When sitting in a quiet office meeting or a packed bus stifling a sneeze by holding the nose and closing the mouth may seem like the courteous option.
However, doctors have warned against the police practice. This is after a reported case of a man, who, in trying to be courteous ruptured the back of his throat while trying to contain the sneeze.
According to Dr. Wanding Yang, halting a sneeze via blocking the nostrils and mouth is dangerous and should be avoided. Sneezes are powerful, traveling up to 200 mph, according to MIT scientists, with the power to eject debris up to 25 feet.
Previously people have been admitted to hospital suffering from burst eardrums, ruptured blood vessels in the eyes, damaged facial nerves, pulled muscles and even cracked ribs from trying to contain the huge force.
Doctor say a sneeze, or sternutation, is intended to release foreign, and potentially damaging, particles, irritants or germs. As such, stopping it not only risks rupturing the throat but could also encourage the build of bacteria or trigger an asthma attack.
However, if you still feel the need to suppress your sneeze after reading this, experts advise rubbing the nose, breathing heavily through the nose, or rubbing the area above the lip.