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Can Your Eyeballs Actually Pop Out When You Sneeze?

POSTED ON September 7, 2011

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Have you ever been told that sneezing with your eyes open can make your eyeballs pop out? Quite frankly, the thought disgusts me, but I found myself engaged in an episode of The Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters on the topic. Let’s first look at the anatomy of your eye. Your eye sockets are reasonably secure and aren’t connected to your nose at all. According to the Mythbusters, even though a sneeze can leave your nose at 200 miles per hour, it can’t transfer this pressure ...

Have you ever been told that sneezing with your eyes open can make your eyeballs pop out?

Quite frankly, the thought disgusts me, but I found myself engaged in an episode of The Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters on the topic.

Let’s first look at the anatomy of your eye. Your eye sockets are reasonably secure and aren’t connected to your nose at all. According to the Mythbusters, even though a sneeze can leave your nose at 200 miles per hour, it can’t transfer this pressure into your eye sockets to remove your eyeballs. Plus, there aren’t muscles directly behind your eyes to push them out.

Here is the logical answer to why your eyelids may shut when a sneeze comes: “The nose and eyes are linked by cranial nerves, so the stimulation from the sneeze travels up one nerve to the brain, then down another nerve to the eyelids, triggering a blink for most people.”

This myth is busted! There is no need to worry about losing your precious eyeballs when a sneeze catches you off guard. Go ahead and sneeze…but grab a tissue, please!

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