Does sneezing help a cold

What ‘Ah-Choo!’ Can Do For You

We all know that sneezing spreads cold viruses. But it turns out that sneezes actually do some good — for the sneezer.

David Makiri sneezes into a tissue. Germs, dust and pollen that get inside the nose are no match for the mighty sneeze. Jonathan Makiri/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jonathan Makiri/NPR

David Makiri sneezes into a tissue. Germs, dust and pollen that get inside the nose are no match for the mighty sneeze.

Jonathan Makiri/NPR

The sneeze is the body’s first line of defense against alien invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Eli Meltzer, an allergist who is co-director of Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center in San Diego, says germs, dust, pollen and other irritants that make their way into the nose are no match for the mighty sneeze.

“It’s powerful,” Meltzer says. “We actually blow out the sneeze at 40 mph. The discharge can go 20 feet. And it’s said that 40,000 droplets can come out when you spritz with the mouth and the nose when you sneeze.”

And you don’t have to be in great shape to rock a powerful sneeze. That’s because we sneeze pretty much on autopilot. When the nerve cells inside of the nose detect an intruder, it starts an itch. That sends a signal to the brain.

“The signal to the brain causes a reflex,” Meltzer says. “That reflex goes to the face and nose and chest. The person takes a deep breath because of that. Then they explode this air from their lungs through the mouth and nose.”

Reasons For Sneezing

A montage of sneezes in slow motion.

YouTube

But for many people, sneezing doesn’t end their misery. Once people have a cold, sneezing is just one more symptom. And for those with chronic allergies, sneezing can be a signal that they’re feeling miserable. Those symptoms can last for weeks, months or years.

People also sneeze when they’re not sick. Some people sneeze when they eat a really big meal. And about 10 percent of the population sneezes when they’re exposed to sunlight. That’s probably a genetic trait.

Louis Ptacek, a professor of neurology at the University of California in San Francisco, studies epilepsy and movement disorders. He’s looked into the photic sneeze reflex for clues on how genes affect the brain and nervous system. “Photic sneeze is clearly not a disease,” Ptacek says. The mechanism for photic sneezing is unknown, but it’s probably some kind of glitch in the wiring among eyes, brain and nose.

Testing Sneezers

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When we asked people at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., we found a lot of people who said they were photic sneezers. Bob Boilen is one of them. To test the reflex, we put him right by the window on a sunny day. But he didn’t sneeze.

“I definitely feel inside all those tingly things that happen just before you sneeze,” Boilen said. “Oh, what a letdown.”

Other NPR employees said they always sneeze when they eat mints. But they, too, couldn’t replicate those sneezes for us when we stood by with microphone and reporter’s notebook.

Our experiment may have failed because of a basic rule of science: Observation affects the outcome of experiments. Ptacek told us one way we might have overcome that problem:

“I would be willing to bet a lot of money that if you took those people and you put them in a really dark room for two hours and then walked out into bright, bright sunlight, they’d have a much higher likelihood of sneezing,” Ptacek says. “And it couldn’t be suppressed by feeling self-conscious.”

Want to stifle a sneeze? It’s possible, Meltzer says. Just press hard on the bridge of your nose.

Your Day-by-Day Guide to the Common Cold

The common cold is referred to as common for a reason. “There are actually hundreds of different viruses that can cause a cold; however, most of these viruses cause very similar cold symptoms,” says Aaron E. Glatt, MD, infectious diseases and infection control consultant at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York.

Cold symptoms can be different for everyone, but they typically appear about one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus, peak around day four, and taper off around day seven. The most common cold symptoms include sore or scratchy throat, nasal congestion or stuffiness, a runny nose, and a cough. You may also experience sneezing, low-grade fever, or fatigue.

The full life cycle of a cold is usually between seven and 10 days. According to Dr. Glatt, a cold may last longer or be more severe in people who have immune problems or other underlying health issues. Also keep in mind that your contagious period has its own lifespan, usually starting a couple days before cold symptoms kick in and continuing for the first few days afterwards.

Seasonal allergies and colds share common symptoms but have different causes, according to allergist Sandra Hong, MD.

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They are often confused, but she says you can tell them apart by noting:

1. How symptoms develop

Both allergies and colds cause sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, and fatigue. However, colds often cause symptoms one at a time: first sneezing, then a runny nose and nasal congestion. Allergies cause these symptoms all at once.

2. How long symptoms last

Cold symptoms generally last seven to 10 days while seasonal allergy symptoms generally last months at a time. Seasonal allergy symptoms continue as long as you are exposed to the allergen (symptom trigger). The symptoms will subside soon after exposure to the allergen ends.

3. The type of mucus discharge

Colds may cause a yellowish nasal discharge, suggesting an infection. Allergies generally cause a clear, thin, watery discharge.

4. How often you sneeze

Sneezing is more common with allergies (especially sneezing two to three times in a row).

5. The time of year

Colds are more common during the winter months, whereas seasonal allergies are more common in spring through fall, when trees, grass, and weeds pollinate. Indoor allergies affect people year-round.

6. The presence of fever

Colds may be accompanied by a fever. Allergies are not usually associated with a fever.

7. The presence of itching

Itching is typical of allergies and it may affect eyes, nose, throat, and ears. Colds do not typically cause itching of any sort.

If you think you might have allergies, if your cold symptoms seem severe or if you are not getting better, see your doctor.

Sneezing with a Cold or Allergies

What causes a sneeze?

Sneezing can be an early symptom of a cold or allergy and is the result of the inflammation of the trigeminal nerve in the nose. This nerve is linked to the “sneeze center” of the brainstem and send signals that prompt a person to sneeze. On the one hand, this reflex may help the body expel viruses before they infect the tissues of the respiratory tract. On the other hand, sneezing spreads disease by creating aerosol droplets containing the viruses that caused the infection, which may then be inhaled by healthy individuals. A single sneeze can produce up to 40,000 droplets.

What happens if you sneeze with your eyes open?

There are many superstitions related to sneezing. One common belief is that if you sneeze with your eyes open, your eyeballs will come out of your head. But this simply isn’t true. Most people naturally close their eyes when they sneeze as a reflex. The brain sends signals to your eyes telling them to close but like any reflex, this urge can be suppressed. If you keep your eyes open, your eyeballs will stay firmly planted in your head. Your eyes have muscles holding them in place (in other words, they’re not kept in your head by your eyelids). Though the blood pressure behind your eyes does slightly increase when you sneeze, it’s not enough to dislodge your eyeballs from your head. So while you should always cover your nose and mouth when sneezing to keep others from getting sick, you don’t need to worry about keeping your eyes shut.

How to get rid of a cold – tried and tested remedies for feeling better fast

There’s never a right time to get a cold.

Whether it’s cold and flu season or not, it’s a pain to get the sniffles, but never fear – we’re here to help.

The sweet caress of the wintry mistress that is commonly known as “the sniffles” is lingering around every corner, on every tube seat, wrapped around every pole.

Why, it’s probably sitting at the desk next to you right this very second.

Chances are you, or someone you know, will be struck down with sniffles, coughs and sore throats at some point. Probably more than once.

Luckily for you, there is many a way to stave off the common cold – or at least lessen its impact until it shoots back into the abyss.

Because who wants to be stuck in bed with tissues stuck up their snoz, blubbering, sneezing, unable to taste food or go five minutes without sneezing said tissues across the room?

No, thank you. From the best pharmacy medicines, to herbal remedies and good ol’ fashioned bed rest, we’ve compiled a handy list of the best tried, tested and scientifically proven ways to get rid of your cold.

Or to avoid those suckers in the first place.

Pen and paper at the ready? Health is waiting.

1. Painkillers

Painkillers such as ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin are the only medication known to treat colds. They come in a huge variety of forms – and the painkiller-based cold remedies often come with other fancy ingredients that are supposedly there to suckerpunch the germs.

But whether you choose to take it in pill, capsule, soluble tablet or hot drink, the thing that’s doing the most good is the painkiller.

2. Decongestants

Decongestants – taken by mouth or up your nose – can help too, relieving that blocked-up feeling and clearing out your sinus cavities. Most cold and flu remedy pills and hot drinks will have some kind of decongestant in them.

They can give you a bit of a pick-me-up too, which can be helpful during the day – but a nightmare if you want to go to sleep.

Decongestants can relieve that bunged up feeling

3. Zinc

There’s some recent research that suggests taking zinc syrup, tablets or lozenges could speed up recovery and make the symptoms less harsh.

But it’s not a good idea to take that for a long time, because it can have side effects such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

And who wants to team those two with a cold?

4. Check the box

As with any medications, you should always check the box to make sure anything you’re taking for your cold isn’t going to badly interact with any other medications you’re on.

Some antidepressants can react badly when combined with some decongestants. If you’re in any doubt, check the NHS website or talk to your doctor.

5. Should I pester my doctor for antibiotics?

No. Your cold is almost certainly caused by a viral infection, and antibiotics will do absolutely nothing to relieve it. What they might do is give you unpleasant side effects and increase the resistance of bugs to antibiotics, so they might not work when you actually do need them.

ANTIBIOTICS DON’T DO ANYTHING TO RELIEVE A COLD. NOTHING. (Image: Getty)

6. What about non-medicated options?

Inhaling steam can help loosen the mucus in your nose, making it easier to clear by blowing.

Fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head and breath deeply with your eyes closed. If you’re at work and can’t get away with having a bowl of hot water on your desk, chemists sell inhalators. While they’re essentially just big plastic jugs with a mouthpiece – they’re almost as good as a bowl, and much less complicated.

For your sore throat you could suck on menthol sweets or gargle with salt water.

7. Eating, drinking and resting

When you’ve got a cold, you sweat a lot and have a runny nose – so if you don’t replace those fluids, you’ll just feel worse. So amp up the water intake.

You should also rest up. While we’re not saying you should take a week off work or anything, you’ll get better faster if you allow your body to rest.

By taking a day off work as soon as your symptoms emerge and spend it in bed sleeping, you may be able to fight off further symptoms.

(It also stops you from spreading your new cold friend to co-workers on the most-infectious first couple of days. No one wants to be that person.)

You should also eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – which, let’s be honest, is pretty much true whether you have a cold or not.

There’s a reason mum would always whip up a catch of chicken soup whenever we’d get sick.

And for goodness sake, wash your hands and sneeze into a tissue. Some things are best kept to yourself, non?

8. What about herbal remedies?

There are plenty of herbal remedies for the common cold out there – the most commonly-cited is echinacea.

While people claim the herb makes people recover from the common cold quicker than paracetamol-based remedies, there’s no firm evidence to support this. There have been various trials with inconclusive results, but nothing solid.

The same can be said for vitamin C. While many claim it has preventative and healing properties with regard to the cold and flu, studies found it has very, very limited benefit.

9. Eat garlic

They (health professionals) say a garlic glove every few hours is a great way to clear a cold quick.

Garlic possesses antioxidants with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. On top of that, it aids with decongestion to clear up the sinuses pronto.

Can you prevent yourself from getting a cold (Image: Getty)

10. Probiotics might be your friend

While antibiotics may work against you, research found popping a probiotic, namely the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG and Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12, can ease symptoms.

A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that taking one could shave two days off your cold and reduce symptoms by 34 percent.

11. Try turmeric

The buzzy spice of the season is also quite useful when you’re feeling crap, apparently.

It contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory chemical that can put a stop to a virus as it starts to circulate in your system, according to research from George Mason University.

Guess Starbucks got onto the latte trend at the right time.

There’s the turmeric tablets to give you a boost too.

12. Hit the gym

Not the thing you want to hear when you’ve got a cold, but studies show sweating is one of the best ways to rid yourself of the sniffles.

You see, viruses can’t survive in hot temperatures (hence why we get a fever as our body tries to fight incoming germs), so if you’re feeling up to it – as in, before your symptoms have peaked – get some cardio in and break a sweat.

They say you’re OK to work out if the cold is above your neck – so if you’ve got a stuffy nose and the start of a sore throat. If it’s made its way down to your chest, best to just rest up.

What is a cold?

According to the NHS website, a cold is a “mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways”.

There are over 200 strains of the common cold, but rhinovirus is the most common – being the one we’re usually exposed to each winter.

Symptoms usually emerge two days after exposure and include:

  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • A cough

Symptoms can worsen to include a fever, headache, and aching muscles.

What fun.

If you find you’ve got anything more than these common symptoms, take yourself off to the docs, stat.

(Image: Getty)

Cold and Flu

How do you catch a cold?

In a nutshell, you catch a cold by doing exactly that: catching it.

As many of the germs associated with coughs and colds are airborne, infection usually happens mainly by coming into contact with mucus or saliva from someone who already has the virus and it sneezing or coughing.

Still, don’t go thinking just because you’re guarding yourself from any airborne suckers that you’re home free.

Many germs linger on our hands, so shaking hands with someone infected, or touching things that have come into contact with them (like door handles or poles on public transport) is a one-way ticket to cold-town.

Thoroughly washing your hands or carrying around a tube of hand sanitiser is key during the winter months when these germs are thriving.

Other ways they say you can catch a cold is by having your nose out in the, er, cold. Apparently a chilly nose makes us less resistant to infection.

Same goes for cold feet – these cause the blood vessels in our nose to constrict which equals an easier channel for infection to get through.

Side note: you’re most infectious on day two and three of your symptoms, so keep that in mind when interacting with others so YOU don’t pass it on as well. Two wrongs don’t make a right…

If you’re trying to prevent a cold you can try and ‘blocker’, Boots has the Nasal Guard Cold & Flu Block here which blocks air-borne allergens which develop cold & flu symptoms. If it’s too late there’s the Lemsip Max Cold and Flu.

How long does a cold last?

Most colds will clear up usually within 10 days.

By jumping on top of symptoms as soon as they emerge with the above remedies, you’re more likely to recover faster.

If, after two weeks, you’re still not seeing signs of improvement, make an appointment with your doctor.

Natural remedies

You’ve probably heard many of the old wives tales or your gran has given you her best tips to banish a cold, but here are a few sure fire ways that have stood the test of time.

  • Salt Water
  • Vapor Rub
  • Humidity
  • Warm bath

Salt Water

Sea salt (Image: iStockphoto)

You’ve probably tried this one before, but gargling with salt water is a good way to prevent infection as well as decrease symptoms once ill. It eases throat pain and loosens the mucus. Just dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Then swish it around your mouth and throat before spitting it out.

Vapor Rub

Good old Vix is what most people know and use, but any rub can ease your pain. It opens the air passages and eases congestion, reduces coughing and improves your sleep. You can get Vix here.

If you have a young child this can be a good option if you want to avoid medication.

Humidity

The environment you’re in is also important. If you are in a dry environment it can spread disease more. Flu and cold viruses thrive in dry settings.

If you increase the humidity you can also reduce inflammation in your nasal cavities, making it easier to breathe.

Add a dehumifier to your room or try or home made version by warming water, leaning over the bowl and covering your head with a towel. Add eucalyptus to help ease symptoms.

Amazon has the Pro Breeze as it’s top choice for dehumidifiers – you can get it here. For a cheaper option try the UniBond.

Warm Bath

Treat yourself

A nice easy option. If it’s a child, give them a warm bath and sponge them down. It can work for adults too. Add epsom salt and baking soda to reduce any aches, or essential oils to soothe.

What to eat

1. Chicken soup

(Image: Getty Images)

This is definitely right up there. Your mum or dad has probably made you a batch when you’ve been ill and you’ve gulped it down without question. Research shows that a chicken soup with vegetables, whether from a can or homemade, does help.

It slows the movement of neutrophils around your body. They’re the common type of white blood cell that helps you protect your body from infection. If they move slowly they are more concentrated where you need them – and you heal quicker.

2. Ginger

Fresh ginger may be helpful (Image: Photographer’s Choice)

There’s scientific proof that ginger, if only a few slices in boiling water, helps sooth a cold.

It can keep feelings of nausea at bay – so is used during pregnancy too.

Just one gram of ginger can “alleviate clinical nausea of diverse causes” according to a study.

3. Garlic

We mentioned it earlier, but garlic shouldn’t be underestimated.

It has allicin, which may have antimicrobial properties. Adding garlic to your diet helps cut down cold symptoms.

It can also prevent you getting ill to start with.

4. Honey

Honey (Image: Getty)

Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Honey is also a cold suppressant.

Ten grams of honey at bedtime reduces the severity of cough symptoms.

Don’t give honey to a child younger than one year’s old though as it has botulinum spores. While harmless to adults, children can’t fight them off.

5. Echinacea

The herb and root has been used for thousands of years. It has flavonoids in it, which boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.

6. Probiotics

Pro biotic drinks (Image: Getty)

These are friendly bacteria and yeast found in your body, food and supplements.

They help your gut and immune system, keeping them healthy, and, research suggests that they may also reduce your chance of getting sick.

Add yoghurt into your diet to get your probiotic fix.

7. Vitamin C

(Image: Ikon Images)

Everyone knows this one. Think oranges, limes, kiwis and grapefruits as well as leafy greens. Simply adding fresh lemon to tea with honey can help your cold.

How to Help Stop Sneezing: 4 Top Tips

A sneeze is no big deal, right? Sure, when it’s a single occurrence. But what about when you just can’t control those frequent sneezing attacks? Let’s take a look at why you may be sneezing and how over-the-counter medications can help to stop sneezing. There’s not one cure but these tips will help you stop sneezing so you can reclaim your nose.

Why am I sneezing?

Sneezing occurs when there is irritation in the mucus membranes of the nose and throat. A sneeze is simply a sudden, forceful burst of air through the nose and mouth. While it can definitely be annoying, sneezing is rarely a sign of a serious problem. Here is what causes all those achoos:

  • Allergies to pollen, mold, dander, and dust (hay fever)

  • The common cold or flu.

How can I stop sneezing?

1. It’s a good idea to avoid exposure to whatever is causing the allergic reaction.

  • Change your furnace filters

  • Don’t have pets in the house if you’re allergic to animal dander

  • Travel to areas with low pollen counts

  • Wash linens in very hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill dust mites

  • Vacuum and dust frequently

2. If dry air is irritating your mucus membrane, it can induce sneezing attacks. It’s often an issue in very dry climates or in other areas during wintertime when the radiator is constantly running. When that’s the case, using a good humidifier, especially at night, can help you stop sneezing.

3. On the other hand, too much moisture in the air can bother the sinuses and cause sneezing. A dehumidifier or air purifier can help clear the air and help you stop sneezing. If you detect a musty scent in your home (it’s often obvious in basements), it could be a sign you have mold. There are many causes of mold so be sure to get your house checked. In some cases, you may need to move out of a home with a mold spore problem.

4. Sneezing can often be a symptom of an illness like the cold or flu. Usually, sneezing will go away once you heal. If you are sick, take good care of yourself! Stay hydrated, get lots of rest, and try some powerful cold remedies.

Gesundheit! Now that you know how to stop sneezing, you’ll be able to start feeling like yourself again soon!

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Houston ENT and Allergy Blog

The sneeze. It’s one of your body’s most powerful methods of defense, but it can leave you feeling more than a little helpless when sneezing seems to take over and you can’t seem to stop.

No matter what the cause of your need to sneeze may be, it is an automatic response you can’t stop by force of will. When one is coming on, the only thing you can do it roll with it. But, why do you need to sneeze?

If you’re wondering “Why do I sneeze all the time?” or what the causes of frequent sneezing may be, you’ve come to the right place. This article explores what sneezes are, the reasons you sneeze, and what causes them.

What is a Sneeze?

Forbes describes sneezes as the body’s natural response to clear irritants from the nose and sinuses. Irritants in this area trigger involuntary convulsions in the airway that expel speeds at surprising speeds of between 35 and 40 miles per hour.

The less-than-desirable part of sneezing involves the spewing of

  • phlegm

  • saliva

  • bacteria

  • and microbes

from your nose and/or mouth. While that is kind of gross to the average person, there is something neat to know about sneezing. It offers your nose an opportunity to “reboot.”

That’s because sneezing expels things that are irritating the passageway with such force that little gets left behind. This means your nose is back to normal and able to perform its intended function of keeping certain things from moving past the nasal passages to cause problems with your health.

Some people sneeze in twos or threes. That’s because the particles the sneeze is working to expel didn’t all make it out with the first sneeze. When this happens, two or even three sneezes in a row may occur. Sometimes even more.

Ultimately, sneezing is a response from your body to irritation in the lining of your nose. It’s something that you can’t control, and probably shouldn’t. In fact, going back to the Forbes article, trying to prevent or suppress your sneeze can have devastating consequences.

One man damaged his pharynx by trying to prevent a sneeze by pinching his nose and holding his mouth shut, leading to a one week stay in the hospital while the tear to his pharynx healed enough so that he could eat and drink without the food or liquid leaking out of his pharynx. What advice did the doctors give upon leaving the hospital? Don’t pinch your nose when sneezing.

Reasons for Sneezing

You don’t have to sneeze all the time to wonder about the various reasons for frequent sneezing. The one thing you need to understand about sneezing is that there is always a reason behind the sneeze. This isn’t something that happens for no reason at all, there is always some sort of trigger. If you’ve suddenly started sneezing all the time, you may need to consider that one of the following has occurred.

  • A cold is imminent. Sometimes sneezing is the first harbinger of a cold in your future. Other symptoms you may experience with colds include watery eyes, runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throats, coughs, fevers, or chills. Unfortunately, these colds can happen at any time of the year and it is one of the most basic reasons for sneezing.

  • Bright lights or sunlight. Approximately 18 – 35 percent of the population suffers from a condition known as photic sneeze reflex, or PSR, autosomal dominant compulsive helio-ophthalmic outbursts of sneezing syndrome, or ACHOO, according to Scientific American. People who have these conditions often sneeze by reflex upon leaving an area of dim light and entering one that is brightly lit.

  • Exposure to certain spices. Pepper is one that is notorious for causing people to sneeze, but it isn’t the only one that can trigger this particular reaction. More importantly, it’s not just the result of inhaling spices either. Eating certain spices may trigger a sneezing fit, especially when consuming spicy foods.

  • Extreme temperature changes. This type of sneezing typically goes away once your body adjusts to the new temperature.

  • Pet dander allergies. Sometimes these are discovered as an adult because you’re only allergic to specific types of pet dander or because you weren’t exposed to pet dander as a child – at least not long enough to develop symptoms of the allergy.

  • Second-hand smoke. If you find that you are suddenly sneezing all the time or even if you’re sneezing only when someone nearby is smoking, this could be the culprit.

  • You are suffering from adult-onset seasonal allergies. These allergies often do not present themselves until you’re an adult. Sneezing, along with coughing, wheezing, and red eyes are common symptoms when these common allergens hit the Houston area.

Of course, there are other things that can make you sneeze, too. WebMD points out some of the reasons, a few of the more surprising reasons people sneeze are listed below:

  • Having an orgasm.

  • Working out.

  • Plucking your eyebrows.

  • Tickling your nose.

One interesting thing the WebMD article points out is that blessing someone after sneezing stems from an ancient superstition that the soul would escape the body through a sneeze and blessing it prevents your soul from escaping and the devil from entering your body. Who knew?

Of course, common irritants can also trigger a sneeze. These include any of the following:

  • Dust

  • Cold air

  • Pollution

  • Pollen

  • Allergens

This is in addition, of course, to irritants listed above, such as pet dander, sunlight, and spices.

Causes of Sneezing

Sneezes are mechanical reflexes that occur within the body. They are caused by irritants that trigger this response. In some cases, they are the result of upper respiratory infections or allergic reactions in which the sneeze is responsible for removing excessive nasal mucus.

It doesn’t require a lot of irritation or stimulation to trigger a sneeze. Once the receptors in the nasal lining have been stimulated the impulse travels via the fifth cranial nerve where the sneeze reflex is triggered.

When you sneeze, the air travels fast, up to 40 miles per hour on average, with some expelling from your body at rates of up to 100 miles per hour. The most amazing part of this, though, is that the entire process occurs within seconds making the force of the sneeze even more dramatic.

One thing you may not know is that most people do close their eyes while sneezing. While it is not necessary, as per the old wive’s tale, it is something most people do by reflex.

Because so many people sneeze as a result of colds, viruses, etc. one of the most important things you can do is avoid sneezing into your hands where you are likely to spread the germs to other surfaces you touch. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you sneeze into a tissue when possible and dispose of the tissue in a wastebasket. If a tissue is unavailable, they suggest sneezing into your upper sleeve rather than your hands and washing your hands with soap and water as quickly as possible after sneezing.

There are many myths about sneezing that should be dispelled. For instance, your heart does not stop when you sneeze. Your eyes will not pop out of your head when you sneeze with your eyes open (though most people do reflexively close their eyes when sneezing). Thankfully, your soul will not depart your body when you sneeze if you aren’t promptly blessed afterward.

The more you know about sneezes, the better prepared you are to address potential problems and seek practical solutions if they are becoming an interruption to your normal routine or a healthcare concern. Hopefully, this guide has helped to shed some light on what might be causing you to sneeze.

How to Stop the Sneezing Madness

If you’re sneezing what seems like “all of the time”, you may be suffering from allergies. give us a call here at Houston ENT & Allergy at 281-649-7000 or request an appointment. We can determine the specific allergens that are causing you to sneeze and prescribe the allergy treatment to get you through your day as sneeze-free as prudent and possible.

By Patricia Leonard MD

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