Why do we sneeze? Can it be prevented?

There is no person in the world who does not sneeze. Some animals, like mammals, also do. But why do we sneeze? Can it be prevented? What happens in our body when we sneeze? Answer these questions and know curious facts about sneezing in the following article.

What is sneezing? Why do we sneeze?

A sneeze is a spasm that is caused by various causes, from exposure to the sun to something very strong, passing through a cold or also by sexual excitement. The tingling sensation in the nose Which can not be suppressed by anything in the world always ends in sneezing.

Despite being very common, science still does not know why it occurs. Although they do have some ideas about it. That it is a reflex act is the first hypothesis but, at the same time, it may have conscious control and we could come to repress it.

Sneezing reflex consists of two phases : The first is called spasmodic inspiratory and the second is called expiratory, both nasal and oral. The consequence of this mechanism is the expulsion of air and saliva (also viruses, germs and bacteria) at a speed that oscillates between 70 and 130 km per hour. The particles can reach up to 8 meters.


Sneezing is usually induced by an external agent, such as inhaling dust or perfume. Although there are other causes, a little more curious. It is known that 25% of the population sneezes when exposed to Sun directly.

Do you know what this is called? Â?? The Achooâ syndrome? . Do not laugh. There is a logical explanation to this name, in English: It is the"Autosomal Cholinergic Helio Ophtalmologic Outburst". A bit complicated to read and write. More or less it means in Spanish"Autosomal dominant heliooftálmicos compulsive sneeze syndrome"(in our language also it has not been much simplified, right?).

What you have to know about this Achoo syndrome is that it is hereditary. It can affect many members of the family and is characterized by sneezing several times as soon as there is contact with sunlight or a very bright light on any surface, but especially in the snow and in the sea.

Other reasons why we sneeze may be: after eat (For having an empty stomach), before sexual intercourse (related to arousal) and after the intimate act.


Sneezing Facts

When someone sneezes, those around them say"Jesus"or"Health,"depending on the country and the tradition. This is because in the sixth century Pope Gregory ordered to say"May God give you Health"every time someone sneezed. At that time there was a great epidemic of plague. In Spain, after an epidemic in 1881, it used to say"God, Jesus, Mary and Joseph help you". At present we have abbreviated to"Health"and"Jesus".

Sneezing originates when the respiratory epithelium (the layer of cells lining the nose) is irritated and gives the order to brain So that it initiates its reflex act of expelling that substance that is entering in the organism.

We can sneeze two to three times (or maybe more). It is common to think that, in doing so three times in a row, we will receive a present or a surprise; Another tradition that is convenient for some, without doubt.

Have you noticed that when we sneeze we always close our eyes? The explanation is simple. As sneezing is a reflex act of protection, the organism is protecting us from the infections or contagios that we could receive if we expel the air with open eyes. In addition, if some of the air coming out of our nose and mouth"escapes"into the eyeballs, irreversible damage can be caused. Nature is more than wise, do not you think?

Influenza 2

Some believe in a myth about sneezing that is worth saying is false: the heart It does not stop when we are having nasal spasms. There may be changes in blood pressure, but do not stop pumping it to the whole body.

At the beginning of this article we have said that the animals also sneezed. Do you know which species does it most? The iguanas! Second, there are the lizards. This is because they need to expel the excess salt that builds up in their nasal glands.

Is it possible to avoid sneezing?

The answer is yes. But, be aware that some indicate that this is not good for our health. Preventing a sneeze can bring bad consequences. There is a distinction: it is one thing to suppress sneezing when it is still a desire (when the tingling in the nose begins) and another very different is to prevent it when it is already evident. In the latter case, it is best to allow it.

If we do not let the already formed sneeze out we could cause: damage to the nasal membranes, rupture of blood vessels in the Eyes , Perforation of the eardrums, inner ear lesions, increased blood pressure, and weakening of blood vessels in the brain.

Likewise, there are some techniques that are not bad for your health and that help you prevent sneezing before it is imminent:

  • Pinch the nose.
  • Blow with the nose.
  • Pinch the upper lip.
  • Press the front teeth with the tongue.
  • Lower your head and remove the language .
  • Tickle the tongue on the palate.
  • Pinching hands.
  • Press between the two eyes.
  • Press lightly on the ears.
  • Tighten and teach teeth.

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