The sun or chocolate: two weird things that make you sneeze

If you can’t sneeze look at the sun! Surely on some occasion someone has indicated this to you. Well, you should know that, in addition to this strange phenomenon, there are some other very strange things that make us sneeze beyond dust or pollen.

The first thing we need to understand is why we sneeze. It’s about a sudden reflex act of expelling air from the lungs through the nose, or through the mouth, which is usually caused by physical people, such as foreign bodies, or chemicals, such as irritants. This feeling of irritation, initiated by the histamine release, stimulates the sensitivity of the nose, sending the command to the various systems of the face, throat and chest to sneeze.

The expulsion of air, which shoots out through the nose at an average speed of between 50 and 70 kilometers per hour, lasts about 150 milliseconds.

Once you have understood how sneezes occur, we are going to explain some rare causes of its origin.

Look at the sun or eat chocolate

People who sneeze when looking at the sun or bright light, or eating dark chocolate suffer from what is known as photic sneeze reflex. It is a phenomenon that 35% of the population suffers.

It is usually hereditary and is due to the nervous connection between the nose and the eye. The bright lights and the taste of dark chocolate stimulate the optic nerve causing us to sneeze. The trigeminal nerve, which runs alongside the optic nerve and controls sneezing, is activated, which can be mildly painful.

Eat spicy foods

Eating spicy things can trigger a sneezing attack in some people and this is due to a condition called rhinitis gustatory. It is a hypersensitivity of the nasal nerves to external triggers, which can cause sneezing, runny nose or congestion after eating some foods, such as spicy foods.

The sun or chocolate: two weird things that can make us sneeze Photo: bigstock

Be afraid

Living in a situation of fear, frustration, sadness or emotion can cause sneezing. Some of these sensations can make our Nasal membranes swell or shrink, causing us to sneeze.

Fizzy drinks

There are people for whom a simple swallow of a carbonated drink can cause a sneeze. This is because our body detects carbon dioxide present in carbonated drinks as a dangerous chemical substance sending a signal to the brain to sneeze and be able to get rid of it.

The sun or chocolate: two weird things that can make us sneeze Photo: bigstock

Have sex

Scientifically it is known as postcoital exacerbation of rhinitis or honeymoon rhinitis. It happens to those people who sneeze when they think about sex or after having sex. There are those who point out that it is due to a activation of the parasympathetic system when experiencing intense emotions, which causes a sneeze by mistake, since it is the same system in charge of regulating sexual pleasure as the sneeze reflex.