Monday, 21 October 2013

Never Suppress A Sneeze - It Could Be Injurious, Even Fatal!

Sneezing is a daily activity for those who suffer from allergic rhinitis. In fact, those with allergies sneeze continuously and uncontrollably. It is usually quite forcefully as well due to the allergens irritating our airways.


Sometime back, I was talking to a relative about allergies and mentioned that when my boy was younger (before I had the anti dust mite bedding covers), I would try to contain my sneezes in the middle of the night as I fear waking him up. My sneezes are usually loud, and the quiet night would just magnify the loudness of it. The last thing I want is to have a dripping nose and still have to attend to my awakened child. Although my hubby would usually help out, I don't want the WHOLE family to be up just because of my sneezes!

My relative mentioned that its not good to contain your sneeze due to the pressure built up. Although it was just a casual conversation, her words made me sit back and gave some thoughts to it. As I did some research, I found out that indeed sneezing can be "hazardous" if you don't do it the right way.

These are the possible dangers of sneezing

-burst eardrums
-bitten tongue or cheek
-loss of teeth
-broken ribs
-slipped disc
-heart attack
-massive brain haemorrhage

Professor Adam Carey, a sports injury specialist, explains: 'There are two types of sneeze that can cause damage. The first is when a person sneezes violently and the force throws your body out of kilter.' That's called the whiplash effect - as your head moves forwards and backwards very quickly - and can cause all sorts of muscle strain or bone problems.

'The second type of injury is caused if we try to suppress a sneeze, before letting it out. The suppression causes a massive build-up of pressure in our head, which can cause injuries such as a burst eardrum, tearing blood vessels and muscles in the head, damaging the sinuses and even, in rare cases, brain haemorrhages.'


So how can we sneeze safely?
Tip from London-based physiotherapist Sammy Margo:

'With sneezing we usually anticipate it, so when you feel a sneeze coming you need to engage your abdominal muscles - that is, hold your tummy in - to withstand the whiplash effect of throwing your head backwards and forwards and so causing injury. If you flop into a sneeze, your body movements are out of control and this can overstretch the ligaments and damage muscles, joints and discs.'

A simple sneeze can travel at over 100 MPH and involves a LOT of force. So its best to just sneeze the way your body wants to as long as you cover your mouth and nose. Don't try to pinch your nostrils and mouth closed at the time. Let it out. Remember, suppressing a sneeze can be dangerous!

Credit: dailymail, yahoo voices