Can a sneeze kill you?

I heard although it is very rare that you can actually kill yourself if you try to hold
back a sneeze. Has anybody else heard of this? Can you elaborate?

If you sneeze on me it just might…

Yeah, your brains fly out through your ears, your eyes leave your eye sockets like bullets and you’ll need one hell of a handkerchief.

Actually, you have to sneeze, hold your breath, hiccup, burp and fart all at the same time. Andy’s right. It’s pretty messy.

Well, there was some heavy debate on this possibility a while back. Some people said it would, others thought it was a bunch of hogwash. So, we started taking volunteers. About 20 of us (including your’s truly) were brave enough to volunteer, but we decided to only have one poster at a time try it. A large campaign and vote was held to determine the winner. Turned out it was this valued poster named Loverock (Beat me by about 30 votes).
So, he set up a webcam and started sniffing pepper. Cayenne, black, jalapeno. You name it and he tried it. All of the sneezes were just too forceful and he couldn’t stifle them in time. When all hope was just about lost, he decided to try some grass from his lawn. Amazingly, it helped him produce a good solid sneeze, with enough warning so he could steel his nerves and hold it in.

Well, he did it. Had a sneeze coming, realized it, and held it in just as it started. Unfortunately, the recoil of said sneeze pushed his head just out of range of the webcam, so the actual footage of the result does not exist. The recoil also thumped his head against the wall. The end result? He was left an emotionally scarred and ditsurbed person. Very little ability to use proper grammar, punctuation ceased to exist, and he went from being a valuable poster to someone continually focused on sex and showing off.
Sadly, there is still much conjecture to this day whether it was the sneeze or the head thump that caused his tragic turn. But, shortly thereafter he disappeared off of this board. Last anyone heard, he had moved to Canada and was trying to make a livin off of being published in Penthouse Forum.

We went right out there and refused to do accoustical versions of the electrical songs that we had refused to record in the first place.

well, i have not heard of anyone dying from trying to hold back a sneeze. but i have heard that if you keep your eyes lids open while sneezing, that the eyes can pop out.

Cecil’s column might help answer your question.

If you burp, fart, and sneeze at the same time, will you die? (10-Mar-1995)

Yep, it’s true, a sneeze can kill.

A cousin of mine worked in a warehouse where they stored anvils (for the thriving blacksmith trade) … this was many years ago, I might add. And as he was carrying an anvil along the second floor walkway, he sneezed, dropping the anvil, which fell off the edge, unfortunately hitting one of the managers (Mr Hu) a floor below, smashing his skull like a softboiled egg. The manager was of Asian descent, surprisingly named Ak. Ak Hu (Gezundheit, you say.) Well, it was quite a mess, and they made my cousin pay for cleaning up the brains and blood and goop and stuff, which seemed unfair, but was part of his workers’ comp requirements.

So, anyway, yes, sneezes can be fatal.

Sort of related…

You can herniate a spinal disc sneezing! (I learned that during physical therapy for my back) (I also learned that bearing down for a bowel movement increases interdisc pressure by about 20%, causing it to bulge out onto the nerve root and causing more pain…)


Sheesh! What do you eat?

Sure it can. You can have a massive stroke. Or you could annoy a Hell’s Angel at a movie theater and get fustigated. There’s nothing that can’t kill you. Not even message boards!!

It can happen. I’ve given myself a nice case of the purple whirlies by slamming my head on a desk when I sneezed.
– Sylence

“Excuse me, are you reading Torah and eating crayons?”

Sneezes don’t kill people.
People who sneeze kill people.

Your Quadell

I once read that the nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie” was really about a form of the plague, and that “ashes, ashes” started out as “atishoo, atishoo”, or sneezing. Apparently, there was a variant of the Black Plague that caused you to sneeze twice, violently, and then you dropped dead. “A pocketful of posies” referred to the practice of carrying around herbs in hopes they would protect you from the disease. I don’t recall if there were other symptoms besides sneezing, but I’d say yes, sneezes could conceivably be fatal.

I though that the “ashes ashes” was an allusion to the fact that people carried ashs in their pocketst to ward off the plague.

Actually, microshroom, it’s physically impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. I’ve actually stifled sneezes by forcing my eyes wide open just before the event (not like Clockwork Orange, mind you - just raising my eyebrows and looking like I’m surprised by something.)

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don’t know who you are…

What you read was obviously nonsense. The ‘atishoo, atishoo’ thing surely has more to do with rhyme than any medical fact.

That ain’t the way I hear’d it. The way I hear’d it was that “ashes, ashes, we all fall down” was a reference to the burning of the dead.