Hold That Sneeze? Maybe Not

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Do not try to suppress a sneeze, doctors have cautioned, highlighting the possibility of serious complications from a burst eardrum to a ruptured artery in the brain if one is unlucky. When it became swollen and his voice changed, he took himself to the hospital. That's according to a case report with the cringe-inducing title "Snap, crackle and pop: when sneezing leads to crackling in the neck".

So, for the sake of health, go ahead and sneeze, you just may look cute doing it.

Do you hold in your sneezes??

A new report in the BMJ Case Reports medical journal highlighted the case of a 34-year-old man who held his sneeze in and was injured. With a sneeze, a significant amount of air pressure builds up in the lungs and forces its way through the nasal cavity to get rid of that irritant.

"Halting sneezing via blocking [the] nostrils and mouth is a risky maneuver, and should be avoided", wrote the authors, led by Wanding Yang, from the ENT, Head and Neck Surgery department at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in England.

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The man - who could barely swallow or talk - was admitted to hospital, where he was tube-fed and given intravenous antibiotics until the swelling and pain subsided.

A sneeze can propel mucous droplets at a rate of 100 miles an hour.

They said the "unusual condition" is most often caused by trauma or sometimes by vomiting, retching or heavy coughing, so the patient's symptoms initially surprised emergency care doctors.

Your best bet? Let 'er rip and use a tissue or the crook of your arm.

"Halting sneezing via blocking the nostrils and mouth is a unsafe manoeuvre, and should be avoided", the doctors concluded. He was discharged after seven days with advice to avoid obstructing both his nostrils while sneezing.

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