What is Sneezing?

Sneezing is a natural body mechanism. It is also called sternutation – its your body’s way of removing the irritation from your nose. When foreign particles or sufficient external stimulants pass through the nasal hairs to reach the nasal mucosa, sneezing occurs.

When the tiny hairs inside your nose gets a tickle, a message is sent to a special part of your brain called the sneeze center. The sneeze center then sends an alarm to various muscles of the body that have to work together to create the amazingly complicated process that we call the sneeze. The various muscles involved are the abdominal muscles, diaphragm, chest muscles, vocal cord muscles as also the back of your throat. Did you know that eyelid muscles also react to the stimulus. The next time you sneeze, please observe your eyes closing.

While generally harmless in healthy individuals, sneezes spread disease through the infectious aerosol droplets, 40,000 such droplets can culminate into a sneeze. A sneeze can send tiny particles racing out of your nose at 100 miles per hour. Isn’t it amazing.

Common English onomatopoeias for the sneeze sound are achoo, atchoo, achew, and atishoo, with the first syllable corresponding to the sudden intake of air, and the last to the sound of the sneeze.

Some famous quotes on sneezing are:

Be able to sneeze without sounding ridiculous. That means neither stifling yourself or spraying your immediate vicinity – By Merilyn Vos Savant

Do you know how helpless you feel if you have a full cup of coffee in your hand and you start to sneeze? – By Jean Kerr


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