He tried to hold in a sneeze and ended up in the hospital on a feeding tube – The Washington Post

(THE WASHINGTON POST) Travis M. Andrews, January 26, 2018 — Sneezing is an astoundingly powerful human action, blasting mucus and air from the nose and mouth at up to 100 miles per hour, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That power exists whether a sneeze is held in or not.

“Occasionally, people will cause some damage to their eardrums or their sinuses if they stifle a very violent sneeze,” Rachel Szekely, an immunologist at Cleveland Clinic, said in an article on the health provider’s website urging people to sneeze freely and not hold back.

A healthy 34-year-old man living in the United Kingdom has learned that the hard way, according to a case study published Monday in the British Medical Journal. His attempt to stifle a sneeze backfired, and the force of that would-be sneeze tore through the soft tissue in his throat, rupturing part of it.

The study — “Snap, crackle and pop: when sneezing leads to crackling in the neck” — described the man, whom it did not identify, as “previously fit and well.” One day he felt a sneeze forming and did what he often did: tried to stop it. He clamped one hand over his mouth while pinching his nose.