holding in a sneeze

The annual cold and flu season is upon us. This means many of us will be sneezing at some point in the near future. Most of us don’t need a lesson on sneezing, but after a British man’s sneeze resulted in a week in the hospital, we could all use a helpful reminder.

Sneezing creates a tremendous amount of pressure in your head and throat. It’s important not to stop a sneeze, but you should cover your face to avoid the spread of germs.

A 34-year-old man apparently never heard this important lesson. He ended up rupturing his throat when he held in a high-powered sneeze. The pressure from the sneeze had nowhere to go when he apparently plugged his nose and closed his mouth, so it ripped through the soft tissue in his throat.

Doctors are warning people to never hold in a sneeze. Not only can you cause serious damage to your throat, but a trapped sneeze can cause significant ear problems or even an aneurysm. When his throat ruptured, the British man felt a popping sensation in his neck. He immediately had trouble swallowing and speaking, causing a tremendous amount of pain.

Doctors examined him and discovered tenderness and swelling in his neck. When they took the x-ray pictured below, they were shocked to see the black area identified by the arrow, which identifies the rupture. The air was escaping from his windpipe and into the soft tissue in his neck.


The man was hospitalized for a week and had to use a feeding tube, while his throat healed. All of this could have been avoided by simply sneezing.

Doctors at the ear, nose, and throat department that cared for the man during his hospital stay advise, “Halting a sneeze via blocking nostrils and mouth is a dangerous maneuver and should be avoided.” It is best to let your sneeze out and catch it in a Kleenex.

Video about this alarming sneeze gone wrong is below.

This is important news because we are in cold and flu season. Don’t hold in a sneeze. It’s simply not worth spending time in the hospital!

With flu season upon us, check out this important video on the proper way to sneeze:

Share this to let others know that holding in a sneeze can do a lot of damage!

Source: BBC

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