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What happens if you try to stop your sneeze?

All the unwanted particles present inside your nose are thrown out by sneezing. It’s your body’s method of cleaning your throat or nose. It prevents you from getting sick or injured. They are damn powerful and can travel at 40 MPH. You’d surely agree to the fact that there’s nothing more irksome than holding back a sneeze. Usually, people try to hold a sneeze when they’re in a public place or are in the middle of a conversation. But does it affect our body? Are we doing something wrong with our body by holding the sneeze back? Let’s see what researchers have to say.

  • Studies have suggested that controlling a sneeze is hazardous for our health, and can even cause some serious complications. As already said, it’s powerful which makes the propel of drops of mucus to travel at the rate of 100 MPH.
  • The pressure with which it comes out of the body is enough to make someone understand why it’s so powerful. The body generates pressure in the respiratory system which includes the nasal cavity, sinuses and the area from the throat to the lungs.
  • Suppressing a sneeze increases the pressure in the respiratory system, up to a level of 5-24 times that are created by the sneeze. Experts said that suppressing this increased level of pressure can result in potential injuries inside the body. Some of the possible injuries are mentioned below.
  • Ear infection: Sneezing clears everything that’s not supposed to be inside. When you hold a sneeze, it redirects the air towards your ears from the nasal passage along with infected mucus or bacteria. This accumulates in the middle ear and causes infection which can be quite painful.
  • Throat damage: Doctors have reported a case where the backside of the throat was ruptured due to suppression of a sneeze. This was the case of an old man of 34 years who went through extreme pain after it. He could barely swallow or speak. He said that he could feel a sensation in the neck which eventually began to swell.
  • Damaged blood vessels: Experts mentioned that blood vessel present in nose, eyes, or eardrums can get damaged easily. The additional pressure that’s being held inside can cause the bursting of blood vessels in your nasal passage. This damage is visible and affects your external appearance, such as reddening of the nose or eyes.
  • Diaphragm injury: It’s the muscular part present just above the abdomen. Though there are rare cases of this injury, doctors have reported collapsing of the lungs due to air trap inside the diaphragm. This is a lethal injury which calls for immediate hospitalization.

Bottom Line:

Why invite unnecessary injuries just to stop a natural process of your body that aims at keeping your nose and throat clean? Follow etiquettes, put a hand over your mouth when you’re about to sneeze. But it’s not necessary to hold it back and go through internal injuries. Let your body do its job by removing all the dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, or smoke.

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