How does the body “decide” whether to cough or sneeze if the purpose is, say, expelling dust that you just inhaled?



It makes sense to cough if you’re choking on an object/food but with something like dust or allergens it seems a toss up. How does the body decide in a split second which is the best method for expelling said irritant? Is it just random?

In: Biology

It all depends on where the irritant is located. If you inhale something and something enters your lungs, you cough. If you inhale something and your nose is irritated, you will sneeze. A cough or sneeze all depends on what part of the respiratory tract is getting irritated.