A horrific warning about holding in a sneeze


A MAN has blown a hole in his throat after trying to hold in a sneeze, with doctors saying his grim story should act as a warning to others. Doctors have seen patients with similar injuries after coughing heavily or after vomiting forcefully.

"He described a popping sensation in his neck and some bilateral neck swelling after he tried to halt a sneeze by pinching the nose and holding his mouth closed".

The man's case has been detailed in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

If you've ever tried to stifle a sneeze by pinching your nose and closing your mouth, doctors are offering a cautionary tale for why you should stop.

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Performing the maneuver caused a "popping" sensation in his neck, so the man went to the emergency room, the report said. When doctors first examined him, they also heard crackling sounds that ran from his neck all the way down to the ribcage.

The pharynx is the part of the throat that is behind the mouth and nasal cavity. She works in the department of ear, nose and throat at at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Impeding the release of air from the nose and mouth during a sneeze could rapidly increase the pressure in the lungs, forcing the air out and trapping it in the chest between the lungs - a condition known as pseudomediastinum.

And in some cases, you could break bones in your ear or lose your hearing completely due to the suppressed sneeze.

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Spontaneous rupture of the back of the throat is rare and is more typically associated with trauma. Klein is the director of the Emory Voice Center and chief of the division of laryngology in the department of otolaryngology.

"Halting sneezing via blocking [the] nostrils and mouth is a unsafe manoeuvre, and should be avoided", the authors cautioned.

Sneezes can spread diseases, so although it is good to "let them out", make sure you catch them in a tissue, say experts.

The man had to be fed by a tube for the next seven days to allow time for the tissues to heal. It "should be avoided, as it may lead to numerous complications".

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