Sneezing and it’s cause has been one fascinating subject for a long time. You can feel your nose tickling as you hold your breath before letting out a stream of bacteria containing air.
Sneezing a lot of the time is a reflex action that helps the nose to get rid of irritants such as pollen and dust. It is majorly the body’s way of getting rid of unwanted substances that can be harmful to the lungs.
However, there’s a whole lot more about this simple reflex action that a lot of us don’t know about. Here are 6 Facts about sneezing you never knew were true.
You Can’t Keep Your Eyes Open When You Sneeze
No matter how strong or forceful a sneeze is, you can’t keep your eyes open while you let out the flow.
It’s basically a reflex to keep your eyes closed when you sneeze because the nerves in your nose are connected to the nerves in your eyes and when you sneeze, the stimulation usually causes you to blink.
Sex Can Make You Sneeze Too
We bet this one surprises you too but some people actually sneeze a lot after having sex. Scientists are not really sure why this happens but most believe that there is a link between sneezing after sex and the parasympathetic nervous system.
This system is responsible for regulating digestion, the tissues and fluids connected with arousal and the heart rate.
The Sun Can Trigger A Sneeze
Some people have a condition known as autosomal dominant compulsive helio-ophthalmic outbursts represented by the acronym “ACHOO” and is characterised by sneezing when you stare at the sun.
The condition is not that rare and it may also trigger sneezing in certain people when they stare at very bright lights.
Researchers estimate that this condition affects between 10 to 30 percent of the world’s population and as so far been known not to cause any harm to sufferers.
Some scientists believe that ACHOO occurs as a result of a left over trait during evolution while others believe it is an anomaly in the parasympathetic nervous system.
A study conducted in Switzerland in 2010 found that the brains of people with this condition is easily excited as opposed to that of other people and this may also be linked to the characteristic body quirks of sufferers.
Sneezing Doesn’t Make Your Heart Skip A Beat
Sneezing does not make your heart beat slow down or put a stop to it. The first thing you do when you feel a tickle in your nose is to breath deeply and attempt to hold it in.
The breath you took in helps to tighten the muscles of your chest and increases the pressure in your lungs. These help to reduce blood flow to your heart for a moment thereby lowering your blood pressure and increasing your heart rate.
The moment you let out your sneeze, your blood pressure increases and goes back to normal while your heart rate goes down. The sudden drop In your heart rate makes you feel like your heart stopped beating for a second but it only slowed down for most people.
The Velocity of A Sneeze Can Be Up To 100 Meters per Second
A research conducted in Harvard University found that the velocity of a sneeze can travel as fast as 100 meters per second which seems to be a bit over exaggerated. A research team in Singapore found that sneezes tend to travel at a speed of 10 miles per hour.
More so, body frames and sizes seem to have an effect on how fast a sneeze can travel as people with bigger body frames will most likely produce a more forceful sneeze than slimmer people.
You Can’t Sneeze While You Sleep
There’s a reason why you can’t sneeze while you sleep and that’s because when you lie down, the mucous membranes in your nose tend to swell.
This makes you more sensitive to the dust particles moving in and out of your nostrils. When you however Dall into deep sleep, all of the muscles in your body except the ones that control your eyes fall into a paralysed sleeping state.
The muscles that expand and contract your nostrils to allow a sneeze also fall asleep and you can’t let out a sneeze.
Even when you’re not sleeping deeply, the neurons responsible for causing a sneeze are still suppressed. As such, it is possible to sneeze during shallow sleep but it’s very much unlikely.