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9/18/19 in Blog Posts
Fun Facts About Sneezing!
Otolaryngology is the medical specialty which is focused on the ear, nose and throat. These doctors aid patients with conditions from ear aches to head and neck cancer. Along with this, some otolaryngologists specialize in just the nose. They deal with patients who suffer from Post-Nasal Drip, Nasal Congestion, Nosebleeds, Sinusitis, Cosmetic Nasal Surgery, Smell and Taste Disorders.
Another sect of ENT focuses on solely Allergies. They see patients suffering from Asthma, Atopic Dermatitis, Contact Dermatitis, Hives, food and eye allergies. Part of allergies is sneezing and nasal congestion which allergists and nose specialist treat.
Sneezing is something that everyone does. A sneeze is the bodies response to a foreign particle irritating the nasal mucosa. The function of sneezing is to get rid of the mucus containing the foreign particles and cleanse the nasal cavity.
Here are a few fun facts about sneezing:
This is why when some people sneeze it causes them to break a rib. This is rare, but the speed your body is expelling air is even sometimes dangerous to itself!
Estimations for how far sneeze spray travels is anywhere from a 5 to 30 feet radius from where you sneezed. This just reinforces that you should cover your nose with your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze.
Much like a finicky computer, our noses need a “reboot” when overwhelmed. This biological reboot is triggered by the pressure force of a sneeze. A sneeze is brought about by biochemical signals that regulate the beating of the microscopic hairs in the nose called cilia, that line the nasal cavity.
Some people have noticed that they sneeze more in bright sunlight. This is not something they are making up either! 1 in 4 people actually sneeze in reaction to sunlight. There is even a name for this phenomenon. It is called the “Photic Sneeze Reflex.” There is some debate why this reaction happens. Some scientists believe that the message to the brain that tells it to shrink the pupils in the eyes may cross paths with the message the brain receives to sneeze.
Sometimes particles that are trapped in the nasal passages need a little extra help to be expelled from the nose. More often than not it takes more than one attempt to get those irritants out, which is why we sneeze multiple times in a row.
Sneezing is often times funny to many of us because each person has their own unique sounding sneeze, but to the people who suffer from seasonal allergies it isn’t all that funny. If you are experiencing chronic sneezing it might be time to see your local otolaryngologist and allergist!