Sneezing, also known as sternutation is one of our body’s basic self-defense mechanisms against invading foreign particles, bugs or bacteria. When a foreign matter like a particle of dirt, dust, pollen or a smoke particle enters our nose, it causes a tickle or an irritation and as a result our body senses it. This is why our body reacts how it should to eliminate this particle and we sneeze. Here is every you need to know about why do we sneeze.
The sneezing mechanism:
When an alien particle like,
- Dander etc.
Enters our body through our nose it becomes entangled with the nasal hair and the delicate skin which is lined into the nasal passage. This creates a tingly sensation or an irritation into the nose.
This feeling sends an electric signal to the brain as soon as it feels the first tinge. This signal delivers the message to the brain that there is a foreign matter present inside the nasal passage and that our body needs to clear it.
The brain then gives an order that it is time for a sneeze. This is when our whole body prepares for the process. This preparation mainly includes contraction of the muscles.
Sneezing can forcefully push out air, mucus and water out of your nasal passage. A sneeze contains thousands of microbes.
It is very important to cover your face with something when you sneeze because these microbes can spread different diseases like flu.
In 2012 researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found out that a sneeze is our body’s natural mechanism to reset and reboot the cilia, cells present inside the nasal passage.
These researchers also found out that people with chronic nasal problems like sinusitis are not affected with the same rebooting effects of a sneeze.
Why do we sneeze when we are sick?
Just like our body detects a foreign matter and tries to eliminate it as soon as possible through your nasal passage, it also senses when you are sick and tries to get rid of the elements making you sick.
When you are sick and have flu or common cold, they cause a runny nose. Our body’s natural defense system acts up and tries to force all this material out of our body. This is why we sneeze a lot when we are sick.
Same is the case when we have different allergies. When pollen, pollution, dander, dirt, mold etc. tries to ender our body, our body forces it out through sneezing.
When does sneezing become a problem?
Too much sneezing can be bothersome sometimes but sneezing is not a sign of a health problem. It is actually a sign that your immune system is working well.
People who already suffer from different health conditions can have a reaction to them sneezing too much. For example people who experience nosebleeds might experience more bleeding if they are sneezing every now and then.
Frequent sneezing, in case it doesn’t stop is something which you should discuss with your doctor, in case if there is some underlying condition or an allergy.