Why you Have to Stop Holding in a Sneeze

You sneeze when you have foreign materials such as bacteria, dust and pollen grains in your nose. These materials irritate your nose and sneezing is how your body removes these irritants from your nose. 

Sneezing is usually sudden and unexpected. That is why you may want to hold in a sneeze in public or when you are talking to someone. However, they are potential dangers to holding in a sneeze. It's important you let sneezing take its course. Just cover your mouth and you are good to go. 

Sneezing usually occurs with a lot of pressure. Holding a sneeze means you are holding an enormous amount of pressure in your body. This pressure can cause injuries, some of which can be very serious. 

Some of the injuries that can be caused by holding a sneeze include:

Eardrum Rupture

The pressure you prevent from coming out when you hold a sneeze can send some air into your ears. The pressure can burst your eardrums which can lead to loss of hearing. 

Ruptured eardrums typically heal within weeks, although surgery may be required in some severe cases. 

Infection of the Middle ear

Remember that sneezing helps clear bacteria and dirt from your nasal passages. Holding a sneeze redirects air, which could contain bacteria, into your ear causing infection. 

These infections heal on their own, although antibiotics may be needed in some cases. 

Diaphragm Injury

Too much pressurised air in the diaphragm may collapse the lungs. This is a very serious condition which requires urgent medical attention. 

But most times, pressurised air in the diaphragm causes no more than chest pain. 

Throat Damage

Holding in a sneeze can rupture your throat, a condition which requires hospitalisation. A ruptured throat is painful and makes speaking and swallowing very difficult. 

Broken ribs

Yeah, you read right. Holding in a sneeze can cause broken ribs although it occurs mostly in older people. 


The pressure caused by holding in a sneeze can rupture blood vessel in the brain, effectively filling the brain with blood. It's a very serious condition which could cause stroke and brain damage. 


You sneeze when foreign materials get into your nose and irritate  it. Try to avoid things that make you sneeze and never hold a sneeze in when you feel it coming. 

Holding in a sneeze normally won't cause any serious effects. However, there are times when holding in a saeeze can cause life-threatening damage. So next time you feel the urge to sneeze, let it all out!


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