Is it really dangerous to suppress sneezing?
Atchoo! Even small children realize that when you sneeze, you hold your hand over your mouth and nose. Some people also try to suppress sneezing for reasons of courtesy. But isn't that dangerous, as is so often claimed?
When sneezing, dirt is removed from the nose
Be it when cooking, when pepper gets into your nose, when walking, when pollen is flying, or because of a cold: everyone has to sneeze from time to time. This innate protective mechanism ensures that nasal secretions, dust and other foreign bodies are removed from the nose. For hygienic reasons, you should of course always hold your hand or sneeze into the crook of your arm. But there are also people who suppress sneezing for reasons of courtesy. According to health experts, however, this is not entirely harmless.
The air is looking for its way
Suppressing the sneezing is actually a polite gesture. But whoever does this also endangers their health.
A team of researchers reported in the specialist magazine "PLOS ONE" that the mini droplets leave the body when sneezing as quickly as when coughing.
According to experts, the particles fly out of the nose at a speed of up to 150 kilometers per hour.
If you hold them shut, the air naturally looks for another way. And that can be dangerous.
Better not suppress sneezing
Holding your nose creates pressure that pushes the pathogens or dirt into the sinuses or towards the middle ear. Inflammation can occur there.
In addition, the increase in pressure often causes pain, especially if the mucous membranes are already irritated or swollen due to a cold.
According to medical experts, serious injuries are unlikely, but not excluded. In rare cases, damage to the eardrum can occur.
There are also reports in the medical literature of people who have become deaf because they had covered their noses when they sneezed.
Others write about tears in the main artery, blood clots in the brain or even miscarriages. For health reasons, it is therefore better to release the pressure. (ad)