- by Christina Richardson, PhD.
This morning while getting the paper I sneezed not once, not twice, but three times. I always sneeze three times. It felt good to let the sneezes out. In the house I have to hold the sneezes in.
It does not matter where I am or where Robbie (fellow journalist and Shetland sheepdog) is when I do a full sneeze. He comes at me like a runaway freight train, barking, leaping and shoving. I wonder what he thinks I am saying.
My doctor told me that holding a sneeze in is not a good idea. She told me that blood vessels in my eyes can break, my eardrum could rupture, or blood vessels in my brain could be affected. From now on I will run for it and sneeze away.
Body, Mind, Spirit
- We sneeze to reset the environment in our nasal passages. Little cilia, which are tiny hairs, beat faster and cause the sneezing.
- Many things cause us to sneeze, like bright light, pepper, colds, allergies, and even temperature changes.
- It is normal to sneeze in multiples to push the irritants out.
- Your eyes close when you sneeze, in an involuntary reflex.
- Your heart does not skip a beat when you sneeze, although it may slow just a little due to the deep breath taken before the sneeze.
- Sneezes can travel up to 100 miles an hour and germs can be spread out as far as 30 feet away. So cover your nose when you belt out a sneeze.
Click here for additional sneeze factoids.
The video below explains the science behind the sneezing mechanism.
The NICE, or sensitive, sneezer: These people are warm and friendly and their most important priority is their relationship with others. They tend to have a single “achoo” and turn their heads away when they sneeze.
BE RIGHT sneezers are careful and accurate. They take their time, play by the rules and wish others would do so. They are the most likely to cover their noses when sneezing.
GET IT DONE sneezers are fast, decisive and to the point. They are leaders and get things done. These folks often hold in a sneeze but when they let go it is a loud one.
THE ENTHUSIASTIC sneezer is charismatic, imaginative and open to people. When they sneeze it is usually big or multiple.
In the study of 547 people Ms. Wood found that sneezing matched personalities. Some of the respondents added their own type of sneezers: the big bad wolf, the tease, spray gun, freeze tag, hand as handkerchief, the how high can you count sneeze, the cartoon sneeze, the coughing sneeze, and others. The article goes in to traditions, why we say “bless you,” and some celebrity sneezers.
Sneezing is one of those automatic things we do and don’t do much thinking about. Maybe now you will.