Lifestyle 16.1.2018 12:06 pm

Suppressing a sneeze can be very dangerous, doctors warn

Never block a sneeze, researchers warn

Never block a sneeze, researchers warn

Stifling a sneeze can rupture your throat, burst an ear drum, or pop a blood vessel in your brain, researchers warn.

Many people — when they feel a sneeze coming on — block all the exits, essentially swallowing the sneeze’s explosive force.

Just how dangerous this can be was illustrated when a 34-year-old man showed up at the emergency service of a hospital in Leicester, England, recently, with a swollen neck and in extreme pain.

“The patient described a popping sensation in his neck after he tried to halt a sneeze by pinching the nose and holding his mouth closed,” doctors detailed in a study published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports.

A CAT scan confirmed what they suspected: the force of the suppressed sneeze had ruptured and torn open the back of the throat.

The man — who could barely swallow or talk — was admitted to hospital, where he was tube-fed and given intravenous antibiotics until the swelling and pain subsided.

He was discharged after a week.

“Halting sneezing via blocking the nostrils and mouth is a dangerous manoeuvre, and should be avoided,” the doctors concluded.

In rare cases, stifling a sneeze has led to a condition in which air gets trapped between the lungs, “and even rupture of a cerebral aneurysm,” which is a ballooning blood vessel in the brain, they explained.   Perforated eardrums are another potential complication.

AFP

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