FACT CHECK: Do You Die For A Millisecond When You Sneeze?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims you die for a millisecond when you sneeze.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The claim is baseless, according to articles from Winchester Hospital and Healthline.

Fact Check:

A post shared on Facebook has perpetuated the long-standing belief that sneezing causes a person to temporarily die. “When u sneeze u die for a mili seconds,” reads the post. (RELATED: Do Onions Absorb Harmful Bacteria?)

This claim is a myth that several medical experts have debunked. Sneezing is the nose’s “involuntary response to a nasal irritation,” according to an article from the Winchester Hospital. The article further explains that while sneezing can affect blood flow to the heart, making it seem as if the heart has briefly stopped beating, the electrical activity in the heart remains unaffected. The article mentions nothing about sneezes causing death, even momentarily.

An article from Healthline likewise disputes the claim that sneezes can temporarily kill people. It mentions that a sneeze may cause a delay in the heart for a few moments but notes that “there’s no need to worry — your heart gets right back on track shortly after a sneeze without causing any threats to your health.”

While there is no evidence that sneezing can cause death, in rare cases people can suffer from a condition called sneeze syncope, which causes a person to pass out when they sneeze due to the change in blood pressure in the body, according to Healthline.

This is not the first time misinformed medical claims have gone viral. Check Your Fact has previously debunked medical misinformation, including claims that face masks and wind turbines cause cancer.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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