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Containing a sneeze completely blocking the nose and mouth can cause serious physical harm, doctors warn.
The warning comes in the wake of the unusual case of a 34-year-old man who was treated in England for a tissue rupture in his throat, caused by the repression of a large sneeze.
With no escape route, the air pressure in the lungs ripped through the soft tissue of the throat .
Although this is a rare case, the doctors who described it in detail in the scientific journal BMJ Case Reports believe that people should be more aware of the risks of containing this involuntary and sudden movement of the diaphragm.
In addition to the damage suffered by this man, the authors of the report warn that totally suppressing a sneeze can cause injuries to the ear or even cause a cerebral aneurysm , which is a bulge or dilation in a blood vessel in the brain that can lead to a hemorrhage.
One week in the hospital
The man who ripped his throat came to the emergency room at the hospital with changes in voice, swollen neck and pain when swallowing.
In addition, he said he felt as if something exploded in his neck after squeezing his nose to suppress a sneeze .
When the doctors examined him they noticed that he had swelling and tenderness in the throat and neck area.
An x-ray confirmed that air was leaking from his trachea into the soft tissues of his neck and back through a fissure.
The doctors had to feed him with a probe for the next seven days to give tissue healing time.
After spending a week in the hospital, the man returned home to finish recovering.
The doctors of the otolaryngology department of the hospital where the patient was treated, the Royal Infirmary of the English city of Leicester, said that “to contain a sneeze by closing your nose and mouth is a dangerous maneuver that should be avoided “.
“By label we sometimes contain a sneeze, but on rare and unfortunate occasions that can lead to potentially serious complications,” said Dr. Sudip, co-author of the report.
Sneezing can spread diseases, so although it is good to let them out, experts recommend “picking up” the sneeze with a tissue.