[The Epoch Times, December 07, 2023](Comprehensive report by Epoch Times reporter Li Yan) Due to various reasons, many people may have had the experience of holding back a sneeze (or sneezing with their mouth closed). However, doctors are now warning that the practice can be harmful or even fatal. The wise thing to do is to sneeze when you have to!
The British Medical Journal recently reported a case in which a man in his thirties suffered from a nose allergy, which resulted in a lacerated trachea while he was trying to hold back a sneeze.
Doctors say this is the first time such a sneeze injury has been recorded and could be fatal.
Sneezing helps protect the body from allergens, bacteria, and irritants. Therefore, if your nose feels strange and you want to sneeze, it is best to sneeze quickly. Just remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
In the case reported in the British Medical Journal, the man tried to suppress a sneeze by pinching his nose and closing his mouth. As a result, air entered his chest and neck and caused the tissue in his trachea to tear.
He later felt pain in his neck and sought help at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Scotland.
When the doctor examined his neck, they found that he had lost control in this area and that there was a “clicking” sound there. Finally, they saw a lacerated wound there the size of a sesame seed.
“We suspect that the tracheal perforation is caused by the rapid increase in intratracheal pressure when sneezing while pinching the nose and closing the mouth,” the doctors wrote.
This is the first time doctors have discovered a tear in the trachea caused by suffocation caused by sneezing. When he was holding back a sneeze, the air pressure in his throat was 20 times higher than normal, causing a tear in his trachea.
Doctors warn that sometimes a tear in the trachea can lead to fatal breathing problems or infection. If the tear touches the area around the lung, surgery may be needed.
However, the man did not require surgery and was treated only with paracetamol and codeine, and spent two days in hospital. Doctors warned him not to hold in his sneeze and told him not to exercise for two weeks. In the meantime, they gave him anti-allergy medication to relieve the congestion.
He recovered naturally after five weeks and scans came back normal.
When you have to sneeze, sneeze!
In addition to tracheal tears, holding in a sneeze may carry additional risks, such as a ruptured eardrum, ruptured superficial blood vessels in the eye or nose, pain in the throat or neck, and, less commonly, a ruptured brain aneurysm or broken ribs. However, experts say these complications are very rare.
“Most people hold back a sneeze in certain social situations — at the movies, in restaurants, at meetings — so it happens all the time,” said Erich Erich, an ear, nose and throat specialist at NYU Langone Health. “The risk of holding in a sneeze is very low,” Erich Voigt told Health magazine.
Christopher Chang, an otolaryngologist in Virginia, told Health magazine that otolaryngologists refer to choking sneezes as “airway sneezes.”
“When you sneeze, a lot of pressure will be generated in the lungs, and the sneeze will be expelled immediately and forcefully.” Dr. Zhang said that if you hold back the sneeze, the body will continue to be under this pressure, which may cause problems in the brain that already exist. Aneurysm ruptures.
Many people don’t know they have a brain aneurysm, which is an enlargement of an artery caused by a weak part of the blood vessel wall. If left untreated, a ruptured brain aneurysm can be fatal.
Dr. Zhang said that if you pinch your nose to suppress a sneeze, you may also direct the pressure generated during the sneeze into the middle ear through the Eustachian tube, or cause the eardrum to rupture.
Although it is rare, a ruptured eardrum can lead to complications such as chronic ear infections, hearing loss, infection of the bones behind the ear, and vertigo and dizziness.
“The general advice is to never hold in a sneeze because adverse consequences may occur.” If you sneeze freely, he says, these related problems won’t occur.
Sneezing helps protect the body by clearing allergens, bacteria, and irritants from the nasal passages. When you sneeze, a strong stream of air is expelled through the nose and mouth, which can expel foreign and internal invaders from the body. Sneezing can help relieve nasal congestion. If you have uncontrolled allergies or an infectious disease like a cold or flu, you may sneeze more than usual.
If you’re trying to stifle a sneeze, Voight says you can rub or wipe your nose to stop it instead of covering it. Scratching the roof of your mouth with your tongue can safely stop a sneeze. However, it is better to sneeze if you feel it is necessary.
Editor in charge: Li Yuan#
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