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Why Do People Sneeze? | Flonase® Allergy Relief

 

AH-CHOO! SNEEZING FACTS AND CAUSES

Sneezing is something we all do from time to time, but how often do you pause to think about what’s actually happening in your body when you sneeze?

A sneeze begins when nerve endings in the lining of your nose are “tickled” by invaders, which range from common allergens to triggers you won’t believe.

THE COMMON CAUSES OF SNEEZING
 The common cold or the flu2
 Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander2
 Cold air1
 Pepper and spicy foods2
 Dry air2
 Certain types of infections2
 Bright Light: 1 in 3 people sneeze when they gaze into bright sunshine1                                                                                                                           
THE SOMETIMES STRANGE CAUSES OF SNEEZING
 After large meals.1
 Plucking eyebrows: Those nerve endings are quite sensitive3
 Strong emotions2 (like fear)
 Working out: Over-exertion dries your nose and mouth; dripping sweat can irritate the nostrils, and voila—achoo!4
 After sex: Sneezing can be a response either to sexual ideation or in response to orgasm4

 

While the causes of sneezing vary, the sneeze itself remains the same. Here are 7 facts about sneezing that shed some light on what’s really going on. 

 

7 FUN FACTS ABOUT SNEEZING

 

 Once a sneeze starts, you can’t stop it.3

The force of a sneeze can change the rhythm of your heartbeat. But don’t worry! Contrary to myth, your heart does NOT stop when you sneeze. 3

Sneezing is a full body workout that includes the throat, chest, diaphragm, and abdomen. 6

A single sneeze can travel up to 100 MPH.3

A sneeze can produce up to 40,000 droplets.7

A sneeze has a spray radius up to 5 ft.3

You don’t sneeze when you’re asleep because the nerves that trigger sneezing are also sleeping. 3

 

DID YOU KNOW: IT’S POSSIBLE TO SNEEZE WITH YOUR EYES OPEN?

Like any reflex, the urge to close your eyes during a sneeze can be suppressed. And while you should cover your nose and mouth to help shield others from the full power of your sneeze, there’s no need to worry about keeping your eyes closed. Your eyes have muscles holding them in place and are not solely kept in your head by your eyelids.5

The next time you feel a sneeze coming, you can attempt to keep your eyes open—without worrying about losing your eyeballs!

Sources:

1. ScienceLine. Why do people sneeze? https://scienceline.org/2008/01/ask-hadhazy-sneeze.  Accessed August 9, 2019.

2. MedlinePlus. Sneezing. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003060.htm. Accessed August 9, 2019.

3. Everyday Mysteries. Fun science facts from the library of congress. https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/sneeze.html. Accessed August 9, 2019.

4. NCBI. Sneezing induced by sexual ideation or orgasm: an under-reported phenomenon. https://misuse.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/error/abuse.shtml. Accessed August 9, 2019.

5. University of Illinois Undergraduate Library. Health Questions. https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/12/the-eye-popping-truth-about-sneezing/. Accessed August 9, 2019.

6. KidsHealth. What Makes Me Sneeze? http://kidshealth.org/kid/talk/qa/sneeze.html. Accessed August 9, 2019.

7. Bionumbers. Number of droplets that can be generated by a sneeze. https://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/bionumber.aspx?id=108804&ver=0. Accessed August 9, 2019.

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