Dangers of Sneezing


For one poor woman it left her paralyzed for almost 2 years. “I was in the shower when I sneezed. The most agonizing pain shot right through me and I fell to the floor. I was by myself at home and my phone was in the bedroom,” says Lauren, a 28-year-old entertainment manager. “I somehow eased myself out of the shower, but must have passed out with the pain because, two hours later, I woke up shivering on the bathroom floor. I was in horrendous pain.” Unfortunately for Lauren the force of her sneeze caused a slipped disc in her back and left her paralyzed for almost 2 years.

Injuries caused from sneezing are more prevalent than you might think. Another woman in Australia dislocated her neck from a sneeze. “I just knew something was wrong. I felt something move and I was in excruciating pain,” said Monique a mother of a 10-year old baby at the time.

Doctors say that these types of heavy trauma are rare due to a sneeze, but many other injuries can occur from this small tickle in your nose. The two types of sneeze that can cause damage are, 1) when a person sneezes so violently the force throws your body out of kilter or 2)a whiplash effect occurs when your head moves forwards and backwards very quickly. These types of sneeze can cause all sorts of muscle strain or bone problems, even broken ribs. Suppressing a sneeze, before letting it out can cause a massive build-up of pressure in our head, which can burst eardrums, tear blood vessels and damage your sinuses. There have even been rare cases of brain hemorrhages. More common injuries are bitten tongues or checks.

When you feel a sneeze coming on tighten your abdominal muscles to protect yourself from any whiplash effects. Align your body into a neutral position, try not to twist or angle your torso. Then sneeze into a napkin, tissue or the sleeve of your arm to prevent your germs from being distributed out to others. A sneeze can produce over 40,000 droplets of moisture and millions of germs. It can spread these germs up to a distance of 32 feet.

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