Sneezing is the body’s way of removing irritants. It’s not painful or socially unacceptable. It’s even annoying – if you do it occasionally.
Sneezing is your body’s way of cleaning out the passages and discharging irritating particles like dust pollen. But when you have a cold ar allergies, non-stop sneezing can make your nasal passages sore and irritated. Some people even get nosebleeds from non-stop sneezing. People with allergies sneeze because they release irritant chemicals like histamine into the nose when they come into contact with allergens they are sensitive to, such as dust mite, animals or pollen.
Sneezing occurs when a particle (or sufficient particles) passes through the nasal hairs and reaches the nasal mucosa. This triggers the production of histamines, which reach the nerve cells in the nose, which then send a signal to the brain to initiate the sneeze, who relates the initial signal and creates a large opening of the nasal cavity, resulting in a powerful release of air and bioparticles. The reason behind the powerful nature of a sneeze is its involvement of not simply the nose and mouth, but numerous organs of the upper body – it is a reflex response that involves the muscles of the face, throat, and chest.
Sneezes are capable of spreading disease through the potentially infectious aerosol droplets that they can expel, which generally range from 0.5 to 5 Âµm in diameter. About 40,000 such droplets can be produced by a single sneeze. The speed of this release has been the source of much speculation, with the most conservative estimates placing it around 150 kilometers/hour (42 meters/second) or roughly 95 mph (135 feet/second), and the highest estimates -such as the JFK Health World Museum in Barrington, Illinois- which propose a speed as fast as 85% of the speed of sound, corresponding to approximately 1045 kilometers per hour (290 meters/second) or roughly 650 mph (950 feet/second).
In certain individuals, sneezing can also be triggered by sudden exposure to bright light, particularly that of the Sun, as well the customary irritation of the mucosa â€“ a response known as the photic sneeze reflex.
A somewhat unusual alternative trigger of uncontrollable bursts of sneezing in particular individuals is the fullness of the stomach immediately after a large meal. This is known as snatiation and is regarded a medical disorder passed along genetically as an autosomal dominant trait.
In recent years, studies have shown that stifling or holding back sneezes can cause damage to the sinuses as well as the inner ear. This is due to the back-flow of the significant air pressure of a sneeze, results of which could be very painful. Possible consequences include tinnitus, reduced high-frequency hearing, and in extreme cases, rupturing of the ear drum.
Traditional Responses to a Sneeze:
In English-speaking countries, a common response to a sneeze by those around it is “God bless you“, or more commonly just “Bless you”. The origins and purpose of this tradition are unknown, and several competing explanations have been proposed over time, with the majority focusing on the idea of preventing the soul from departing one’s body. Today, it is said mostly in the spirit of good manners. But otheres claim that it actually comes from Medieval times in England when a sneeze would be a symptom of a deadly virus (which were common in those ages), thus “God Bless You” as a wish to save one from death.
In various other cultures, words referencing health or good health are used instead of “Bless you”.
In German, Gesundheit ([to your] “Health”) is occasionally said after a sneeze.
In Dutch, one usually says Gezondheid (literally translated as “health”) or Proost (which means “cheers”, see below).
In French, after the first sneeze, one says Ã tes souhaits which means “to your desires”. If the same person sneezes again, the second response is Ã tes amours, which means “to your loves.”
In Italian, one says Salute, which means “[to your] health”.
In Spanish, one says Salud, which means “[to your] health” or Jesus.
In Portuguese, one says SaÃºde, which means “[to your] health”.
In Finnish, Terveydeksi, which also means “[to your] health”
In Norway, Sweden and Denmark, one says Prosit, Latin for “may it advantage (you)”.
In Turkish, a sneezer is always told to Ã‡ok YaÅŸa, i.e. “Live Long”, which in turn receives a response of either Sen De GÃ¶r (“[and I hope that] you see it”) or Hep Beraber (“all together”). This is to indicate the sneezer’s wish that the person wishing them a long life also has a long life so they can “live long” “all together”. For more polite circles, one might say GÃ¼zel YaÅŸayÄ±n, i.e. “[May You] Live Beautifully”, which may be countered with a Siz de GÃ¶rÃ¼n (“[And may You] witness it”).
In Romanian, one says SÄƒnÄƒtate (“health”) or Noroc (“Luck”).
In Russian, the appropriate response is Ð±ÑƒÐ´ÑŒ Ð·Ð´Ð¾Ñ€Ð¾Ð²(Ð°/Ñ‹) which means “be healthy.”
In Armenia, one says Õ¡Õ¼Õ¸Õ²Õ»Õ¸Ö‚Õ©ÕµÕ¸Ö‚Õ¶ (aroghjootyoon).
In Hebrew, one says ×œ×‘×¨×™××•×ª (labri’ut/livri’ut), meaning “for (the) health”.
In Arabic, (Jordanian dialect) the response is ØµÙŽØØ© (Sahha), which has probably evolved from ØµÙØØ© (Sihha) meaning “health”. Also, one may say Ù†Ø´ÙˆØ© (Nashweh) which means “ecstasy”. The response is either thank you Ø´ÙƒØ±Ø§ (Shukran) or ØªØ³Ù„Ù… (Tislam/Taslam) which means “may you be kept safe”.
In Vietnamese language, the response is traditionally Sá»‘ng lÃ¢u, i.e. “(Be) 100 years old” which, like “Bless You”, an abbreviation of “Wish you a long life of a hundred years.”
In Japan, a sneezer might apologize for the outburst, by saying ã™ã¿ã¾ã›ã‚“ (Sumimasen) or å¤±ç¤¼ã—ã¾ã—ãŸ (Shitsurei shimashita), meaning “excuse me”.
Common Causes of Sneezing
Allergy to pollen
Virus infections ( common cold )
Symptoms of Sneezing:
Some of the common symptoms of sneezing are :–
Natural home remedies for the treatment of sneezing:
Neutralize the problem with nettle :– This herbal remedy has been shown to ease inflammation in the nasal passages and help reduce congestion that can lead to sneezing. Same people make nettle teas, but an easier solution is to take nettle supplements, available at health food stores. Following the directions an the label, you can take them whenever your nose starts getting a little twitchy.
Pour a glass of orange juice :– Along with other citrus fruits and a variety of fruits and vegetables, orange juice is very rich in vitamin C, which may help relive sneezing by reducing the amount of histamine your body releases.
Put more vegetables on the menu :– Fruits and many vegetables are rich sources of bioflavonoids. These are natural chemicals, which, like vitamin C, can curtail the body’s production of sneeze-causing histamine.
Sneeze-proof your home :- Your best natural remedy against sneezing is to scrub your house clean of allergens. Doctors recommend vacuuming, mopping, and dusting as often as possible, which will help eliminate the dust that causes sneezing. It’s also a good idea to scour bathrooms and basements, which after harbor large amounts of sneeze-causing molds. You may want to wash rugs , pillows, and stuffed animals once a week to wash away allergy-causing particles before they cause problems.
Clean your mattresses and bedding :-Evidence has shown that microscopic skin flakes, called dander, often cause sneezing and other allergy symptoms. The best way to get rid of these particles is to wash your sheets and pillow cases once a week. Many people find that covering the mattress with a plastic cover and wiping it down once a week will also help stop sneezing.
Give your cat a bath :- Millions of people are allergic to cats – and, less often, to dogs. Studies have shown that washing your pet once a week can dramatically decrease the amount of sneeze-causing allergens that get into the air – and, of course, into your nose. At the very least you may want to keep your pets out of the bedroom. Spending even just eight hours a day away from their allergy-causing particles may help you sneeze less often the rest of the time.
Take an antihistamine :– These over-the-counter medicines are very effective at blocking your body’s production of histamine. You don’t want to take them all the time, but if your sneezing seems to be seasonal – as it often is in people with allergies – taking antihistamines during flare-ups will give you some much-needed relief.
Does the heart stop when we sneeze?
There is a common belief that the heart stops whenever we sneeze. It does not although it can feel like your heart changes beat. Positive pressure is created in the chest when we sneeze (or cough). Known as the Valsalva manoeuvre, it is this positive chest pressure that can create the myth that the heart stops.
Are sneezes life threatening?
When we sneeze the protective reflex of the eyes means that we squeeze our eyes shut. Theoretically then it is possible that sneezing can be life threatening. For example, driving at speed and sneezing, flying an aircraft or standing next to someone firing a gun.
When to Contact a Medical Professional :
Call your provider if sneezing adversely affects your life and home remedies do not work.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose
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