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Sneezing is a mechanism by which your body gets rid of irritants from your nose and throat. It is a semi-autonomous action that helps in expelling air and foreign particles from the lungs. Sneezing helps in cleaning the nasal cavity. It’s not something you should worry about.

Let’s explore some facts about sneezing...

The sneeze reflex: How does it work?

Sneezing is a spasmodic expulsion of air from the lungs via the nose and mouth. This happens when the nasal mucosa is irritated through some foreign particles.

The entire process of sneezing is a consequence of co-ordination of the nerve signals and the brain. Histamines are released when the nerve cells are irritated, which send signals to the brain to induce sneezing. The brain then relays signals to the muscles of the pharynx and the trachea to expel the foreign particles with a lot of force and power by opening the nasal passage and mouth.

This is how sneeze reflex occurs. The medical terminology for sneeze reflex is sternutation.

What causes sneezing?

Sneezing can occur under many circumstances. It usually occurs when dirt and debris irritates the sensitive mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

Other reasons that can lead to sneezing include:


Strong smell of spices and chilies, fumes or odors that can also lead to watery eyes.


Any foreign particle like pollutants, smoke, pollen, pet dander, hair, etc. if gets into your nose can trigger sneezing.

Light and sun light

Looking at bright glaring light and sunlight.


If you are allergic to something, you are bound to sneeze because it’s a natural mechanism of your system to get rid of the allergen.

Inflammation of nasal passages

Inflammations of nasal passage cause sneezing.


You are more likely to sneeze while suffering from cold, cough and flu.

Diagnosis and treatment of sneezing

There is no particular diagnosis for sneezing. However, your doctor would consider checking the primary medical condition that results in sneezing.

The same theory applies in the treatment of sneezing. The infection and allergy would be treated possibly with antibiotics and antihistamines which will subsequently reduce sneezing.  

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How to control sneezing?

  • Know your triggers. Make sure you are not exposed to them.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while travelling to protect yourself from dust and pollution
  • Avoid using deodorants and sprays that make you sneeze
  • Try home remedies to get over cold and flu. You would also get considerable relief from continuous sneezing
  • Make sure your house is free from dust, termites, and cobwebs.

What to think about when you sneeze too much?

Sneezing is a mode of transmission of virus and bacteria. Furthermore, sneezing openly in public places, offices, etc. is undoubtedly a bad manner. Thus, cover your mouth with a tissue or handkerchief while sneezing to prevent spread of infection.

This was all about sneezing. Sneezing not a big issue as long as it does not cause problems with daily life. If you are unsure about the cause of your sneezing, call your doctor for advice.

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Written by: healthplus24,com team

Date last updated: February 10, 2015

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