Why sneeze when looking at the sun?

You may have heard that you should look at the sun when you have to sneeze. Do you sneeze from bright light? you’re not the only one. About a quarter of people suffer from this. But how could this be?

Sneezing is a reflex. Your body’s automatic response to an external stimulus. We usually sneeze because something irritates the nasal mucosa. These can be pollen, dust, viruses or allergies. But the light does not irritate this mucous membrane. How do we still sneeze when we look at the sun?

Genetic predisposition to sneezing

Sneezing through a light is really possible. This phenomenon is called photoreflection. in This investigation Among the Chinese population we read that the photo sneeze reflex is genetically determined. Do you have this reflex? Then you are most likely not the only one in the family who suffers from this. It is not yet known which genes cause this reflex. How bad this reflex is varies from person to person. One person sneezes only two to three times at the sight of a bright light, while another can trigger a fit of sneezing up to 20 times.

Sneezing due to the change of light

The sneeze reflex is not triggered by a bright light, but by a sudden change in the intensity of the light. Fortunately, because people with this reflex may have to sneeze all day on sunny days. When you open the curtains or walk out of a tunnel in the morning, you can expect to sneeze if you have the photo sneeze reflex. The reason for the change in light intensity triggering the sneeze reflex is unknown. However, there are different theories.

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It has nothing to do with your nose

Swedish study It appears at least that the cause is not in the nose. Many researchers believe that the sneeze reflex has something to do with nerves in the brain. For example, it is believed that the optic nerve cannot handle a violent change in the intensity of light. As a result, the incoming light stimulus is also inadvertently passed on to the nerves that lie near the optic nerve. Including the nerves that go to the nose. Another theory is that the sudden high intensity of light causes eye tears, and these tears end up in your nose through the nasal cavity. This irritates the nasal mucosa, causing you to sneeze.

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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