: When we are about to sneeze and the feeling goes away, what actually happened? Also, what is it we are feeling that tells us we are about to sneeze?

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: When we are about to sneeze and the feeling goes away, what actually happened? Also, what is it we are feeling that tells us we are about to sneeze?

In: Biology
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Sneezing is generally a semi-involuntary process that is caused by histamine release triggering nasal nerves to your brain to cause an involuntary muscle contraction/relaxation for you to expel air and mucous. The histamine release is caused by outside stimulus like mucous or a nose irritant. There needs to be enough histamine to trigger enough nerve cells for your brain to send a signal for you to sneeze. If you start to build up histamine but not enough is released within a short amount of time, then you may feel it coming but then go away. Now this is a biochemical process but there is a psychological aspect where it can be definitely seen where you tend not to sneeze when doing important things or your in the middle of something, unless your sick and the histamine overpowers it . The science of sneezing is still widely researched and we are finding things out about pathways all the time in regard to sneezing, smell, and neural processing.

Quick follow up question: how come we do or do not sneeze multiple times in a row?

Another interesting thing that I like to do sometimes (at times when I do not want to sneeze), is to quickly distract your brain when you feel a sneeze coming on. I think a common thing to think about is ‘pineapple’, since for most people it’s just some random thought that gets you distracted. I still think about pineapple, and even though I know what I’m going to think about, it still distracts me enough for the urge to sneeze to go away.

If you feel a sneeze going away and you don’t want it to breath in quickly through your nose. It will help trigger it. Vice versa if you want it to go away, quickly breath out.

Why do I sometimes fail to finish a sneeze, I’ll gulp air like I’m about to sneeze and then never sneeze. This can happen a few times in a row

Can anyone keep their eyes open while they sneeze?

I just know that the time I’m most likely to feel like I have to sneeze is when my arms are full/occupied. 🙂

Thanks for asking this question, because I am hoping to find more ways to sneeze, haha. I love the feeling of sneezing. I have found that if you wiggle the very top of your nose you can build up to a sneeze. It doesn’t always work, but I was doing it in middle school once and this kid next to me goes “whoa, are you trying to make yourself sneeze?” I never knew it was a known thing. Anyway, I take my thumb and pointer finger and place them on the bone where you can gently wiggle it back and forth. That, combined with some slow inhales through the nostrils, will usually produce a sneeze. An almost-sneeze is such a tease for me. Can’t answer your question, but thanks for asking it.

I’ve learned that sometimes you can trick yourself into not sneezing. Different people have different tricks, my go-to is pressing my finger against the area between my nose and upper lip, pressing up towards the nose with the finger held sideways. You see it a lot on old cartoons. The theory I was told was there’s a nerve there that reacts to pressure by canceling a sneeze. I personally don’t think there’s any science behind that until someone proves it, but either way this method has been reliable for me in preventing sneezes.

My husband sneezes every time he has a strong mint!

Usually when he’s driving my car and thinks ‘ooh, mints…!’ in my cup holder and forgets that the reason he doesn’t keep them in his car is that he almost causes an RTA sneezing at the wheel every time he eats one!

i look at the sun when i feel a sneeze coming on. bright light seals the deal
and sends me over the edge

Sticking your little finger up your nose & aiming for the brain tends to help initiate a good ol’ sneeze!