The reality: That is not true, said Dr. Richard Koller, a Bend neurologist.

A sneeze does increase the pressure inside the skull a little bit, he said. People have worried that sneezes may kill brain cells because other things that increase pressure on the brain, such as some types of stroke, can lead to brain cell death or even the death of the person.

However, Koller said the increase in pressure from a sneeze is so brief and so slight that it would not be enough to cause brain cell death.

Sneezes may cause headaches in people who are particularly susceptible to them, likely due to the pressure increase inside the skull.

Still, there is evidence that stifling a sneeze can cause ear damage (though is not likely to cause a brain aneurysm or pop out your eyes as some claim), so it’s best to let that “ah-choo” go.

Bless you.

— Betsy Q. Cliff, The Bulletin