Dangerous! DON’T hold back a sneeze

Have you ever noticed that sneezing can happen to all of us in every season whether it’s winter, summer or rainy seasons? Although we are not catching a cold, we sneeze sometimes and we don’t know what the cause is. ACU PAY believes that there is none of you who have never held back sneezing. Did you know that holding back a sneeze is very dangerous to our own bodies. What are the negative effects of it? Let’s find out!

The causes of sneezing

  • Allergy is the most common cause of sneezing. It is often accompanied by an itchy nose, a stuffy nose, and a runny nose.
  • Upper respiratory tract infection such as virus infection or commonly known as a cold. 
  • Stimuli that cause irritation such as pepper and spices
  • Cold weather and low humidity
  • Stop using certain drugs, especially opioids.

How is holding a sneeze dangerous?

In 2018, an Oto-rhino-laryngologist at Leicester City University Hospital described the danger of holding back a sneeze that “Holding back sneezes by blocking nostrils and mouth is a dangerous action that should be avoided as it can lead to many complications such as trapped air in the chest, ruptured eardrum, and even ruptured blood vessels.”

  1. Ruptured eardrum When the air pressure is high in the respiratory system, air passes through the tubes of each ear, which are connected to the middle ear and eardrum called the Eustachian tube before sneezing. There is a possibility that the pressure will break the eardrum and result in hearing loss.
  2. Otitis Media (Ear Infection) Holding back a sneeze causes a reversal of air direction from the nose into the ears which can be a carrier that transports infected bacteria or phlegm to the middle ear until it causes infection.
  3. Damaged capillaries This causes increased body pressure and can cause capillaries in the nasal cavity to be compressed and explode. This can be observed by the red nose and eyes.
  4. Diaphragm injury If air pressure is trapped in the diaphragm, it may cause the lungs to collapse or even tear the diaphragm.
  5. Aneurysm It is a rare case, but there is a possibility that holding back a sneeze causes cerebral aneurysm and stroke. This is due to suppressing sneezing until it accumulates pressure in the skull under the brain which transmits to the left brain and leads to bleeding in the skull around the brain. It is an injury that can affect life.
  6. Pharynx damaged There was a patient who had symptoms of inability to speak or swallow and a tight throat and then it began to swell after he tried to sneeze by covering his mouth and squeezing his nose at the same time.
  7. Rib fracture This is a very severe condition. According to the case, there was a report of an elderly who had rib fractures due to sneezing caused by high pressure pushing into both lungs.

Just holding back a sneeze causes many negative effects to our body. If you feel like sneezing, ACU PAY recommend you to use a handkerchief to clean your hand, cover your mouth or you can use your elbow to cover your mouth as well. This will help prevent transmission of infection to other people.

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