Achoo! Why do we sneeze?
There are many different reasons why a sneeze occurs. Our noses are like sensors, they are able to detect if a foreign body is entering into our nasal passage way; this tickles the cilia, which are tiny, hair-like projections that line our nostrils and sinuses-causing us to project a sneeze. The action of sneezing clears the nasal passageway of debris and allows the cilia to protect us from any germs, dust, pollen, or pollutants that are trying to enter.
Here is the pathway of a sneeze – an intruder enters the cilia -> the brain sends a signal to get rid of the intruder -> a deep breath is triggered (which gets held in the lungs) -> chest muscles get tight and there is a tremendous build-up of pressure -> the tongue pushes on the roof of the mouth and a breath comes out really quick through the nose -> the eye muscles tense up and close -> Achoo!
Sternutation? – What is this word you may ask; this is a fancy way to say the act of sneezing. According to the Guinness World Records, Donna Griffiths in 1983 sneezed over a million times before having her first sneeze free day! Typically this occurs because the debris within our nose may be too heavy or big to expel in just one single sneeze.
Make up + sneezing = a BIG No No – Sometimes a sneeze may come on as soon as you are finishing up your beautiful makeup for a big special day, what do you do? Step away from the makeup products! Walk into another room if possible because if you sneeze on your products bacteria may enter them and cause an infection to your eye.
Sunlight sneezes – There are actually people who have inherited an unusual trait that causes them to sneeze any time they step out into the sunlight. The term for this is “photic sneezers.”
How to prevent a sneeze – This is not bulletproof, but if needed, breathe through your mouth and pinch the end of your nose.
After a sneeze – Keep your workplace, school, or home clean. Please be sure to grab a tissue to entrap all the bacteria, this is the best option. Always wash your hands after you expel a sneeze. If there is no tissue around, the best alternative would be to sneeze into your elbow that way you do spread around the bacteria. Sneezing into your hands is not really a good option because not all the bacteria and debris can be blocked by your hands and also you will have bacteria on your hands which can easily be transferred to something or someone else.