Unusual Facts About Sneezing | NYC Sinus Doctor

6 Fun and Unusual Facts About Sneezing


Sneezing. Everyone does it, but why? We’ve broken down six unusual facts about sneezing to help you better understand the inner-workings of your nasal passage. That way you’ll know exactly what’s going on in the body the next time someone has to say “Bless You!”.

Unusual Facts About Sneezing

Sneezing At The Speed Of Light

Okay, so our sneezes don’t exactly happen at the speed of light…. But they have been known to travel up to 100 miles per hour! It’s also important to note that the post-sneeze spray that occurs has proven to reach up to 30 feet away from the sneeze itself. That’s why it’s so important to cover your mouth whenever you sneeze, so as not to spread germs. No wonder there’s so much force behind that “Achoo”!

Your Eyes Always Close Involuntarily

It’s always a little scary if you are driving and you feel that sneeze coming on, knowing that your eyes will shut at a moments notice and you might miss something. There really isn’t anything you can do however, to keep your eyes open when you sneeze. This happens involuntarily, as a reflex, since it is part of the message the brain gets in the moments leading up to “Achoo”.

Bright Light Makes Us Sneeze

Many scientific studies have been done on how bright light makes us sneeze and the results are pretty interesting to say the least. Around one in every four people sneeze in the sunlight, which is a reaction known as the photic sneeze reflex. We don’t fully understand why this occurs, but it’s hypothesized that it results from the message the brain receives for shrinking the pupils crossing paths with the message the brain gets to sneeze.

Sneezing “Reboots” Our Noses

Similar to a computer, our noses need a “reboot” from time to time whenever they become overwhelmed. One of the more unknown facts about sneezing, the action actually resets the nasal passage and it’s environment, causing any bad particles that you might have breathed in to clear out. Sneezing is more or less your body’s biological way of resetting your nose whenever it needs!

Sneezing Two Or Three Times Is Perfectly Normal

The trapped particles on your nasal passage aren’t always as eager to leave your nose as they were to be breathed in. Sometimes, just one sneeze isn’t enough to clear them out, so that’s when the body kicks in and causing you to sneeze multiple times in a row. This happens to everyone at one time or another, depending on the environment and your body’s reaction.

Tricks To Quiet Your Sneezes

Are you getting that funny feeling like a sneeze is coming on? Let’s face it, we aren’t always in an appropriate setting to sneeze. There are,¬†however, a few ways you can quiet your sneeze to keep you from disturbing others in a more quiet and reserved setting. Try pressing your upper lip underneath your nose, even just rubbing your nose, or force a big, deep breath out your nose to keep your next on-the-way sneeze under control.

Photo credit: tinafranklindg / Foter.com / CC BY

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