SPOKANE, Wash. -- Researchers are warning people of the dangers of holding in your sneeze. According to the British Medical Journal, a recent case found the force of a man's inward sneeze punctured his esophagus.
While cases like these are extremely rare, it is still a better idea to sneeze than to hold it in. The build-up of pressure created by a sneeze would more commonly cause ear and sinus-related symptoms, like dizziness, sinus pressure and could even damage the eardrum. Sneezing is an important part of the immune process, helping to keep us healthy by rebooting our nasal passages. A sneeze is the bodies way of resetting its nasal environment and one of your body's first defenses against invading bacteria and bugs.
It is a common myth that people need to close their eyes when they sneeze. This is not a necessity but is a natural reflex. Another commonality is that people sneeze multiple times. This is usually because the first sneeze was not enough to completely resolve the sinus complications.
The moral: when in doubt, sneeze. Make sure to take all normal precautions like covering your mouth or face to prevent the spread of germs.