Here's Exactly What's Going On When You Sneeze

Women’s Health set out to answer the age-old question: What actually is a sneeze, and what causes it? Well, besides it being annoying, a sneeze is basically the body’s response to a potential danger. “It works to expel a foreign body,” explains ENT and Allergy Associates’ Alexis Jackman, MD. “The sneeze is trying to get you back to your normal state — to reboot your system.”

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So why is it that sometimes, you can feel a sneeze coming, but can’t actually get that sweet release? Dr. Jackman says that's because “you don’t have enough stimulation to cause a sneeze.” You can make yourself sneeze, however by “increas[ing] the stimulus,” she adds. This can be done by sniffing pollen or by humming, which "vibrates the nasal hair and triggers the same neural pathway," says Dr. Jackman.

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And, if you are a person who sneezes in multiples, don’t worry. “Some people naturally take longer before they reset to the state where their body stops sending the neurological signal,” Dr. Jackman concludes.

Click through to Women’s Health for more about sneezes. (Women’s Health)

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