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There are many factors that induce a sneeze and it may not be the same for two people in the same family. Some people sneeze as they come out of their home on a sunny day, while others get a sneeze when they pop a chewing gum into their mouth. Many people have a fickle nose and start sneezing at the smallest excuse like after an exercise, when plucking the eyebrow or eve after sex.

Here is a glimpse at why these people sneeze at such times and all about why we sneeze at all.

Sneezes start in the nerves

All our nervous system is basically wired in the same way, but signals travelling along the nerves take various paths to and from the brain and thus the different situations in which a person sneezes and others don’t. It is actually a result of a nerve transmission that tells the brain that something is in the nose and needs to come out.

Sneezing keeps the body safe

Sneezing is a vital part of the immune process, helping us keep healthy and free from infections.  A sneeze actually clears the nose of bacteria and viruses and thus protects the body. What happens is, when some foreign body enters our nose it triggers off the ‘sneeze centre’ in our brain, which is located in the lower brain stem. Thereafter signals are rapidly sent to tightly close the throat, eyes and mouth. The chest muscles rapidly close and the throat muscles quickly relax. Instantly air along with saliva and mucus is forced out of the mouth and nose and so finally you have sneezed.

Sneeze has high speed

You will be surprised to know that a sneeze actually travels at about 100 miles per hour. It is estimated that a single sneeze can shoot into the air 100,000 germs.

Plucking eyebrows causes a sneeze

When you pluck your eyebrows a particular nerve in the face that supplies the nasal passage is set off and produces a sneeze.

People don’t sneeze in sleep

People in deep sleep never sneeze, since the sneeze inducing nerves are not stimulated and go to sleep and so there is no sneeze during your sleep.

Exercise makes one sneeze

For some people an exercise session may bring on a sneeze. When a person hyperventilate due to exertion the nose and mouth start to dry up, the nose then starts dripping and this makes you sneeze.

Sunshine makes one sneeze

One out of three people get a sneeze as bright sunlight hits them. These kind of sneezers are called light sneezers or ‘photics’, from Greek for ‘of light’. Light sensitivity is an inherited trait and it is passed on from our parents.

How can you stop a sneeze?

While it may not entirely be a fool-proof solution, breathing through the nose and pinching the end of the nose can stop a sneeze in its tracks.

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