The purpose of sneezing is to expel germs or irritating substances, so if we repress it, it could cause infections and even internal injuries due to the force of the air.
Sometimes we have to think twice before sneezing because we are embarrassed that everyone listens to us. So, what do we do?… Press the nose with the fingers or close the mouth tightly to prevent the sound from echoing in every corner and sneezing inward!
However, did you know that this is not good for your health? In this article we tell you the reasons and, in addition, how a good sneeze should be so that it fulfills its function and does not have negative consequences on the body.
Why and how do we sneeze?
Sneezing is a defense mechanism that the body has, specifically the respiratory system, to expel air quickly from the lungs through the nose or, sometimes, from the mouth. It is a reflex action that occurs when there is irritation of the respiratory tract.
According to a study by Medical Hypotheses, the air from a sneeze is shot out with great force, even reaching 135 mm HG (millimeters of mercury) in a fraction of a second. There are different reasons why we sneeze:
- Colds, colds and flu.
- Allergic reactions (reaction to a substance).
- Contact with the sun.
Curiosities of sneezing
One of the cool facts about sneezing is that they almost never come alone. What does this mean? That, although it may vary in some people, it is likely that when the first appears, it will be repeated several times.
This happens when not all of the accumulated air has been able to leave the lungs or when the substance that triggered the sneeze is not yet completely gone.
Another curiosity about sneezing is that when the air is expelled, we cannot keep our eyes open. This is due to an involuntary impulse from the body.
Is it bad to sneeze inward?
Suppressing sneezing is very common because we can be a bit embarrassed about the possibility of spreading germs everywhere, or we simply don’t like the feeling that sneezing in public causes us.
However, a study published in Biological research warns that the increase in pressure exerted on the respiratory tract when a sneeze is repressed can be 5 to 24 times greater than during a normal sneeze.
In addition, sneezing inward could cause the irritating particles not to be drawn out but inwards, and the force of the air to act against the tissues of the nose, which could cause injury to the nasal vessels and veins.
On the other hand, pathogens or irritants can pass to other more internal areas of the nose, such as the middle ear and paranasal sinuses, and cause infections.
How can we avoid sneezing inward?
One of the reasons we avoid sneezing is because we don’t want to disturb or make the people around us uncomfortable.
Although we should not go to extremes and sneeze without any consideration or caution, there is a middle ground between that and preventing sneezing. How? Covering the mouth and nose with a disposable tissue.
In this way, you will be allowing the air and microorganisms to leave your body and, at the same time, you will prevent other people from being infected, by spreading infections or possible diseases.
Once you dispose of the tissue and the sneezing episode is over, it is essential that you wash your hands to be able to remove any remaining bacteria and viruses.
Do it with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially before eating. Thus, you will avoid the spread of various diseases such as:
- Common cold.
- Hepatitis A.
- Infectious diarrhea.
Another widely used option, although its effectiveness has not been proven, is to sneeze into the inside of the elbow to prevent the expulsion of saliva.
Finally, it is important that you take these recommendations into account and think better of it before suppressing that sneeze and ‘sneeze in’.