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Why are we sneezing? The answer is pretty fascinating



The Tendencies of the People while sneezing can be almost as individual as their fingerprints. Some produce crushing explosions. Others emit delicate "Ahchoos". Why did we even sneeze? No matter where you fall on the sneeze spectrum, the answer is more interesting than you might expect, and leaves you pretty impressed with your body.

Sneezing helps remove unwanted things from your nose.

As an input to your In a complex breathing system, your nose has the important job of moisturizing, warming, and filtering the air, according to the Merck Handbook . This makes your nose one of the first lines of defense to keep potentially harmful particles out of your lungs. Erich Voigt M. D., a clinical professor and head physician for general / otolaryngology at the NYU Langone Health, reports SELF. Her nose is lined with mucous membranes, which constantly hold pathogens and deposits. Cilia, microscopic hairy protrusions on the nose, can direct this dirty mucus to the front of the organ (or down the throat).

But sometimes something releases your nose so much that your body wants to move away. It's powerful and immediate, so this ordinary cleansing process gets an instant boost in the form of a sneeze. "Sneezing acts as a nose cleansing mechanism" and stimulates the cilia to drive things forward, says Michael Benninger, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Head & Neck Institute, to SELF. "It's basically a nose restart," he says.

The sneeze reflex is usually activated when the mucous membranes of the nose are irritated.

Sometimes it can happen when the throat is irritated. In any case, sneezing is "a well coordinated action that starts many muscles and nerves that start with a trigger," Dr. Voigt.

The most common triggers are pathogens (such as the common cold and flu viruses ), allergens (such as pollen or cat hair), and irritants that are chemical (such as perfume) or physical (such as dust) can be, says Dr. Voigt.

In some cases, with allergens and viruses, the trigger is not just the thing itself, but also the inflammatory response of the nose, Dr. Benninger. Both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nose) can lead to membrane swelling and excessive mucus, possibly triggering sneezing. In allergies, chemicals such as histamine which produces your immune system in response to an allergen, can also trigger sneezing.

Here's how the actual sneezing process goes.

Foreign particles stimulate the trigeminal nerve the largest nerve connecting to the brain. This sensory nerve senses numerous areas of the face and head, including the mucosa of the nose, mouth and sinuses, as well as the skin and the back of the tongue.

After stimulation, the trigeminal nerve conducts a message to the brain, which then sends various action signals to the body, explains Dr. med. Voigt. When your brain receives the message that there is an intruder in your nose, your diaphragm is tightened and moved down to allow your lungs to fill with air, your neck muscles relax, your mouth opens, your eyes close and you sneeze. "The point is to create pressure from our lungs to blow out what's in the nose," explains Dr. Voigt.

It is also possible that there is more going on here than science has revealed so far. Although the trigeminal nerve is probably the predominant mechanism in most sneezing, Dr. Benninger, that there are probably other mechanisms in play that we do not fully understand, such as the involvement of other cranial nerves.

People can also sneeze in response to non-nasal trigger.

One of the best-studied examples is the action of bright light, a phenomenon called phototic sneezing . Then of course there is the wild sneeze when you apply mascara or pluck your eyebrows . It has also been reported that people sneeze during or after a orgasm . Sneezing can even result in strong emotions in some people, according to the US . National Library of Medicine .

The mechanisms in these cases are less well understood, Dr. Voigt. It is believed that this is generally related to deviations in the neural pathways of humans – essentially crossed wires in the brain.

For example, theoretical sneezing may be due to some sort of cross-linking between the trigeminal and optic nerves. The idea is that the message for the pupil reflex, which shrinks the pupils in bright light, is to cross with the sneezing reflex, Dr. Benninger. As reported by SELF measures such as applying the mascara or plucking your eyebrows trigger the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve, which, depending on the body application, can cause this messaging to be understood by your body becomes. 19659017] If you feel the urge to sneeze, you should do so. But cover it up.

Keeping sneezing is not a good idea, says dr. Voigt. This reflex can generate so much power that you can cause internal discomfort and even damage, including ear or sinus pressure or pain. And although it is very rare, it has become known that people broke their throat while holding back a sneeze.

It's just as important to keep your sneeze to yourself. If you suffer from an infectious disease such as cold or flu, sneezing can spread a fine, pathogen-laden mist everywhere, potentially infecting the people around you. "The virus gets into the eyes, noses and mouths of other people," says Dr. Voigt. Scientists believe that these particles can go six feet through the air – or more.

Therefore, it is best to sneeze either into a handkerchief or into the arm crook of your arm, according to the CDC ]. "Just not your hand," Dr. Voigt. Your hand can not contain the spray. You must also immediately disinfect your hands or wash [1945959] to prevent the spread of germs, and that is not always possible.

Even if your sneeze is due to something like an allergy or a lovely exposure, it's still disgusting to spray your neighbors with mucus. Please be polite and protect them from this fate.

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