How a simple sneeze did untold damage

There is a moral to this story of snap, crackle and pop

Don’t hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, say the authors of a case study involving a young man who managed to rupture the back of his throat during this manoeuvre.


Leaving him barely able to speak or swallow, and in considerable pain, the 34 year-old’s predicament surprised emergency care doctors.

Writing in BMJ Case Reports, they note that spontaneous rupture of the back of the throat is rare, and usually caused by trauma, or sometimes by vomiting, retching or heavy coughing.

In this case, the man