While sneezing is common when you have a cold or the flu, it will also occur with allergies or for no real reason at all. Everyone sneezes though some may be affected by it more than others, however, no matter what, it is simply one thing that we have no actual control over. Aside from allergies, germs and other common irritants, why do we sneeze? Read on to learn more about the reason behind sneezing.

What Make Us Sneeze?

Sneezing is often caused by an irritation to the mucous membranes that are inside the throat and nose. While the nose helps clean bacteria and dirt from the air we breathe in, these particles can become trapped in the mucus which irritates the membranes. Some of the most common triggers of sneezing can include:

  • Cold or flu viruses

  • Allergens

  • Irritants to the nasal passage

  • Corticosteroids inhaled from nasal sprays

  • Drug withdrawal

Sneezing caused by allergies

When foreign organisms enter the body, the body reacts by sneezing. It is the immune system's job to help keep your body protected from foreign invaders that can be harmful, like bacteria. Allergies are a sign that your immune system recognizes these harmful organisms as a threat. Sneezing from allergies is your body's way of trying to ride these organisms from its system.

Sneezing caused by infections

There are over 200 various viruses that can cause infections like the cold and flu. These viruses can cause you to sneeze, and the most common one is the rhinovirus.

Additional causes for sneezing

  • Injury to the nose

  • Withdrawals from opioid narcotic or other drugs

  • Inhaling dust or pepper

  • Inhaling colder air

Nasal sprays can also cause sneezing and are often used to help reduce inflammation from allergies. Why do we sneeze from nasal sprays? The corticosteroid found in nasal sprays is often the reason people sneeze after using a nasal spray.

What causes people to sneeze in succession?

People do not typically sneeze just once and instead will sneeze multiple times in a quick succession. This has a lot to do with what causes you to sneeze or irritates the nasal passage in the first place. Often it takes two or more sneezes to rid the irritant from the nasal membranes.

More Interesting Facts About Sneezing  


Interesting things that can be related with sneezing

  • Working out. When you workout, this can cause you to sneeze. When doing exercises, your nose and mouth are likely to dry out due to hyperventilating. This, in turn, triggers your nose to begin to drip, which can result in sneezing.

  • Grooming your eyebrows. When you pluck your eyebrows, you can irritate the nerves in your face that reach the nasal passage. When the nerves signal pain, this can trigger you to sneeze.

  • Sunlight. Some people inherit a trait that causes them to sneeze when they are out in the bright sunshine. 

  • Sex. It may sound strange but there are a number of people that sneeze after sex. The part of the nervous system that sends pleasure signals when you have sex can also send off signals that trigger sneezing.


The speed of your sneeze

When some people sneeze, their sneeze can travel 100 miles per hour. On average, however, most people's sneezes travel from 30 to 35 miles per hour.


Your sneeze can reach a wide area

Wonder why do we sneeze and why should you cover your mouth? While many know this is to prevent the spread of the germs that escape from sneezing, did you know the germs can spread up to 30 feet away from you when you sneeze? Some may argue the germs you sneeze out only travel as far as a five-foot radius, but that is still a good reason to try to keep these germs to yourself.


Don't hold your sneezes in

While you think you are being polite and holding in your sneeze on some occasion, this can actually cause injury. Holding in your sneezes can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to break, can weaken the blood vessel found in the brain, can cause problems with your diaphragm and can eve cause you to rupture your eardrums. When it comes to sneezing, it is much better to let it out than keeping it in.


Sneezing causes you to close your eyes

Try as you might, but you can't keep your eyes open when you sneeze. Closing the eyes when you sneeze is an involuntary reflex that that is a message sent from the brain in preparation for the sneeze.


People aren't the only creatures that sneeze

While many animals sneeze, the iguana sneezes the most out of all the animals. This is because sneezing is the way they get rid of salts from their body which is produced from their digestive process.


You can't sleep and sneeze at the same time

If you ever wondered why do we sneeze in our sleep, there is no answer since we don't. Just like the rest of the body, when you are asleep, the nerves that trigger you to sneeze are also resting and asleep. So you never have to worry about any embarrassing sneezing episode while you are getting your beauty sleep.


Please Log In or add your name and email to post the comment.