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Why Do We Sneeze and Cough?

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Last updated date: 12th Jul 2024
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Overview of the Sneezing and Coughing

Sneezing and coughing are two common bodily reflexes that we all experience. They may seem minor inconveniences, but they serve an important purpose in keeping our bodies healthy.


In this article, we will explore why we sneeze and cough and the mechanisms that trigger these reflexes. We will also discuss how to sneeze on purpose, what happens when we sneeze, and why it is important to cover your mouth when you sneeze. Whether you're a curious individual or just looking for tips to keep yourself and others healthy, this blog post has something for you. So, let's dive in and explore the world of sneezing and coughing!


Sneeze and Cough


Sneeze and Cough


Sneeze and Cough

A sneeze, also called sternutation, is a sudden, forceful, and involuntary expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth. It is a reflex action triggered by various stimuli, such as dust, pollen, or a cold virus. Sneezing helps to expel irritants and foreign particles from the nose and can also cause the release of mucus and other fluids from the nose and sinuses.


A cough, on the other hand, is a reflex action that helps to expel irritants and foreign particles from the lungs and throat. Various stimuli, such as smoking, pollution, or a respiratory infection, also trigger coughing. Coughing helps to clear the airways and protect the lungs from damage.


Both sneezing and coughing are controlled by the nervous system and serve the important function of keeping our respiratory system clear and healthy.


Why Do We Sneeze and Cough?

Sneezing and coughing are natural reflexes that help clear the nasal passages and lungs of irritants and foreign particles. Sneezing is a reflex that helps to expel irritants from the nose while coughing helps to expel irritants from the lungs and throat. Both sneezing and coughing are controlled by the nervous system and are triggered by various stimuli, such as dust, pollen, or a cold virus.


How to Sneeze on Purpose?

  • Move a tissue around in your nose: You might have a tickling feeling. As a result of this stimulating the trigeminal nerve, your brain receives a signal that causes you to sneeze.


  • Smell the pepper: A substance called piperine, which causes irritation when it gets into the nose – and makes a person sneeze.


  • Breathe cold air: Stimulates the response of receptors in the nose and head in the brain. For intentional sneezing, you can try breathing air from the freezer.


  • Smell the hair of a flower or animal: It is pollen from the hair of plants or animals. If you intentionally sneeze, you can try smelling a flower or running your nose at your cat or dog.


What Happens When We Sneeze?

When we sneeze, the muscles in our chest and diaphragm contract rapidly, forcing a burst of air out of the lungs. This burst of air travels through the nose and mouth, carrying with it any irritants or foreign particles that may be present in the nasal passages. Sneezing can also cause the release of mucus and other fluids from the nose and sinuses, helping to flush out any remaining irritants.


Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze

It is important to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, as this helps prevent germs and infections. When we sneeze, droplets of moisture-containing germs can be expelled from the nose and mouth, and these droplets can land on surfaces and be inhaled by others. By covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze, you can help to reduce the spread of germs and protect yourself and others from illness.


A Kid Covering his Mouth While Sneezing


A Kid Covering his Mouth While Sneezing


Summary

Sneezing and coughing are natural reflexes that help to clear the nasal passages and lungs of irritants and foreign particles. Sneezing is a reflex that helps to clear irritants from the nose, and coughing helps to expel irritants from the lungs and throat. Sneezing on purpose can be difficult, but you can use certain techniques to trigger a sneeze. When you sneeze, it's important to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.

FAQs on Why Do We Sneeze and Cough?

1. How can I prevent the spread of germs while I'm ill?

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Place the used tissues in a trash can. Sneeze or cough into your sleeve if you don't have a tissue nearby. Sneeze or cough into your sleeve if you don't have a tissue nearby. Always wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser after sneezing or coughing. When you're sick, stay at home. Never exchange towels, drinking glasses, dining utensils, or other personal items.

2. How do I maintain my health?

Use an alcohol-based hand cleanser or soap and water to wash your hands often. Do not touch your lips, nose, or eyes. Keep your distance from sick people. Get your vaccine shots! Vaccines against the influenza virus and pneumococcal pneumonia can shield people from dangerous respiratory diseases. Observe Your Weight and Measure It. Limit unhealthy foods and consume nutritious meals. Take multivitamin supplements. Drink water to stay hydrated. Limit sugary beverages. Take multivitamin supplements. Reduce sitting and screen time, exercise regularly and be physically active. Avoid alcohol and keep your mouth shut.

3. What makes someone sneeze?

Dust, pollen, animal dander, and other allergens frequently cause sternutation, also known as sneezing. Additionally, it helps your body eliminate bacteria that could otherwise irritate your nasal passages and make you want to sneeze. Sneezing is a semi-autonomous reflex, much like blinking or breathing. The mucous membranes of the nose or throat become irritated, which then causes sneezing. Although it might be exceedingly annoying, it rarely indicates a major issue. Allergies to pollen (hay fever), mould, dander, or dust can cause sneezing.