Holding In A Sneeze Can Literally Kill You! Why Is It Dangerous And What Are The Possible Consequences?

Date June 12, 2018

Your body is perfectly designed (except maybe, only if you have any genetic disorders), and its processes are flawless unless you try to interfere. People tend to postpone or stifle a sneeze, some of them do it due to “bad timing.” Of course, we can wait a bit before paying a visit to the toilet, and that’s usually not a big deal. However, it can be surprisingly dangerous to hold in a sneeze.

roboriginal /

READ ALSO: Holding In Your Pee: When It Becomes Harmful For The Health

This man can confirm

A 34-year-old Briton ruptured his throat because he wanted to suppress his sneeze. Maybe he was meeting the queen? Nonetheless, the man ended up in a hospital almost not able to speak and swallow. He was trying to stop the sneeze by holding his nose and keeping the mouth shut. How many of you have tried to do the same thing?

The doctors saw multiple air bubbles beneath the patient’s skin in the neck and lungs area on the CT scan. This happened due to the tear of the man’s pharynx (throat). He was given antibiotics because of the risk of infection and was fed through a tube. The patient remained hospitalized for more than two weeks and luckily, had no further complications.

Possible negative consequences

Billion Photos /

Of course, it is a rare occasion for a suppressed sneeze to cause such damage to your health. However, unlucky cases do happen and can cause the symptoms including:

  • injury to the diaphragm;
  • broken blood vessels in the white of your eye;
  • ear injury (a ruptured eardrum in the worst case scenario) that can lead to vertigo and hearing loss;
  • ear infections due to the infected mucus getting into the middle ear;
  • urinary incontinence;
  • rupture of blood vessel in the brain due to the sudden increase in blood pressure.

READ ALSO: Holding In Your Poop: Is It Safe Or Can It Cause Serious Damage To Your Health?

Dragana Gordic /

According to a head and neck surgeon at Saint Loius University School of Medicine, Alan Wild, there is a huge difference between the urge to sneeze and the actual process of sneezing. It can sometimes be restrained by rubbing the nose or breathing forcefully through it. However, it is better to let it out, when the sneeze starts. He also adds:

The risk of an injury is low but you might just be the unlucky one. Some also are concerned that stifling the sneeze is just a temporary outcome that whatever provoked the sneeze is still present and will cause another sneeze shortly.

On the other hand, certain complications can happen due to a violent and aggressive sneeze, including neck injuries because of sudden extensions of the neck, intense headaches or even strokes when the air is being pushed into the brain cavity.

Rido /

Nevertheless, don’t tempt fate. Just let your sneeze go freely, but please, remember to cover your mouth. Take care and stay healthy!

                                                                                                           Source: LiveSceince, Smithsonain, Telegraph

READ ALSO: Warning: Getting Your Hair Washed At A Beauty Salon Can Cause A Serious Life-Threatening Condition

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.