According to an article published in BMJ Case Reports, a 34-year-old man ruptured his throat when he tried to stifle a sneeze. He was in a lot of pain and eventually had difficulty swallowing and began to lose his voice. The doctors discovered that air had escaped into the man’s chest, which could cause serious complications. The unidentified man ended up in the hospital for a week, where he was given IV antibiotics and had to be fed through a tube.

Although this type of injury is rare, this man’s case proves that it can happen. Doctors also warn that trying to stifle a sneeze in this way can perforate the ear drums and even rupture a blood vessel in the brain. And that’s not all! Atting to squash a sneeze can also lead to air pockets in the eye-a condition known as orbital emphysema. There was even a case of someone who sustained permanent hearing loss after trying to hold in a sneeze.

“The whole point in sneezing is that you don’t hold a sneeze in,” rhinology specialist professor Richard Harvey from the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Don’t hold your sneeze in. And don’t force your nose blow.”

So, next time you feel a sneeze coming on, you know what to do: let it out! Doctor’s orders

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