More often than not, it comes from out of the blue. With only a second’s notice to brace yourself … achoo! Instinctively you close you’re eyes and the sneeze issues forth at speed.
It’s such a forceful reaction one has to wonder :
- If you had managed to keep your eyes open – would they have popped out?
- What causes this outburst?
- How powerful is it really?
What is a Sneeze ?
Sneezing is a simple defense mechanism your body deploys, much like snot. to protect itself from harmful particles, bacteria, or viruses that may enter your nasal passages. With a forceful blast of air from the lungs, your body is attempting to eject these foreign invaders.
Anatomy of a Sneeze
Even a simple particle of dust. pollen, or pepper can stimulate the nasal hairs and lining of the nasal cavity, which activates the release of something called histamines. Histamines are chemicals generated by your immune system which, when stimulated, aggravate the nerve cells in your nose and fire a signal to the brain. They also cause fluid to escape from the surrounding area, leading to a runny nose. Which is why allergy medication and/or cold and sinus drugs often contain antihistamine in an attempt to suppress these symptoms.
stimulating the nasal hairs and lining of the nasal cavity … activates the release of something called histamines … they also cause fluid to escape from the surrounding area
The signal sent to your brain travels through the trigeminal nerve network, which controls most parts of your face-eyes and eyelids, forehead, scalp, cheeks. teeth, chin, jaw, and even your outer ear.
This amazing network of nerves prompts the “sneeze center” in the lower brain to set a sneeze in motion.
Your brain quickly communicates the signal to a team of muscle groups in your face, throat, and chest, which reflexively respond and work together to produce a sneeze. eliminating whatever is irritating your nasal cavity.
So How Powerful is it?
These gargantuan gusts of wind travel around 30 to 40 mph on average!
Could it Pop Your Eye Balls Out?
But don’t worry, this isn’t powerful enough to stop your heart, or pop an eyeball out of its socket. as some myths suggest.
the action of closing your eyelids during a sneeze has little to do with securing them in place and more to do with a reflex.
Though the contraction of muscles in your chest does temporarily constrict your blood flow, your heart doesn’t stop beating.
Similarly, the action of closing your eyelids during a sneeze has little to do with securing them in place and more to do with a reflex. Since the nerve network being stimulated also controls the eyelids, you naturally close them.
So although a sneeze can sometimes feel like a spontaneous and unintentional full-body workout. it’s just your body’s way of cleansing your nose the best way it knows. (pun intended😉 )