Patient's stifled sneeze leads to ruptured throat, hospital

LONDON — Doctors in England say stifling a big sneeze can be hazardous for your health in rare cases, based on the very unusual experience of a man who ruptured the back of his throat when he tried to stop a sneeze.

In a case study published Monday in the journal BMJ Case Reports, doctors in Leicester write that they initially were confused when the man complained of swallowing difficulties and "a popping sensation" in his swollen neck.

The patient told them his problems started after he suppressed a forceful sneeze by pinching his nose and closing his mouth. He spent a week in the hospital.

Another physician describes the episode as "exceedingly rare" and says the man's injuries are more commonly associated with trauma.

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