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Why You Should Never Stop a Sneeze
Physician from Midwest ENT Consultants Provides Insight: Just in Time for Flu & Cold Season
CHICAGO – November 16, 2010 – Imagine bringing your car to racetrack-level speeds on the interstate, and then slamming on the breaks. The tires would smoke and squeal, the car would lurch, and all passengers would brace themselves for possible impact.
Stopping a sneeze can have a similar impact on the body, according to Dr. Joseph Donzelli of Midwest ENT Consultants – an ear, nose and throat practice with four locations in Chicago’s West Suburbs.
“A sneeze can propel air at speeds up to 100 mph, so an individual should never physically try to stop a sneeze,” says Dr. Donzelli. “As we move into flu and cold season, and sneezing occurs with increasing frequency, it’s important to know what causes sneezing and the impact that stopping a sneeze can have on our bodies.”
Dr. Donzelli says sneezing is a natural physical response that allows your body to clear unwanted items or irritants from your nose, and when you stop a sneeze, there are negative effects.
“The nose and mouth are the last chance to stop a sneeze,” Dr. Donzelli said. “Stopping a sneeze in these areas can result in the back up of pressure into your sinuses and potentially into your ears via the eustachian tube. If you stop the sneeze at the voice box, you will create a valsalva, raising thoracic pressure much like what occurs with a hard cough.”
Typically, allergies are the root cause of sneezing, Dr. Donzelli says, which means that individuals can usually treat the cause. Reducing interaction with the following irritants also can prevent persistent sneezing:
- If you have pets, be sure to brush them and vacuum your home frequently to avoid animal dander.
- Regularly remove dust from your house, even from hard to reach places like fan blades and behind furniture.
- Remember to replace your air filter and keep extra filters on hand.
About Dr. Joseph Donzelli
Dr. Joseph Donzelli joined Midwest ENT Consultants in 1998 and specializes in ear, nose and throat problems of both children and adults. His scope of practice includes both medical and surgical treatment of these problems, with emphasis on sinus and allergy, head and neck tumors, voice and swallowing disorders, and pediatrics. He also has extensive experience with the surgical management of thyroid and parathyroid tumors and disorders. Dr. Donzelli has practiced medicine for more than 15 years, and during that time has demonstrated his philosophy of working with compassion and empathy. With sound judgment and a love for educating patients, Dr. Donzelli fosters a team approach with every patient.
About Midwest ENT Consultants
The physicians of Midwest ENT Consultants are committed to providing quality care, clinical expertise, sound judgment and patient advocacy in the field of ear, nose and throat care for children and adults of all ages in the western suburbs of Chicago. Midwest ENT Consultants’ physicians are all Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in Head and Neck Surgery. Minimally-invasive procedures are employed by all physicians, ensuring the least intrusive care and quickest recovery time possible. Physicians see patients in four west suburban Chicago offices: Geneva (Delnor Medical Office Building, 351 Delnor Dr., #310), Naperville (Springbrook Medical Building, 1247 Rickert Dr., #200), Plainfield (Plainfield Edward Medical Building B, 24600 W. 127th St., #130) and Winfield (Central DuPage Hospital, 25 N. Winfield Rd., #519).
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