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The Sniffly Science of Sneezes

Types of sneezing

There are many different reasons for which people sneeze. Among these, some of the most common refer to sneezing in the light, due to the fact that the signal through which the pupils are shrunk crosses paths with the signal to sneeze or sneezing when feeling a cold draft.

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The Sniffly Science of Sneezes

The Sniffly Science of Sneezes

https://www.thoughtco.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-sneezing-4163576

thoughtco.com

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Key Ideas

Sneezing

What we have come to know as 'sneezing' is actually technically called 'sternutation'.This happens whenever we get an allergy, an infection or when irritants touch our nasal mucosa. Sneezing is beneficial for our health, as it expels foreign particles from our nasal mucosa.

Types of sneezing

There are many different reasons for which people sneeze. Among these, some of the most common refer to sneezing in the light, due to the fact that the signal through which the pupils are shrunk crosses paths with the signal to sneeze or sneezing when feeling a cold draft.

Sneezing-related reactions

You must have experienced, at least once, general sneezing-related reactions such as closing your eyes while sneezing or sneezing more times in a raw. Now, one thing that might surprise you is that also animals, such as dogs and iguanas sneeze. The purpose is the same as in humans, in order to expel foreign particles from the nasal mucosa.

Fighting the sneeze

While holding in a sneeze is not a god idea, as it can lead to hearing loss or even weaken blood vessels in your brain, there are other ways to stop it. For instance, keeping your house clean of dust or pressing your tongue on the roof of your mouth might prove safer not only for you but also for the people around.

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Touching our faces

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Do so for at least 20 seconds.

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This is a habit you can break:
  • Be mindful of your intention to keep your hands away from your face.
  • Place visual reminders at home and at the office so you will be aware that you want to keep your hands down.
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The virus is more violent with the elderly, the very young and with individuals that have a weak immune system. The majority of those infected however recover after a few days.

Spreading the virus

Coughs or sneezes from an infected person are the most likely to spread the virus. So it's essential to follow basic hygiene rules:

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Protection By Face Masks

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Protect Yourself Wisely
  • Cloth masks, which are reusable and washable, offer no real protection while being potentially harmful in case there is any moisture retention or dirt in them due to their being reused.
  • It is a good practice to wear a mask all the time, especially if you have any respiratory illness.
  • It is advisable to be careful while removing your mask, as a mere touch of your hands on the front of the mask can contaminate it.
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A complete loss of smell, known as anosmia, can occur after a cold, sinus infection or even a bump to the head.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

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Pursed lip breathing
  1. While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to 2. The breath does not have to be deep. 
  2. Put your lips together as if you are starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is known as “pursing” your lips.
  3. While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don’t try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.
Pursed lip breathing benefits:
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  • It helps release air trapped in the lungs.
  • It promotes relaxation.
  • It reduces shortness of breath.

Practice it 4 to 5 times per day, daily.

Pursed lip breathing is best for performing strenuous activities, such as climbing stairs.

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Diaphragmatic breathing

This is also known as belly breathing:

  • Relax your shoulders and sit back or lie down.
  • Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
  • Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen and feeling your stomach move out. Your stomach should move more than your chest does.
  • Breathe out for 2 seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen.
  • Repeat.
Pursed-lips breathing

It slows down your breathing, making it easier for the lungs to function and improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide:

  • Inhale slowly through your nostrils.
  • Purse your lips, as if pouting or about to blow on something.
  • Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips. This should take at least twice as long as it did to breathe in.
  • Repeat.

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The first modern respirator

During 1920, a plague broke out between a shared jurisdiction of China and Russia. The Chinese Imperial Court brought in a young doctor named Lien-teh Wu that determined that the plague was not spread by fleas but through the air. He expanded upon the surgery masks he'd seen in the West, and made it from gauze and cotton and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations.

When the Spanish flu arrived in 1918, the mask was well-known among scientists and the public.

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