Sneezing is a natural phenomena in all humans. When your nostrils sense an irritant, your body is programmed to perform this instinctive reflex. Therefore, sneezing is good for you. It helps loosen and remove excess mucus from the nose to prevent congestion, irritation, and infection. Moreover, the vapors produced by the reaction irritate your sinuses and make it harder to breathe through your nose, causing you to sneeze to clear out your airways. Sneezing may also help remove foreign particles that have entered the nose, such as dust or pollen. Hence, sneezing doesn’t always mean that you are sick, it also can be the sign that you have allergies.
Behind this usual response that everyone does, there are fun facts about sneezing that you probably didn’t know. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts in this article to understand more about your body system. From the benefits of sneezing to the surprising science behind this occurrence, we will reveal them just for you. Let’s jump to the list!
Table of Contents
- 1. It Is Natural Response of Foreign Materials
- 2. People Sneeze Multiple Times Per Day
- 3. Sneezing Has Up To 100 Miles Per House Speed
- 4. The Longest Sneeze Fit In The World
- 5. Heart Stop During Sneezing Is A Myth
- 6. You Can’t Sneeze During Sleep
- 7. Photic Sneeze Reflex, The Uncontrollable Sneezing Condition
- 8. Sneeze Droplets Can Stay More Than 10 Minutes In The Air
- 9. You Can’t Sneeze with Eyes Open
- 10. It Is Possible To Sneeze Underwater
- 11. Holding Sneeze Is Dangerous
- 12. The World’s Loudest Sneeze
- 13. Sneeze Droplets Can Spread Up To 27 Feet Radius
- 14. Sneezing Is Muscle Work Out
- 15. The Color of Mucus Means Something
1. It Is Natural Response of Foreign Materials
Everyone sneezes from time to time. When a foreign particle irritates the nasal mucosa, the body responds by sneezing. The purpose of sneezing is to remove foreign particles from the mucus and clean the nasal cavity. Pollen, mold, dander, and dust allergies can cause sneezing.
Sneezes safeguard your body by removing bacteria and viruses from your nose. When something enters your nose, a message is transmitted to the sneeze center, a region of your brain. The sneeze center delivers messages to the sections of your body that need to cooperate in order for you to sneeze.
2. People Sneeze Multiple Times Per Day
It’s very common to sneeze more than once. It may take a little longer to eliminate an irritation from your nose, so you need two, three, or even 4 times to sneeze. According to one study from the International Rhinology Society, about 95% of people sneeze less than four times every day.
It has been determined that sneezing and blowing one’s nose less than four times a day is normal. Meanwhile, a higher number can indicate rhinitis. In clinical trials, it is advised that sneeze and nasal blowing counts be utilized to define the health condition.
3. Sneezing Has Up To 100 Miles Per House Speed
In case you are wondering, how fast can a sneeze travel? Which is faster between sneezing and coughing? Well, we have the answer for you! Sprays are notoriously difficult to track, but some resourceful scientists have come up with an approximate estimate. A cough can travel at speeds of up to 50 mph and discharge about 3,000 droplets in a single burst. Meanwhile, sneezes can travel at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and produce up to 100,000 droplets.
As now you know that you can have amazing speed to spread germs and bacteria in just one shot, being away from the crowd when sneezing is not enough. You should cover your face with a protective mask to prevent the spread of those bacteria.
4. The Longest Sneeze Fit In The World
Donna Griffiths from the UK, had the longest sneezing fit ever recorded, lasting from January 1981 to September 1983. It took 977 days to complete. In fact, it surpassed the previous record of 194 days on July 26, 1981. In the first 365 days, she sneezed an estimated million times before achieving her first sneeze-free day on September 16, 1983, the 977th day.
Donna sneezed around once every minute at the start of her world-record longest sneezing episode. If she kept sneezing at that rate, she’d have sneezed about 1,408,320 times. Once the rate had dwindled to around one per five minutes, the record was finally stopped. Her sneezing has yet to be determined.
5. Heart Stop During Sneezing Is A Myth
You may have heard that sneezing can cause your heart to stop beating for a while. Well, that is actually a myth! In fact, sneezing will not cause your heart to stop. Your body may react when you sneeze. Your eyes may clench tight and your heart skips a beat. However, did your heart suddenly stop beating?
According to the UAMS’ Department of Otolaryngology, when you sneeze, your body’s intrathoracic pressure rises for a brief moment. The blood flow returning to the heart will be reduced as a result of this. The heart adjusts by modifying its regular heartbeat for a brief period of time. During the sneeze, however, the electrical activity of the heart does not stop.
6. You Can’t Sneeze During Sleep
It is conceivable to wake up and sneeze in the middle of the night, but it is not possible to sneeze while sleeping. The reflex muscular contractions are paralyzed during sleep, resulting in the inactivity of the relevant muscles. This is especially true when you’re sleeping in rapid eye movement (REM) cycles. You aren’t conscious of the tickling or annoying sensations that would normally convey nerve signals to the brain to cause a sneeze during REM sleep.
When you’re in the early phases of sleep, the situation may be different. If you’ve ever woken up feeling like you sneezed in your sleep, it’s most likely because you haven’t yet fallen into a deep slumber or are waking up naturally.
7. Photic Sneeze Reflex, The Uncontrollable Sneezing Condition
Did you know that seeing lights can help you to sneeze? The photic sneeze reflex (PSR) is a condition that is induced by bright light. This reaction is usually a minor occurrence, but it can have disastrous implications in specific circumstances, such as while driving cars. Although the problem is well-known, there are no drugs or surgical methods available to inhibit the response. Some people wear sunglasses, scarves, or even a hat to protect their eyes from the sun and other bright lights in order to avoid sneezing.
Moreover, brushing your hair also can cause PSR. When the trigeminal nerve is stimulated directly, it is possible that the ocular nerve will become more sensitive to light. Plucking a brow or pulling hair is an example of direct stimulation.
8. Sneeze Droplets Can Stay More Than 10 Minutes In The Air
The bacteria in the dried droplets died or decomposed with a half-life of 10 seconds, according to the researchers. Meanwhile, researchers from Queensland University of Technology discovered that a subgroup of pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterial species linked to hospital infections, had a half-life of 10 minutes after being discharged by a sneeze or cough. It can, however, linger for up to 45 minutes after that.
Although the researchers aren’t sure why this happens, they believe it has something to do with where the droplets are formed in the respiratory tract and the size of the droplets. Because droplets form in different areas of the respiratory system, they might carry varying bacterial ‘loads.’
9. You Can’t Sneeze with Eyes Open
Have you ever realized that you always close your eyes while sneezing? Why can’t you sneeze with your eyes open? When you sneeze, your eyes close as an autonomic reflex. A motor action that your body does in reaction to a stimulus is known as an autonomic reflex. It does not require you to make a deliberate decision to take that activity.
Straining causes increased pressure in the blood vessels rather than the eyes or muscles surrounding the eyes, leading your eyes to close during sneezing. Although it is possible to sneeze with your eyes open, most people must make a conscious effort to overcome their reaction.
10. It Is Possible To Sneeze Underwater
Underwater, sneezing is possible but rarely. This is because of the lack of dust, allergens, and intense sunshine underwater. However, if you add feathers or some dust that triggers sneezing in the swimming pool, you may experience underwater sneezing.
Moreover, it also can happen while diving. Underwater sneezing is similar to sneezing on land. If you start to sneeze, gently hold your regulator in place and sneeze through your mouth rather than your nose.
11. Holding Sneeze Is Dangerous
Sneezing is a high speed and powerful activity. Holding a sneeze raises the pressure inside the respiratory system by 5 to 24 times the amount created by the sneeze itself. According to a study from Computer Biologi In Medical Journal, carrying this extra strain inside your body can result in significant complications.
According to specialists, the pressure created by holding in a sneeze can result in a brain aneurysm rupturing. This is a life-threatening injury that can result in cerebral hemorrhage in the skull.
12. The World’s Loudest Sneeze
Sneezing may cause a loud sound. However, do you know how loud sneezing can be? Yi Yang of China holds the world record for the loudest sneeze, with his nose exploding at a decibel level of 176. For your information, it is louder than an Anton boom, which measures 120 decibels.
When measured from a distance of 60 centimeters, a man’s sneeze peaks at around 90 decibels, according to Brisbane-based company Noise Measurement Services. That’s about the same decibel level as a lawnmower. An average discussion, on the other hand, is around 60 decibels. The sneeze falls to roughly 80 decibels when the mouth is covered.
13. Sneeze Droplets Can Spread Up To 27 Feet Radius
Sneezing can send droplets of varying sizes 23 to 27 feet away from the nose. The length of time they stay before evaporating is determined by a number of factors, including humidity and temperature. Aerosols dry out faster, but little virus-containing droplets can stay trapped inside the warm, moist cloud of a sneeze for minutes.
After a sneeze, smaller droplets can stay in the air for extended periods of time, whereas huge droplets fall to the ground more quickly. This only serves to emphasize the importance of covering your nose with your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze.
14. Sneezing Is Muscle Work Out
Sneezing is a true exercise for organs in your body. The sneeze center gives a sign to your body to work some muscles for you to sneeze. To assist you remove the irritant, your chest muscles, diaphragm, abdominals, vocal cords, and muscles in the back of your throat all work together.
The sneeze center sends a signal to your throat, eyes, and mouth to close tightly. The muscles in your chest constrict, compressing your lungs, while the muscles in your throat relax. Air, saliva, and mucus are all driven out of your nose and mouth as a result of all of this.
15. The Color of Mucus Means Something
When you sneeze, the mucus that comes out of your nose should be clear. However, it can be a rainbow of colors like green, yellow, or brown. If your mucus is one of these colors, you most likely have an infection and should visit your doctor for treatment.
The common infection is also known as sinusitis. This disease can be caused by a virus, allergies, or even bacteria. You may experience yellow or green mucus and pressure in your sinus cavities if bacteria are to blame. The yellowish hue is caused by white blood cells that rush to the infection site and then are washed away after fighting it. Meanwhile, green colors could be a severe condition of viral infection.