SNEEZING



A sneeze is a sudden, forceful, involuntary burst of air through the nose and mouth.


Sneezing is caused by irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose or throat.
It can be very bothersome, but is generally not a sign of a serious problem.

Like burping and farting, sneezing is simply one of those necessities that can take one by surprise in a variety of awkward situations -- at rest or at work, or even in the throes of passion.
To most modern sneezers, it seems obvious that the primary function of the sneeze is to expel offending particles from the upper resperatory system, a cleansing mechanism. Likewise, ancient sneezers considered that the true function was to drive out evil spirits which had invaded the body -- more or less the same thing.
The sneeze occurs when the nerve endings of the mucous membrane of the nose are irritated. This irritation then stimulates your trigeminal nerve, sending impulses through the trigeminal ganglion to a set of neurons located in the brainstem that collectively are termed the "sneezing center". These neurons send new impulses along the facial nerve back to the nasal passages and the face, causing the nasal passages to secrete fluid and become congested.

The eyes may also tear. At the same time, the "sneezing center" also sends impulses to your respiratory muscles via the spinal cord. It is these impulses that create the deep inbreath and forceful outbreath, or the paroxysm of the sneeze itself. Meanwhile, the impulses travelling through the facial nerve happen to stimulate nerves which govern the reflex response we call the the blink. So, essentially, one message is sent, but two listeners receive it, and act on it. Hence the sneeze blink.



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