Everything you need to know about why you sneeze


A sneeze can come at the most inopportune time. You might be driving or waiting in a quiet room. Sneezing is a biological function that’s difficult to control, but it’s a useful action for the body. Get to know everything about sneezing and why you need it in the first place.

The physiological side

Your nasal hairs are designed to catch particles within the air. At times, these particles might come into contact with the mucosa just below the hairs. Nerve signals move between the mucosa and brain to create the involuntary action that’s defined as a sneeze.

Muscles from the diaphragm to the tongue are put into specific positions so that a sneeze can exit the body. These contractions are so rapid that a sneeze might sneak up on you.

Environmental factors

There are several other reasons why you sneeze. Irritants aren’t just a daytime issue. You might breathe in a lot of particles during the night. You won’t sneeze in your sleep, but it’s possible to wake up to perform this natural action.

Sunlight also induces sneezes in some genetically predisposed people. Several other environmental factors might trigger sneezes, such as cold drafts, plucking the eyebrows or participating in intimate acts. Regardless of the trigger, the sneeze itself will clear the respiratory passageways of contaminants.

Impacts on surrounding tissues

Sneezes are certainly powerful. Allowing them to run their course will protect your surrounding tissues. You don’t want to hold a sneeze in because the effort might damage your inner ear, eardrum or ruptured capillaries.

Your eyes will be safe during a sneeze too. They can be open or closed, and the eyes won’t succumb to any damage with a strong sneeze. The human body is designed to preserve itself even during a sneeze. In reality, most people can’t help but to close their eyes during a sneeze anyway.

Multiple sneezes

One sneeze may not be enough to remove the particles from the nasal mucosa. If you tend to have multiple sneezes, your body is simply trying to clear away particles that are irritants. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with multiple sneezes.

These bodily functions might come on as swarms of sneezes. A mixture of genetic tendencies and environmental influences determine if you sneeze once or several times. Regardless of the quantity, any number of sneezes is entirely natural and healthy.

Controlling the urge

Letting the sneeze take its normal course is always preferable. However, there may be situations where you want to control this urge. Holding the bridge of your nose, deeply exhaling and holding your breath are all time-tested ways to stop a sneeze in its tracks.

At some point, your body will need to expel those particles. Remind yourself that sneezing is performing a cleaning action for the respiratory passageways. Let the sneeze out when it’s appropriate.

There are many myths surrounding sneezes, such as the heart-stopping during the activity. Remind yourself that sneezing is a necessary and important bodily function. Healthy breathing is the ultimate goal of this primitive reaction.