What is That Sneeze Really Doing for Your Body and Health?

sneezefactsWe sniffle and sneeze … and ACHOOO!!!! – it’s time for a South Louisiana-sized allergy attack! But, what is really happening when you sneeze?

A 2012 report by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has an answer: You are rebooting.

Scientists say when your nose is overwhelmed, a biological reboot is triggered by the force of a sneeze. A sneeze resets the environment within nasal passages, forcing out particles trapped in your nose.

While rare, stifling a sneeze can lead to broken blood vessels in the eyes, weakened blood vessels in the brain, ruptured ear drums or problems with the diaphragm … so let that sneeze happen … but try to keep your germs in check.



Though not purely scientific, shows such as “MythBusters” have timed a sneeze at 30 to 35 miles per hour (some say up to 100 miles per hour) while other reports allege germ spray from a sneeze can land as far as 30 feet away.

If you are a multi-achooer, don’t worry – your body just needed a bigger reboot, and don’t try to keep your eyes open while you sneeze, you can’t. It’s an involuntary reflex that your eyes close when you sneeze – just be careful if you are on the interstate and your nose needs to reboot.

One more myth that physicians say is not true – your heart does not stop when you sneeze; however, your heart rate could slow just a bit.

So, let that sneeze happen, just don’t sneeze on a co-worker. Physicians and general etiquette agree; it’s just not nice.