Wednesday, February 17, 2010
My 6 year old daughter, Kaydie ask me a very good question the other day. Of coarse I had to do some research to find the answer.Why do our eyes close when we sneeze? Well I've often wondered that myself. Doctors aren't 100% sure,but they believe that it's just a reflex. Are you aware that not everyone has that reflex?When you sneeze most of your muscles tighten. Some people see lights when they sneeze. It's called "Photic Sneezers". Photic is another word for light. Not everyone has this reaction. It's something that you get from one or both of your parents. Sunlight can trigger sneezing too believe it or not . That's right! Sunlight. I was shocked to find this out to. A sneeze is usually triggered by an irritation in the nose, which is sensed by the trigeminal nerve, a cranial nerve responsible for facial sensation and motor control. This nerve is in close proximity to the optic nerve, which senses, for example, a sudden flood of light entering the retina. As the optic nerve fires to signal the brain to constrict the pupils, the theory goes, some of the electrical signal is sensed by the trigeminal nerve and mistaken by the brain as an irritant in the nose. Hence, a sneeze. Thanks to all the doctors and researchers for this neat information. Just a little food for thought.