Why You Shouldn’t Pinch Your Sneeze

Why You Shouldn’t Pinch Your Sneeze

Hate sneezing? Some people successfully sneeze softly, while others can’t help but sound like a passing freight train. If this is you, you may have successfully mastered the sneeze-stifle.

Why? Sitting in places like dusty libraries full of readers waiting for that pin to drop, can make you nervous. You may feel like your nose is a ticking time bomb. I get it- come June and hay fever season, I’m the noisiest nose around.

But while it’s tempting to squeeze your nose to keep that sneeze in place, it’s not advised. It’s dangerous to do for the simple reason that you can rupture your throat.

Yes, it’s a rare occurrence, but listen to this: a study detailed in BMJ Case Reports tells of a 34-year old young man who remains nameless but nonetheless, held in his sneeze, leaving him in great pain and hardly able to speak or swallow.

Related: How the Answer to Fighting Superbugs Might be in Your Nose

He had to be hospitalized and fed through a tube while receiving antibiotics until the swelling went down. Crazy. It took seven days before he was discharged from the hospital and permitted to go home.

What happened in his body? The rupture had caused air bubbles to make their way in the deep tissue and muscles of his chest. Crackling noises were heard from his neck down to his ribcage and swallowing was extremely painful.

A risk of serious complications landed him in the hospital, and thankfully all is well, but it could have been worse. Experts say that holding your sneeze in can also lead to a perforated eardrum and ballooning blood vessels in your brain.

So, grab a tissue and honk away. Or, simply pick your nose. Apparently, it’s good for you.

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