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Why do we sneeze?
Question Date: 2013-01-23
Answer 1:

This is a great question about natural processes -- it's very good to stay curious and ask the "why" questions! One of the reasons we sneeze is to get rid of an excess of unwelcome foreign particles or irritants. In other words, the mucus lining of our noses usually traps these particles and deals with them but when too many have built up or come in at once, we expel them by sneezing. Particles or irritants entering our noses trigger the release of chemicals called histamines. The histamines in turn trigger a response in the nerve cells of the nose, and these nerve cells send a signal indicating that a sneeze is necessary! In addition to removing unwanted particles, a recent study suggested that sneezing may also serve to "reset" the environment in the nose so that foreign particles can be trapped normally again.

Answer 2:

To answer your question, sneezing is a very useful action our bodies have developed to prevent unwanted particles in the air from entering the body. As you are certainly aware, we have openings in our bodies (mouth, nose, ears) that allow us to bring things from the environment that we need to survive into our bodies (like food and air!). However, there are many things in the environment that we do not want to get into our bodies, like germs and dirt. Sneezing is just a reflex our bodies have developed to prevent these unwanted things from getting inside of us and making us sick. When unwanted particles travel into your nose, they irritate the cells inside the nostril. This sends a message in your brain to expel the particle (along with mucus and anything else that might be up there). The sneeze itself is a strong contraction of muscles in your throat and face that abruptly forces out the contents of your nose. Did you know: humans aren’t the only organisms that sneeze, all mammals do!


Answer 3:

Sneezing is a reaction to expel unwanted material from your nose and sinuses. Some diseases have also tricked our nose into sneezing when it's not necessary - instead, it expels the bacteria or virus so that it can infect other people.

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