Can Sneezing Make Your Eye Pop Out?

[ ♪ Intro ] When you were a kid, one of your friends probably
told you that if you sneezed with your eyes open, your eyeballs would pop out of your
head. And on my playground, that always seemed to
be followed by another kid chiming in, “Well, yes, that’s technically true, but you can’t
actually sneeze with your eyes open. So it never happens because why would we evolve
that way?” Well, that second kid was definitely wrong, because while most people have a reflex that makes them close their eyes when they sneeze, people sneeze with their eyes open all the time, without popping their eyes out. Just look at a bunch of YouTube videos of
people doing that. And that’s because your eyelids aren’t
the only thing keeping your eyeballs in place. They’re also held in by, like, muscles and
connective tissue. But that first kid? They weren’t completely wrong. In the medical world, popping an eyeball out
is called globe luxation. And, while unlikely, I don’t want to stress
you out too much, it has happened after sneezing. Now let’s start by pointing out that having
an eyeball spontaneously pop out for any reason is very rare. A 2012 article found just thirty cases in
the medical literature. And the fact that it doesn’t happen more
often is a testament to human anatomy. An impressive amount of pressure can build
up before a sneeze, enough to spray aerosolized snot and spit droplets up to 8 meters from your face. That’s a long way. But bone protects the rest of your head from
this pressure. Your eyes, for example, are backed by a bony
socket, called an orbit. Pressure that builds up behind this orbit,
like in your sinuses, comes out through the mouth and nose,
not through the eyes. Still, eyeballs can pop out spontaneously. Sometimes, there’s an underlying medical
cause. For example, having an overactive thyroid
can make eye tissue swell, which pushes the eyeball forward. The same can happen with a tumor behind the
eye. There are also variations in eye anatomy that
can make a person more prone to it: shallow eye sockets or stretchy eye muscles, for instance. More often, though, it takes trauma. If you suddenly and violently stop moving,
like if you smash your car into something, your eyeball might experience enough force
to pop out. Or, if something gets jammed into your eye
socket, that can displace your eyeball. And that’s not all. Damage to the soft tissue around the eye can
cause swelling or bleeding that can push the eye out. Or, smashing the bony orbit can open a connection
to the sinuses, letting any pressure there affect your eyeball. And unfortunately, if an eye comes out once,
it’s easier for it to come out again later on, including when you cough or sneeze, because stretched muscles and connective tissues tend to stay a little looser, and damaged bone
may not grow back completely. This seems to be what happened with the person
who currently holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest eyeball pop. And yeah, there are people who can pop their
eyes out on cue. Experts aren’t really sure exactly how they
do it, and it may be different for each person
who can do it. But they suspect it comes down to anatomy. Some eye poppers may have gaps in their bony
orbits, allowing them to direct sinus pressure
out their eyes. Then, they add pressure by contracting certain
face muscles. Some may even have an extra eye muscle that
most people don’t have. But even in people who are prone to popping
an eye out, it usually doesn’t happen unless
they’re poking around at it. If you’re worried about sneezing your eye
out, perhaps you can take some comfort in knowing that even if this were to happen, the eyeball won’t, like, dangle down on your cheek or detach completely. I’m sorry for these visuals. Usually, popped-out eyes can be popped right
back in without causing any long-term damage. In fact, it’s usually so easy to fix that some experts think spontaneous globe luxation is underreported. Like, it happens, and you don’t even tell
your doctor! Still, if you haven’t had any serious eye
injuries, you almost definitely do not have to worry about this happening. And I’m really sorry that it’s not 100%,
but it’s really close. Thanks for asking, Emilio! Man.. I’m not, I’m not sorry. This was fun. I liked it. We love answering questions like this from
our fans. In fact, we love it so much that we do it
every week on our podcast SciShow Tangents. In every episode of Tangents, I get together
with some of the other brains behind SciShow to nerd out about science related to a central
theme. And as a part of that, we respond to listener
questions, so if you ask the Tangents team a good question, with our twitter @SciShowTangents, you might just hear us answer it! There’s also deception, Hank bucks, poetry,
and it ends with facts about butts. Look, it’s a good podcast and all you have
to do is get your podcast app out. Search for SciShow Tangents. Click on subscribe. Listen to an episode. It’s like a half hour long. You will… You’ll thank me. I’ll also thank you. [ ♪ Outro ]

100 thoughts on “Can Sneezing Make Your Eye Pop Out?

  1. We don't show any images of actual eyes popped out of sockets in this episode. But the sources contain many photos if you really want to see.

  2. "You almost definitely don't have to worry about this happening." Reminds me of the Vlogbrothers video where John said "If there's probably nothing to worry about, there's definitely something to worry about."

  3. This happened to the Nurse Manager in my unit when I was working on a LDRP floor as a secretary. Freaked me out! Luckily we were already in the hospital. She already had Graves disease and it wasn't the first time it had happened to her so she knew what was going on. I didn't though and it was something I will never forget.

  4. Reminds me of a teacher in highschool. He had a glass eye and it would pop out all the time. He would pick it up blow on it wipe it off and pop it back in.

  5. Nobody ever told me about this. Thankyou Hank for answering a question I would never have thought to ask.

  6. you just can not say do not stress out after saying eyes will pop out of the socket after sneezing

  7. Pretty sure sneezing, hiccups and some burps carry enough energy to do serious damage.

    Have hurt my diaphragm suppressing a hiccup.

  8. I know Hank said he didn't want to stress me out but I'm so stressed out by this video.
    Really close it 100% is not close enough.

  9. That was great! I could tell you guys enjoyed it. That was one of the funniest, best written ever.

  10. I watched this episode with my eyes closed, for fear that my eyeballs would spontaneously pop off while learning about globe luxation.

  11. My uncle, an ER doc, treated one of those rare cases of a sneezed-out eyeball. The patient had an impact to the bridge of the nose a day or two earlier. When he sneezed, sinus pressure diverted through a hairline crack in the bone and pushed that sucker right out. My uncle just rinsed it with sterile saline, put some sort of non-stick dressing over it & sent him to a ophthalmologist who simply pushed it back in.

  12. Since it’s 4th of July tomorrow I’m curious about how bad fireworks are for the environment. I’ve seen a lot of mixed answers when trying to research. Are they as bad as they seem like they would be? Better? Worse? Do they affect just the atmosphere or also water/soil in the surrounding area? If anyone knows anything I’d love to know lol

  13. “Usually, popped out eyes can be popped right back in without causing long term damage” – Hank Green 2019 🤣

  14. Interesting. If I hold my nose closed and blow I can make air come out around my eyes, does this mean I have a hole on the bony orbits somewhere?

  15. I met a kid who actually did have an eye pop out from a sneeze while I was in hospital when I was about 12. We were both in the pediatric plastic surgery ward, I had gotten some scar-tissue released and he had gotten his eye put back in and the muscle/connecting tissue adjusted because he found out after a sneezing fit, the muscles and connective tissues were too stretchy and the force from all the sneezing popped it out. I was kind of amazed when he told me he could see out of it even when it fell out (eww) I kept in touch with him for a few years after that, thankfully it never happened again, as far as I know anyway. he was more annoyed that his mum didn't let him play football "just in case it happened again" than he was concerned about it actually happening lol.

  16. On the topic of eyes, I'm able to contract a set of muscles that slide my eyelids towards my nose and in not sure why. I was wondering if you guys had any ideas as to why that is?

  17. Kid 3 says if you get your popped out eye and hold it so you look into the other eye, you will go insane.

  18. I mate of mine from school got hit in the side of the head with a golf club (accidently) and his eyeball popped out. He said that as well as being painful it was really trippy because he couldn't control that eye, but it wobbled when he moved his head.

  19. I actually find this video reassuring because my eyes DO pop out a bit sometimes when I sneeze or have a lot of pressure in my head from a bad cold. They’ve always popped right back in but glad to know they won’t end up dangling down my face.

  20. My 8 year old (an avid viewer) Liam said, "that is very very disturbing!!!" he asked for a hundred exclamation points, but we decided two was enough. And now he is holding his eyes in 🙂 THanks for a great episode.

  21. Something you learn in veterinary medicine, don't restrain certain dog breeds too tightly. Pugs are well known for this. It's quite unsettling to see, especially for owners.

  22. I knew a girl who could pinch her nostrils shut and then blow bubbles out her tear ducts. Never saw her pop an eye out.

  23. eye pops out spontaneously

    "Hmm, nothing special. Ima just slam it back in and go on with my life."

  24. What if you hold your sneeze in… will the pressure push your eye out instead of flow through your nose and mouth?

  25. If this was a real issue for healthy people who do NOT have some underlying medical condition then a relative of mine would have blown both eyes out along with her brains because she routinely sneezes 10-20 times in a row and has been doing that for over 50 years.
    So blah blah blah . . . next clickbait.

  26. If you want a sneeze related worry… What happens when a car driver sneezes?
    (Another concern, what happens when a bee gets in the car and either gets in the driver's face or skips the messing around and stings him/her?)

  27. so for people who can pop their eyes out on command.. would they be more prone to be doing it unintentionally?

  28. I have a condition that weakens connective tissue like tendons and ligaments…Now I'm worried about my eye popping out.

  29. does anyone remember that one scene in dead space 2?
    with the needle

    cause i failed that moment in game and i have been mortified ever since

  30. No. No no. Nonononono
    I love gore but this is where i draw the line. I will be thinking about this for weeks. So thanks.

  31. My sister: "What if eyes were like egg yolks, and you could use a turkey baster or an empty plastic bottle to transfer them from one place to another?"

    Me: "You're such a weirdo…"

    Hank: "I'mma tell you all about eyeballs poppin' out…"

  32. When I blow my nose my eyes feel like there's air coming out of them or something? And there's a ton of pressure, to the point where it hurts. 😥

  33. I was laughing through this entire video…perhaps to just keep me from crying. This concept is just hilariously terrifying to me.

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