Sneezing (Sternutation)

Sneezes occur when the cilia, the tiny flickering hairs in our nostrils and sinuses, receive signals of foreign particles in the nose. These flicker hairs are set in motion by the signal and thus remove unwanted particles by sneezing.

The nerve cells of the nose react with a sneezing usually to disturbing particles in the airway, but can also react to strong sunshine due to the intersecting nerve pathways of the eyes and nose. Most of all, we sneeze when we are chilled just to clear the airway from bacteria and other foreign particles.

Why do you get sneezing?

To prevent foreign particles from getting into the airway, nerve cells in the nose send signals to the cilia, our tiny flickers in nostrils and sinuses. When these signals are perceived, the cilia move in such a way that we quickly blow air out of the mouth and nose in a sneeze. It is the body’s way of blowing the airways and keeping us healthy.

A sneeze not only helps to clear the airway, it also makes the nerve cells become more active towards detecting foreign particles within the next few minutes. Therefore, many people sneeze on the rake several times.

Symptoms of sneezing

Sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and irritation in both nose and eyes are typical symptoms of allergy. If you often have new attacks, it may very well be because you come into contact with a certain substance that causes your immune system to overreact. If the sneezing occurs frequently without being cold, it is important to investigate the case.

Otherwise, sneezing is a common symptom of colds. When you get cold, the respiratory tract and the mucous membranes of the nose become inflamed. The body then wants to clear the airway from these foreign substances, resulting in sneezing. Since the cold virus is airborne, a sneeze can also infect others in your vicinity. If you notice the symptoms of cold, it is sensible and polite to sneeze in the arm fold. A cold virus can survive about seven hours outside the body after a sneeze.


If you are healthy but often have new attacks, it may be because you are hypersensitive to some so-called allergens. These allergens are usually airborne and can be seasonal or active year-round. Some seasonal allergens are, for example, birch and grass pollen. If you have any problems throughout the year, it may be due to allergies to mites, fur animals, perfume, tobacco smoke or temperature changes. These problems can be alleviated by an allergy investigation and the right medication.

If sneezing occurs in conjunction with sniff, fatigue in the body and possibly slight fever then a cold has been found. If you also have high fever and pain in the body, it may be a symptom of a flu.

Treatment for sneezing

Cures of allergies can be treated with the help of medications that curb inflammation and prevent future problems. You can also do your best to avoid the allergens that trigger the sneezing or use nasal spray containing antihistamine and cortisone. If the sneezing cannot keep the airway clear of the allergens, it can help to rinse the nose with saline. Nasal spray can also help with sneezing in cold. But the best treatment for colds is very rest, properly with food and drink, clothes adapted to the weather and good hygiene.

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