Can Holding A Sneeze Rupture Your Throat?!

Spread the love

Can holding a sneeze really rupture your throat?! Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Holding A Sneeze Can Rupture Your Throat!

People are sharing a video which claims that holding a sneeze can rupture your throat. Here is a transcript of the video:

A man was hospitalized after holding a sneeze. This is what happened.

A 34-year-old unnamed man pinched his nose and kept his mouth closed during a sneeze. He immediately felt a popping sensation in his neck, but didn’t think much of it.

Hours later, the man felt pain in his throat and his neck, and when it became swollen and his voice changed, he took himself to the hospital.

When doctors examined the soft tissue, they heard popping and cracking. That was because air bubbles were getting into the man’s muscles and deep into his tissue.

The man suffered a tracheal perforation, and in other words, the man blew a small hole in his throat. He was barely able to speak or swallow, so he was given antibiotics, and had to be fed through a tube for seven days.

A sneeze can propel mucus droplets at a rate of 100 miles per hour. If you hold in a sneeze, that pressured air has to go somewhere. If your mouth and nose are closed during a sneeze, the pressure in your upper airways could increase by up to 20 times.

So the next time you feel a sneeze coming, don’t hold it in.

Recommended : Do mRNA Vaccines Create Dangerous, Contagious Prions?!


Truth : Holding A Sneeze Will Not Rupture Your Throat!

This is yet another fake video circulating on WhatsApp, and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Man Perforated His Trachea After Holding In A Sneeze!

First, let me point out that no man has ever ruptured his throat while holding in a sneeze. What actually happened was a man suffered a tracheal perforation – a tear in his trachea (windpipe) after holding in his sneeze.

In November 2023, doctors in Scotland published a case report in which a man in his 30s perforated his trachea while holding in a sneeze. The man had a background of allergic rhinitis, and was driving a car, when he stifled a sneeze by pinching his nose and closing his mouth.

A CT scan of his neck and chest with contrast revealed that he had a small 2 mm x 2 mm x 5 mm tear in his trachea, which lead to pneumomediastinum – air leaking into the mediastinum (space in the chest), and surgical emphysema of the neck – air under the skin of the neck.

Fact #2 : Only One Case Has Ever Been Documented

While such tracheal perforations can be potentially life-threatening, they are extremely rare, and usually occur from corrosive injury, sharp and blunt force trauma, or during surgical or medical interventions like intubation, thyroidectomy, tracheostomy, inserting an oesophageal stent.

This is the first known case of a “spontaneous tracheal perforation following a sneeze”. That makes it an extremely rare occurrence.

That does not mean it’s a good idea to hold in a sneeze. As the authors point out – holding in a sneeze may cause the pressure in your upper airways to increase by up to 20 times.

Recommended : Does COVID Vaccinated Blood Clot In Just 3 Minutes?!

Can Holding A Sneeze Rupture Your Throat?!

Fact #3 : He Immediately Suffered Severe Neck Pain

The video wrongly claimed that the man only felt a popping sensation after sneezing, and only experienced pain and swelling of the neck and throat several hours later.

The truth is – the man experienced severe neck pain immediately after “pinching his nose and closing his mouth” to stifle the sneeze.

Fact #4 : His Voice Did Not Change, He Did Not Have Trouble Swallowing

The video also wrongly claimed that the man’s voice changed, and he had trouble swallowing.

The truth is – the man denied having any dyspnoea (trouble breathing), dysphonia (abnormal voice), or dysphagia (trouble swallowing).

Fact #5 : He Was Not Given Antibiotics

The video (and some news reports) also wrongly claimed that the man was given antibiotics.

Tracheal perforations like this often require surgical intervention, but the cardiothoracic surgeons who were consulted felt there was no need for surgery, as the patient was “systemically well with normal heart and respiratory rate, normal blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and body temperature“.

In the end, he was given drugs for his pain, allergic rhinitis and nasal congestion. The doctors specifically pointed out that he was not given any antibiotics.

Recommended : Did McDonald’s Lose Toxic Meat Legal Battle With Jamie Oliver?!

Fact #6 : He Was Not Fed Through A Tube For 7 Days

The video (and some news reports) also wrongly claimed that the man was fed through a tube for 7 days. The patient was only kept in the ward for 48 hours for close observation, and was never fed through a tube.

In fact, he was kept nil by mouth for the first night, just in case his condition deteriorated, and he needed to be intubated. That means he was not given any food, water, or medication by mouth.

The man remained clinically stable during his 2-day stay, and was discharged with medicine for his pain and allergic rhinitis, and advised to avoid strenuous physical activities for two weeks. Naturally, doctors also advised him to avoid stifling sneezes by pinching the nose with the mouth closed!

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!


Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal :

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Fact Check | Health |  Tech ARP


Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

About The Author

Leave a Reply