Sneezing – causes, symptoms, treatment

Aaapchikh, – “Be healthy!” . A similar situation is far from rare in the life of every person, but let’s figure it out, is it worth it to worry with every “sneeze” or is there nothing like this? And to cheer up, leave in the comments of your stories with a sneeze, who may have had a humorous part. 

What is sneezing?

Sneezing , or as it is often called sneezing, is a physiological act that performs the body’s protective function of removing foreign substances, microorganisms, and other factors irritating the nasopharynx from the upper respiratory tract.  

In fact, this is a response of the body to an irritant, which in most cases are infections, allergens, dust, plant pollen. 

At the time of sneezing, a person feels some itching in the nasal passages, after which a short breath is taken, the tongue is pressed to the sky, and the body reflexively throws out an irritating “factor” through the nasopharynx into the environment with the help of forced expiration. Almost always, along with the process of sneezing, a copious amount of fluid is released from the nasopharynx.

It is worth noting that sneezing and coughing by purpose are very similar to each other, and the differences are only the localization of this process.  

In addition, sneezing, as well as a cough, are very often symptoms of various diseases, mainly of an infectious nature, ENT organs (chickenpox, sinusitis, influenza, SARS and other acute respiratory infections).       

How it works?

The whole process of sneezing is coordinated in the medulla oblongata with the help of trigeminal, hyoid, vagus and other nerves – it is carried out according to the following chain: 

  • Sensation of itching or tickling in the nasal cavity;
  • Inhaling, the lungs are filled with plenty of air;
  • The soft palate reflexes upward, the back of the tongue is adjacent to the hard palate, which causes a barrier between the nasopharynx and mouths, the front arches of the pharynx are shortened, and the eyes are automatically closed;
  • At the same time, there is a contraction of the muscles of the larynx, diaphragm, intercostal and rectus muscles of the abdomen, due to which high pressure is created in the chest and abdomen;
  • The body quickly, with a speed of up to 120 m / s pushes out up to 12 l / s air flow, while microdrops of saliva and mucus are released with air up to 3-5 m!

Please note that it is undesirable to restrain this flow, as there have been cases when people with a strong sneezing act injured the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx.

Now you understand why the airborne droplet is the main method of infection of people around and why it is not recommended to be in crowded places during acute respiratory infections? One sneeze may be enough to infect several people at once who are traveling with a microbe carrier, for example, in the subway or bus.

Causes of sneezing

Now let’s find out what it can tickle in the nose so that sneezing appears.

The most common causes are:

  • Infections – viruses (influenza, parainfluenza, measles, chickenpox), bacteria (staphylococci, pneumococci and other streptococci, haemophilus influenzae), fungi, protozoa and others;       
  • Allergens – dust, pollen of plants (ragweed), animal hair, mold, poplar fluff, skin flakes, ground pepper, snuff, tobacco smoke and other combustion products;
  • As a reaction of the nasal mucosa to drops against a runny nose, incl. plant-based – from aloe, Kalanchoe, cyclamen;   
  • Chemical fumes – powders, perfumes, hair spray, deodorants, air fresheners;
  • A sharp change in temperature from cold to warm or vice versa – when entering the room from a frosty street or in the opposite direction;
  • A change in the hormonal background, which often causes this act in pregnant women in the last stages;
  • Bright light can also be an annoying factor – perhaps you noticed when in the morning you suddenly open your eyes to a sunny room or leave a darkened room on a sunny street, along with tears, “sneezes” can occur.

Sneezing symptoms

If “sneezing” occurs without an accompanying runny nose and / or elevated body temperature, it is more likely the result of an allergic reaction of the nasal mucosa to any substance. Otherwise, they talk about the development of a disease or pathology.   

The most common symptoms of sneezing, which can indicate the appearance or presence of a disease or pathology:

  • Runny nose, copious discharge from the nasal cavity of the mucous membrane of a clear fluid, which can eventually turn yellow and green, sometimes with an admixture of blood;
  • Redness of the eyes, increased lacrimation;
  • Increase in body temperature, periodic chilling; 
  • Weakness, fatigue, a feeling of weakness and bad mood;
  • Pain of various localization – head, muscle, articular, in the throat, in the chest, in the abdomen;     
  • Swollen lymph nodes;
  • Cough;
  • Urticaria and other skin rashes; 
  • With intoxication from infection, a lack of appetite, nausea, diarrhea may appear .  

What diseases are the above symptoms talking about?

  • Sinusitis
  • Infectious diseases – influenza, acute respiratory viral infections, chickenpox, measles and others;    
  • Allergies, allergic rhinitis, hay fever;
  • Addiction to vasoconstrictor drops;
  • Bronchial asthma, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.   

Sneezing diagnosis

The standard set of studies with frequent sneezing and the presence of other symptoms that are listed above are:

  • Visual inspection, collection of complaints, medical history;
  • General blood analysis;
  • Blood chemistry;
  • Allergy Analysis
  • General urine analysis;
  • Roentgenography;
  • Ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT);
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI);
  • Rhinoscopy
event_note June 20, 2020

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