“Bless You”! Yes, this is the commonest thing spoken when a person sneezes. Sneezing is forceful expulsion of air. When a sneeze comes out air is breathed out from the lungs passing through nose and mouth. Sneezing occurs due to irritation caused in the nasal tract. When a sneeze gets blocked there is a very uncomfortable feeling. Sneezing results from exposure to dust, cold and viral infection. There are several scientific facts associated with sneezing. A sneeze coming out of the nose and mouth is known to have a force of more than 100 miles per hour. Sneezing sounds funny but actually takes a lot of body energy to expel it. A sneeze should never be suppressed. Forced sneezing should not be done as this can cause a fractured rib! Since ancient time, many myths and beliefs have grown about sneezing. Steer through this article to learn some interesting facts about sneezing. 

Facts About Sneezing 

  • Sneezing is scientifically known as ‘sternutation’.
  • A sneeze comes out from the mouth with a very high force often exceeding 100 miles per hour. An official record of 165 km/hour has been made by a sneezing person.
  • Sneezing can fracture a rib if it is blown too hard.
  • It is advisable not to suppress a sneeze. The blood vessels inside the head and neck region can rupture due to the suppression.
  • Donna Griffiths, from Worcestershire, England, holds the record for sneezing the maximum number of times for a period - 978 consecutive days.
  • People sneezing due to the effect of sunlight are known as ‘photics’. These are people whose sneezing aggravate with continued exposure to sunlight. This is a hereditary sensitivity reaction towards sunlight.
  • While sleeping sneezing do not occur. Nerves responsible for sneezing relax during the sleeping hours.
  • Inventor Thomas Edison had used his movie camera to film the sneezing action.
  • “Bless You” is usually said soon after a person sneezes. This is believed to be an ancient practice when people used to believe that the soul escaped from the nose. In order to stop the devils from taking away the souls ‘bless you’ was widely said.
  • When you sneeze, your heart stops for a millisecond.
  • It is a bad habit to use one’s hand when sneezing. Using a towel or a handkerchief is a better option to stop the germs from affecting others.
  • Pollen and pepper can initiate sneezing.
  • Plucking one’s eyebrow initiates a sneeze. Rubbing the eyes or plucking the pimples can also cause sneezing.
  • “ACHOO” as we colloquially call it, is actually a sneezing syndrome - Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst.
  • Multiple sneezes are often termed as “Snatiation”. This usually happens after taking a big meal.
  • Certain types of sneezing like “Photic” and “Snatiation” are hereditary.
  • Sneezing can occur due to cold air, certain types of pungent smells and temperature fluctuations.
  • Sneezing will always make the eyes close. You can never sneeze with your eyes open.
  • Sneezing effectively increases immunity! A sneeze actually keeps the body protected from viruses and bacteria. Alien elements entering the body are expelled through sneezes. Brain signalling lets out the sneeze through the “sneeze centre” when some foreign particles try to enter the body.

Sneezing has always intrigued people. Knowing the facts about sneezing will surely add up to the fun.