Sneezing in public is something that no one wants to experience. It is an embarrassing moment for some people such that they try to stifle their sneeze. Although there is always a good intention to be polite, it can cause some harm to your body. As a matter of fact, it is one of the rare and dangerous conditions. Do you always stifle your sneeze so that you don’t appear impolite to the next person or in public? If yes, you will undoubtedly change your mind after going through this guide.
How important is Sneezing?
According to a case report published in the British Medical Journal, a 34-year-old man in England tried to stop his sneeze by closing his mouth and pinching his nose. When he did that, he felt a popping sensation in the back of his throat. That was not all as he developed swelling of his neck, and had difficulty swallowing and speaking. He was hospitalized for several days, where he was put on a nasogastric tube. Several similar incidents happened to individuals when they stopped sneezing.
The sneeze is a protective mechanism developed by our body to expel any dust, allergen, foreign body, or an insect that might have entered the nose. It is designed to keep our airways patent, free of any foreign object or any mucus. Well, intercostal muscles and diaphragm are involved together in the mechanism of a sneeze. It is an uncontrollable and automatic response to any foreign object that enters the nose.
A sneeze is a powerful mechanism that can develop a force of 100-500 miles per hour. So, if we try to hold sneeze, the air that can’t come out remains in the body and escapes into tissues inside the body. It is actually very dangerous and causes some severe damage. It can damage the middle ear, where bones responsible for the transmission of sounds are present, leading to a defect in the hearing mechanism. The air may escape into the tissue, leading to the formation of air bubbles in soft tissues. And if in neck and chest, the experience can cause a spontaneous pharyngeal rupture.
Authors of the study say, “Halting sneezing via blocking nostrils and mouth is a dangerous maneuver and should be avoided.” The researchers also warned about various complications that may emanate from holding sneeze. The complications are pneumomediastinum (air in the chest), tympanic membrane perforation, and rupture of an aneurysm, if present.
So although it is embarrassing to sneeze in public, please do not hold it back. Try to ward it off but be considerate to people around you. Use a tissue, napkin to sneeze, dispose of them immediately, and wash your hands to get rid of any germs.