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Man ruptures throat by stifling a sneeze

Image copyright Getty Images

Stifling a sneeze by clamping your nose and mouth shut can cause serious physical damage, doctors are warning.

Medics in Leicester treated a 34-year-old man who ruptured his throat while trying to stop a high-force sneeze.

With nowhere to escape, the pressure ripped through the soft tissue, and although rare and unusual, they say others should be aware of the danger.

Trapping a sneeze could also damage the ears or even rupture a brain aneurysm, they warn in journal BMJ Case Reports.

The man said he felt a “popping” sensation in his neck when it happened and then immediately experienced pain and difficulty swallowing and speaking.


When the doctors checked him over they found he had swelling and tenderness around his throat and neck.

Image copyright BMJ
Image caption The black arrow points to the air streaks (in black) in the soft tissue area



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