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Why do we sneeze?

Sneezing is the strangest thing. Is it really necessary? Why do we do it?

4554 day(s) ago

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Sneezing is defined as a sudden, reflexive spasm that causes the violent expiration of breath through the nose. The narrow passages of the airways through the nostrils cause the air to enter and exit with a lot of pressure and turbulence. If air is inhaled or exhaled with enough force, it causes the linings of the nose to vibrate. In addition, mucus that is naturally present in the nose can be shaken loose and expelled through a sneeze.

Sneezing is a reflex. We do not have control of when we sneeze. Sneezing can be faked, and, in some instances, can be stopped, but the process happens automatically. Sneezing occurs due to an irritation in the lining of the nasal airways. The irritation stimulates the release of histamines. Histamines cause the linings of the nose to emit a runny mucus. In addition, histamines are responsible for making us itch. When histamines are released in the nose, the inside of the nose begins to itch. This itching stimulates the reflex center in the brain. The brain sends signals to the muscles in the head and neck. The muscles contract violently, causing us to expel the air out of our lungs. The exhalation is meant to get out whatever was inside the nose causing the irritation.

We sneeze a lot when we have a cold or the flu because viruses can gather in the nose. Excess mucus forms to trap the viruses inside the nose and then we sneeze to get them out.

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