This Is Why You Should NEVER Pinch Your Nose When You Sneeze, Doctor Says

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The 34-year-old man had rushed to A&E, complaining that it hurt to swallow after trying to stifle the sneeze.

A MAN was rushed to hospital after blasting a hole in the back of his throat when he tried to stifle a sneeze by closing his mouth and holding his nose.

The 34-year-old spent a week in hospital, barely able to speak or swallow, after the sneeze.

The man ruptured his throat after blocking his mouth and nose when he sneezed. Credit:

But experts have said the man, who has not been identified, was lucky not to have suffered worse injuries.

And they warned holding your nose and closing your mouth when you sneeze might seem the polite – and most hygienic – thing to do, but it could prove dangerous.

Discussing the unusual case in BMJ Case Reports, ear, nose and throat specialists at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust warned: “Halting sneezing via blocking (the) nostrils and mouth is a dangerous manoeuvre, and should be avoided.

“It may lead to numerous complications, such as pseudomediastinum (air trapped in the chest between both lungs), perforation of the tympanic membrane (perforated eardrum), and even rupture of a cerebral aneurysm (ballooning blood vessel in the brain).”

Scans showed the man’s throat had ruptured at the base of his skull. Credit:

The patient had been previously fit and well before presenting at A&E complaining he was finding it extremely painful to swallow, and could barely speak.

The authors said: “He described a popping sensation in his neck and some neck swelling after he tried to halt a sneeze by pinching the nose and holding his mouth closed.”

Doctors examined the man, and heart crackling sounds in his neck, all the way down to his ribcage.

The noises were a sign that air bubbles had found their way into the deep tissue and muscles of the chest.

After a CT scan, specialists discovered the man had ruptured his pharynx.

Because he was at risk of serious complications, the man was admitted to hospital where he was fed via a tube and given antibiotics until the swelling and pain had subsided.

After seven days, the patient was well enough to be sent home, but doctors warned him never to block both nostrils when he sneezed again!

The warning comes as one hygiene expert told The Sun Online, knowing the correct way to sneeze can help stop the spread of nasty germs.

Dr Lisa Ackerley said rather than sneezing into your hand, as you were probably taught, it’s much better to adopt the “elbow sneeze” approach.

Knowing The Correct Way To Sneeze Can Help Stop The Spread Of Nasty Germs


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