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Man blows hole in his throat after sneezing while holding his nose and mouth shut

By Alexis Bell 1:49 PM February 7, 2018
Woman sneezing (illustration)

A man suffered serious injuries after sneezing while holding his nose and mouth shut, according to doctors.

BMJ Case Reports of the United Kingdom called it a case of “snap, crackle, and pop. When sneezing leads to crackling in the neck.”

The head of the ENT, Head, and Neck Surgery at the University Hospitals of Leicester said that the 34-year-old man was brought into the emergency for treatment after trying to hold back a powerful sneeze.

The man, who was not identified, had been perfectly healthy before this incident.

One day, when he felt a sneeze coming, the man placed his finger on his nose and held his mouth shut, which is a common practice among many individuals.

However, immediately after the sneeze, the man felt excruciating pain in his neck and heard a popping sound.

When his neck swelled, he went to the University Hospitals of Leicester to seek emergency treatment.

The man was barely able to speak and he could not swallow.

Doctors took X-rays, which showed that the man had blown a hole in his pharynx while trying to hold back the sneeze by shutting his airways.

Doctors also observed that air was getting trapped between his lungs due to the hole and was causing the popping sound.

He was fitted with a feeding tube and given antibiotics for a week before being discharged.

The man was told to never hold back a sneeze is it could cause serious injuries such as air getting trapped in the chest between both lungs, a perforated eardrum, and rupturing a blood vessel in the brain.

Doctors also warned that perforation of the pharynx can be caused by trauma, vomiting, retching, or heavy coughing.