A British man suffered serious injuries caused by a simple sneeze. Specialists warn never to suppress this reflex. See what the consequences are.
The man suffered from allergic rhinitis, which caused him to sneeze frequently. Once, while driving, he suppressed this reflex. He pinched his nose and closed his mouth. He immediately felt severe pain. The symptoms were so troublesome that he went to the hospital emergency department. Upon admission, his neck was so swollen that he could not move freely. However, it did not prevent him from speaking or breathing. Doctors immediately performed a series of various tests. They ordered, among other things, a neck X-ray and a computed tomography of the neck and chest. Their results shocked doctors.
A muffled sneeze and a torn trachea
It turned out that the man had it surgical emphysema of the neck (this is a condition in which there is air in the subcutaneous tissue). Tests also showed a tear in the trachea between the third and fourth thoracic vertebrae. The hole was 2 × 2 mm. Doctors consulted heart surgeons. They decided that surgical intervention was not necessary. The patient was prescribed painkillers and anti-allergic drugs. He was advised to rest and refrain from physical activity for at least 14 days. After five weeks, follow-up tests were performed. Everything healed. It should be emphasized that the man was very lucky. Holding in your sneeze reflex is very dangerous. It can lead to serious injury, such as damage to the trachea, rupture of the eardrum or micro-bleeds. In the worst case, it can end in death.
Spontaneous tracheal perforation – what is it?
Spontaneous perforation of the trachea is a spontaneous rupture of the organ. It occurs, for example, as a result of suppressing the sneeze reflex. It should be remembered that in such situations the pressure in the upper respiratory tract increases more than twenty times, which leads to changes in the trachea and respiratory system. Their treatment depends on the patient’s condition. Conservative therapies are usually used. Indications for surgical intervention include breathing difficulties or hypoxia.