Sneezing is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in both humans and animals. It’s the act of expelling a burst of air through our nose and mouth. While this is a common reaction, many people don’t know why it happens.
Read on to learn more about sneezing.
Why Do We Sneeze?
Typically, sneezing happens when something infectious enters our nostrils. This could be a virus, bacteria, an allergen, or a chemical. Sneezing acts as a defense mechanism that expels these foreign particles from our bodies and clears our nostrils.
But this isn’t the only thing that causes sneezing. Unusual stimuli such as black pepper or chili pepper can irritate our nose and result in sneezing. They contain piperine and capsaicin, compounds that stimulate the nerve endings in our noses.
Sneezing can also be psychogenic. This means there is no physical irritant that causes it. It’s is still not fully understood why this happens, but scientists believe it occurs when we experience a strong emotion. The emotion triggers the brain, sending a signal to the nose and causing sneezing.
Why Do We Make Noise When Sneezing?
The “intensity” of sneezing is different for every person. Some people sneeze delicately, while others do it loudly.
The noise that follows the sneezing is a consequence of air rushing through our mouth and nose. The more air we breathe in before sneezing, the louder the sound.
Respect the Sneezing Etiquette
Although sneezing is often nothing more than a reflex, it can transmit viruses and bacteria. Remember to sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve to avoid spreading a respiratory infection. After sneezing, wash your hands properly or use a hand sanitizer.