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December 13, 2023

Man tears a hole in his windpipe by holding in a sneeze

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 11:12 pm

If you’re the kind of person who sneezes loudly and proudly, you’re safe.

But if you tend to hold them in, you might be putting yourself at risk.

A man in Scotland has torn a hole in his windpipe after holding in a sneeze, which doctors believe is a world-first injury.

While in his car, the man, who is in his 30s, was hit with an overwhelming need to sneeze, but didn’t want to go into a sneezing fit while driving. He tried to hold it in my pinching his nose and closing his mouth, but the force of the sneeze ripped through his body and caused a 2-by-2 millimetre hole in his windpipe.

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Man tears windpipe by holding in sneeze

He felt an excruciating pain in his neck, and headed to the hospital, After being studied by doctors, it was determined that by trapping it in his throat, the man generated a sneeze that was 20 times more powerful than a regular one.

A study into the incident has been published in BMJ Journals with the authors writing: “Everyone should be advised not to stifle sneezes by pinching the nose while keeping the mouth closed as it can result in tracheal [windpipe] perforation.”

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By the time he arrived at the hospital, his neck and throat had swollen up, but he could still breathe, swallow and talk without any issues.

A CT scan revealed air had gotten trapped in the vertebrae in the man’s neck as well as the space in between his chest and lungs.

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Businessman blowing his nose inside the car

The hole was caused by a “rapid build-up of pressure in the trachea while sneezing with a pinched nose and closed mouth”, according to the authors of the paper.

Thankfully, he didn’t require surgery to repair the tear. After two days in hospital, he was discharged with painkillers and a reassurance that the hole would repair itself.

Within five weeks, the man’s throat was fully healed, doctors leaving him with the warning to not stifle any sneezes again.


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