Why should you not suppress a sneeze?

2 min read

We often regard sneezing as a simple bodily reflex. However, an incident from 2018, recently resurfaced, shows the potential dangers of restraining this seemingly harmless act. This article sheds light on the incident and offers expert insights into why suppressing a sneeze can be detrimental.

Sub-heading: The 2018 Incident: A Sneezing Mishap

In 2018, a 34-year-old UK resident experienced a severe throat injury, all due to stifling a sneeze. He tried to halt it by sealing his mouth and pinching his nostrils shut, which unfortunately caused a rupture in his throat. This incident, documented in BMJ Case Reports as “Snap, crackle, and pop: when sneezing results in neck crackling,” highlights the unforeseen risks of suppressing natural reflexes.

Sub-heading: Expert Opinion: Dr. Parth Hingol’s Insights

Dr. Parth Hingol, an esteemed ENT specialist, sheds light on the matter. According to Dr. Hingol, preventing a sneeze hinders the clearing of irritants from our nasal passage, leading to significant pressure build-up within the respiratory system. This pressure, if not released correctly, may find weak spots in our body to escape, causing potential damage.

Sub-heading: Potential Dangers of Suppressing a Sneeze

Apart from throat injuries, suppressing a sneeze can lead to other health complications. The abrupt change in pressure can cause an eardrum tear, an increase in eye pressure, blood vessel damage, and more. The consequences might vary from pain to altered voice quality or even severe health implications.

Sub-heading: The Right Way to Handle a Sneeze

If faced with the urge to sneeze, Dr. Hingol advises against obstructing it. If suppression seems unavoidable due to certain situations, one should try to release the sneeze by opening the mouth wide. It’s crucial to remember that sneezing is an essential process, playing a pivotal role in our respiratory health.

Suppressing a sneeze might seem benign, but as highlighted, it can lead to unexpected health challenges. By understanding the importance of sneezing and its potential dangers when suppressed, we can ensure our well-being and promote better respiratory health.

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