What triggers a sneeze?

With the hayfever season in full effect, sneezing becomes a daily occurrence, just ask Drew! However, have you ever wondered what really triggers a sneeze? 

You may be the one in three people that sneeze when you are exposed to bright light.  You may have an allergy to plant pollen or animal fur.  Maybe you have inhaled an irritant such as pepper or dust?  Or you may have caught a cold.  What happens when any of these cause a tickle in your nasal region and make you go ahhhh …choo? 

Your nose will send a message to the part of your brain called the sneeze centre, which in turn sends a message to all the muscles involved in creating a sneeze.  It may surprise you to know the number of muscles involved, from the abdominal muscles, your diaphragm, your vocal cords, the muscles in the back of your throat, your chest muscles and even your eyelid muscles. Did you realise the you always close your eyes when you sneeze? 

The sneeze centre of your brain then co-ordinates all the muscles to create a sneeze and send the irritant out of your nose at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour!  If you have ever had that annoying feeling of a sneeze getting stuck, try looking toward a bright light. The majority of people have some sensitivity to light, so a quick glance into the light should see the sneeze centre springing into action.

If hayfever is driving you crazy this summer season, why not try our Five ways to get rid of hayfever fast?