after a week.
The doctors have warned that halting sneezing via blocking the nostrils and mouth is a dangerous manoeuvre, and should be avoided.