Healthwatch: How A Sneeze Can Turn Into A Stroke

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sneezeWhen most people sneeze, they just reach for a tissue. In very rare cases, a person might reach for a phone to call 911. Suzanne Aymeric’s life changed dramatically when her sneeze triggered a rare complication that almost killed her. The young mother and avid marathon runner suffered a stroke after she sneezed.

“I just remember trying to get up and I couldn’t. Then after that I really don’t remember until I was in the hospital,” said Aymeric.

The hours after Aymeric’s stroke are a blur to her. What led up to it was one loud jarring movement.

Aymeric complained of neck pain a few hours after she sneezed. The next morning she had felt woozy. She fell when she got out of bed the following day. Her sneeze affected the delicate arteries in her neck that led to the brain, and subsequently caused a stroke.

She was left partially paralyzed on her right side.

Aymeric demonstrated her lack of mobility.

“I can’t do much else with the rest of my [leg], this whole thing,” Aymeric said, as she tried to flex her right leg.

“Because of the forced extension of her neck, the artery was compromised,” said Dr. Alan Shatzel.

Dr. Shatzel warned that sneezes aren’t the only thing that can cause blood clots and strokes. Any movement that jerks the neck, such as a hard cough, vomiting, car accidents and even yoga can tear arteries.

A startling 10 to 25 percent of young people who suffer strokes get them from similar daily actions.

Aymeric said she hopes therapy will help her regain her strength and improve her speech.

“I’m still having trouble saying things and it’s going to take a while. I’m hoping to get everything back,” she said.

Her story is a good reminder to recognize the symptoms of a stroke early and get help immediately.

Symptoms of stroke include: headache, blurred vision, confusion or difficulty speaking clearly and weakness on one side of the body.

{WCBS/Noam Newscenter}


  1. eat well…..little meat, relax while davening and focus on the words, make sure to skip desserts with hydrogenated oils, etc… that it reduces this. our diet really needs come conscious concern

  2. my husband had the same thing .he sneezed had a massive head ache so we went to the hospital they xrayed him found nothing gave him painkillers ,sent him home ,and woke up in the morning with his face dropping and slurred speech,so we went back to hospital.he had a quick and full reacovery

  3. Hi everybody
    I have a bad allergic rhinitis and sometimes I sneeze more than 10 times at once
    I research about the sneeze and relation to stroke
    I think sneeze per say can’t cause a harm unless there is undrlying pathology like carotid artery thrombus or arteriovenous malformation

  4. I’m a 69yo male, SNEEZED and had a stroke when I was 16yo. Doctors at that time did not know that it was a stroke, though it was MS. About 15 years later had test run that found evidence of the stroke. Still have numbness on left side of my body, effects left eye. Never had any rehab, just lucky that I had improvement in 2 months after the stroke.


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