Curiosities: Why do we sneeze?

By Eddy Montilla.

SNEEZE

Last night, I had pizza for dinner. I put some black pepper on it and… Atchoo!! I sneezed immediately. Then, I wondered why we sneeze, my pizza got cold, but at least I could get some answers that I would love to share with you.

     A reflex is a movement or action that your body makes naturally in response to something and, in general, we are talking about something that we do without thinking and having much control of it. For example, the quick movement of your eyes to avoid the entry of a particle or an insect inside is a reflex that prevents your eyes from being hurt. A sneeze is also a reflex action, that is, a body’s natural defense mechanism. Whenever pollutant substances, dust, pollen or any other irritant substances enter into your body, your brain raises the alarm to indicate the presence of unpleasant elements, and your body reacts with a sneeze to try to remove it from your body. Other reasons are associated to the idea of clearing your nasal passage and “reset your system”, so that everything can work better.

     Irritant elements can also be found in some food in the form of chemical elements, which explains why pepper makes us sneeze. People usually sneeze one or two at most, but if you do this action several times, you should be interested in knowing that the number of sneezes can vary in accordance with the effort needed to get rid of the irritant substances out of your body. Sometimes, a simple sneeze is enough to get this task done, but sometimes it takes two, three or more. For example, just right now, believe it or not, I sneezed twice! Life is as strange as this curiosity, isn’t it?

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