Thursday, February 18, 2016

Anatomy of a Sneeze

By Rose Kreller of Midwest Medical Waste, Inc.

Sneezing is an important part of our immune system as it clears the nose of bacteria and viruses. A sneeze can travel almost 100 mph and send 100,000 germs flying through the air. What actually happens when we sneeze?

Sneezing begins with a tickling sensation in the nerve endings of your nasal passages that sends a message to your brain. This message is that the nose needs to rid itself of something irritating the nasal lining.

Humans first take a deep breath and hold it right before a sneeze. This tightens the chest wall muscles. Throat muscles then quickly relax. This allows air, saliva and mucous to be forced out of the mouth and nose as you sneeze. Mechanisms for halting a sneeze include pinching the end of your nose and breathing through your mouth.

Some interesting sneeze facts:
  • Plucking eyebrows may set off a nerve in your face that supplies your nasal passages and may trigger a sneeze.
  • Most people don’t sneeze in their sleep as nerves are often at rest also.
  • In non-humans, the iguana sneezes more often than any other animal.

Midwest Medical Waste, Inc.
PO Box 416
Manhattan, KS 66505
Office: 785-539-MEDI (6334)
Toll Free: 855-631-MEDI (6334)

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