A healthy 34-year-old man living in the UK learned the hard way that stifling a sneeze can have dire consequences.
According to a case study published Monday (1/15) in the British Medical Journal, the man (whom it did not identify) felt a sneeze forming and tried to stop it. He clamped one hand over his mouth while pinching his nose. Unfortunately, the force of that would-be sneeze tore through the soft tissue in his throat, rupturing part of it.
“Occasionally, people will cause some damage to their eardrums or their sinuses if they stifle a very violent sneeze,” Rachel Szekely, an immunologist at Cleveland Clinic, said in an article on the health provider’s website urging people to sneeze freely and not hold back.
Source: Washington Post/ British Medical Journal; photo: Getty Images