Next time you want to stifle a sneeze, you better reconsider as it could be harmful to you. Holding in a sneeze could damage your eardrums or cause ear infection, especially if it is a very violent sneeze. It is best to get that discharge out of your body.
Stifling a sneeze could push infected mucus into the middle ear, which causes middle ear infections. Sneezing means there is an irritant that your body wants to prevent its reach to your lungs or sinuses, and this indicates it is a protective reflex. Doctors advise to let your body do its thing; just cover your nose and mouth.
Through sneezing, your body tries to get rid of the intruder. A blocked sneeze probably would do nothing, but to some unlucky cases, it could:
– cause bruising in the white of the eye around the iris
– force the air in your ears causing a ruptured ear drum that could lead to hearing loss
– cause injury to the diaphragm
– rupture a blood vessel in the brain due to the temporary elevation of blood pressure
The risk of these injuries is low, but they could happen to the unlucky ones. There is the aggressive kind of sneezes, which can cause different health problems. A violent sneeze can push air into the brain cavity that might lead to a stroke.
A sudden extension of the neck from a violent sneeze could cause a neck injury. Not all sneezes are related to irritants from our noses; some people sneeze when exposed to sunlight, and others when eating too much. There is an idea that the sneeze stops the heart, and it is related to the ancient belief that a big sneeze blows the soul out of the nose. Neither makes any sense and both are just myths.