Elders have always warned about holding the nose and closing the mouth trying to contain a sneeze but to some, it always seemed like a generous thing to do. Also, the generation of science and tech needs a proof for everything. And now the youngsters can relate to the advice after doctors have warned against this courteous practice.

The warning

Releasing the details of the case, specialists of ear, nose, and throat at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust warned against restraining the sneeze as it can lead to numerous complications including a lethal brain aneurysm.

“Halting sneezing via blocking the nostrils and mouth is a dangerous manoeuvre, and should be avoided,” said lead author Dr Wanding Yang. “It may lead to numerous complications, such as pseudomediastinum (air trapped in the chest between both lungs), perforation of the tympanic membrane (perforated eardrum), and even rupture of a cerebral aneurysm (ballooning blood vessel in the brain).”

Other similar incidents of restraining the sneeze

It is not the first instance of a man going to the hospital in dreadful condition because of restraining the sneeze. Previously, people trying to contain the huge force of sneeze have seen the doors of hospital suffering from:

  • ruptured blood vessels in the eyes
  • burst eardrums
  • damaged facial nerves
  • cracked ribs
  • pulled muscles etc.

Some facts about sneezing:

A sneeze is carried out by the biochemical signals that regulate the beating of microscopic hairs on the cells that line the nasal cavities.

Here are some facts about sneezing one should know about:

  • A sneeze is meant to release foreign particles or germs which are potentially harmful
  • Sneezes can travel up to 200 mph (according to MIT scientists as published in The Telegraph)
  • It can eject the debris up to 25 feet
  • It can produce up to 40,000 droplets
  • The force of a sneeze can change the rhythm of the heartbeat (but not stop it)
  • One cannot keep his/her eyes open while sneezing
  • One cannot sneeze while sleeping (as the nerves that trigger it also sleep)
  • Sunlight can also cause some people to sneeze
  • Sneezing is rebooting the environment within the nasal passage

And about the man who was admitted to the hospital for trying to restrain the sneeze; he was well enough within a week and was discharged from the hospital with clear warnings of not doing it again.

Also, for those who need an alternative for the times when they absolutely cannot sneeze loudly, experts advise rubbing the nose or rubbing the area above the lips to skip the sneeze. But it should not be made norm as sneezing is really important.


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