photo: Pixabay

Do you hold in sneezes? We’ve all been there. You have the urge to sneeze, but you’re not exactly in the “right” situation to let one go. Maybe you’re driving and have that, “I’m going to close my eyes and then see what will happen?” fear. Or maybe you’re in the middle of dinner and just don’t want to let loose all over the table (and the food too, obviously). Whatever the reason is, one man’s story may just make you re-think holding that sneeze in.

A 34-year-old man from the UK reportedly held in a sneeze. But he didn’t just hold it in. He covered both his nose and mouth while stifling his sneeze. Immediately after he stopped the sneeze came the pain. And not just a tickle or another sneeze welling up.

Rushing to the emergency room, the man couldn’t talk and was almost completely unable to swallow by the time he got there. Along with the pain and inability to do anything that involved his throat, doctors heard a crackling sound that went from the man’s neck to his ribcage.

So what happened to the man who held in a sneeze? As it turns out, he punctured his pharynx. In other words, he tore his throat. The odd sort of crackling the doc’s heard was due to air bubbles, that had got in through the hole, rubbing against the soft tissues of his neck and the area between his lungs.

Due to the infection risk, the man was hospitalized. After seven days of being on a feeding tube and receiving antibiotics, the man had healed enough to go home. And even though he had no lasting damage, we’re pretty sure he’ll let those sneezes fly freely from now on.

Before you start stressing over each and every sneeze, it’s important to know that this was an extraordinarily rare case. A pharynx tear is typically a result of neck trauma and not holding in a sneeze.

Do you hold in your sneezes? Tell us in the comments below.