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Why We Sneeze

Why We Sneeze

6 Facts About Sneezing You Might Not Know…..

Sneezing is the body’s way of ridding our nasal passageways of harmful substances. When the nerve endings in our nose get irritated, be it from viruses, bacteria, cold air, strong smells or allergic reactions, the nerves send signals to the brain telling the body to clean the airways with a huge burst of air.

The body creates this gust of wind by inducing spasms, squeezing the lungs, shutting the pharynx and forcing the air out of the nose. The force behind the sneeze is really quite powerful, the germs and bacteria expelled can travel remarkable distances, so it’s highly important to cover up whilst sneezing to help reduce the risk of passing on any infectious diseases.

sneezing Why We Sneeze

6 Facts About Sneezing:

1. Sneezing’s official name is sternutation – Although you may not know it, the medical term for sneezing is sternutation. Sneezing due to bright light or in successionnn is known as ACHOO (Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst) Syndrome, and sneezinrepeatedlyly after a big dinner is known as Snatiation.

2. We can’t sneeze and keep our eyes open – Scientists are still unclear as to why our close automatically when we sneeze. One theory is that it’s an evolutionary adaption meant to protect our eyes from harmful particles, others speculate that it’s just one of many involuntary muscle contractions that take place during the progression.

3. How we sneeze says something about us – Body language expert Patti Wood says sneezing could potentially reveal our inner selves. Wood conducted a Benadryl-sponsored study of 547 people and their sneeze habits, coming up with four types of sneezes and their corresponding personality.

  • The “Correct” carries Kleenex and is careful to cover her mouth when sneezing, meaning she’s respectful of others and likes to maintain a dignified disposition.
  • The “Supporter” tends to hold in sneezes rather than risk sneezing on someone, which indicates a quiet and caring character.
  • The “Expressive” makes a big production out of sneezing and often sneezes multiple times at once, possibly making her a showy and dominating person.
    The “Driver” sneezes loudly but quickly, making her direct and forward-thinking.

4. Pepper and pollen aren’t the only things that make us sneeze – Dust, pollen and pepper aren’t the only things that make us sneeze. Plucking eyebrows stimulates nerves in the area next to our nose, this often triggers sneezes. Popping spots can cause the same reaction for similar reasons. Pungent aromas and temperature fluctuations, particularly colder air, can make us sneeze, too.
One in three people sneeze when exposed to bright lights, an inherited condition called photic sneezing or ACHOO.

5. Sneezes travel fast and furiously – Our sneezes travel up to one hundred miles per hour. The particles and spit we emit can travel up to five feet away, and the bacteria sent into the air, can spread up to 150 feet away.

6. Superstition’s nothing to sneeze at – There is a lot of superstition involving sneezes, right down to which way we turn our heads. To the ancient Romans and Greeks, a sneeze to the right was a sign of luck and a sneeze to the left predicted a portentous future.

Most cultures have an assumed response after someone sneezes: “Bless you” in English, “Salud” or “To your health” in Spanish, and so forth.

In almost every language, the response translates to a wish for the sneezer’s good health. Some believe that “Bless you” came from Bubonic Plague times when one sneeze could’ve signaled a person’s assured demise, others claim that sneezing is the soul’s attempt to leave the body because it’s written in the Bible that Adam came to life by God breathing into his nose.


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