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Fascinating Facts About Sneezing!

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Fascinating Facts About Sneezing!

By Vicki Santillano, DivineCaroline

I’ve always looked forward to my dad’s sneezes. (Yeah, I know how weird that sounds.) Not

that I’m constantly hoping he’ll catch a cold, but he has the best sneeze I’ve ever heard. It’s loud, powerful, and it sounds like he’s crying out “Blllleeessss ya!” each time he does it. His sneezes sound wholly satisfying–the antithesis to the barely-audible squeaks emitted by the woman I sat next to on the bus this morning.

The same kind of irritants (dust, pepper, etc.) can create the same internal reaction in all of us, but its externalization is highly individualized. We all know that everyone sneezes differently, but have we ever considered why? For being such a common, everyday occurrence, that little (or big) expulsion of air is actually a complex process involving more nuances than many of us realize.

1. Sneezing’s official name is sternutation.
The word sternutation sounds like a serious medical procedure, but it’s really just another way of saying sneezing. However you say it, the method remains the same. When something tickles the nose lining, the nerves located there send a signal to the brain, which initiates a chain of messages to other parts of the body–chest, abdomen, face, eyelids, the mucus glands in the nose, even the sphincter–that work together to expel the irritant. When we fall asleep, those nerves are at rest, which is why we don’t sneeze while we snooze.

Related: The Science of the Kiss

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+ add your own
11:59AM PST on Jan 9, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

12:32PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

Thanks Mel.

3:51PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Interesting! Thanks for sharing (:

10:25PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Interesting facts, and some funny!

10:34AM PDT on Apr 27, 2011


4:20PM PDT on Mar 17, 2011


7:09AM PST on Feb 13, 2011

how informative!

8:29PM PST on Feb 1, 2011

Way tooo much thinking went into this.

9:28PM PST on Jan 26, 2011

great. funny

2:29AM PST on Jan 26, 2011

Thank You

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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