Document Detail

Why do we sneeze?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22289338     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
According to textbooks, the function of a sneeze is to send a strong blast of air through the nose to remove foreign bodies. Three simple tests are described that show that the current views are wrong. The pressure developed in the mouth/pharynx of the author during a sneeze was recorded as about 135mmHg reached in about 0.1s. A forced maximal expiration but with the nose and mouth closed produced a nasal secretion although of smaller amount than in the sneez, in spite of a greater pressure; this is probably because the speed of tension development was much slower than in the sneeze. It is proposed that the high pressure stimulates secretory neurons via branches in the roof of the mouth. The nasal secretion dilutes irritant material in the nose and thus prevents it getting into the lungs.
W Burke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-1-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medical hypotheses     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1532-2777     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-1-31     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505668     Medline TA:  Med Hypotheses     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Brain Research Laboratory, Discipline of Physiology, and Bosch Institute, University of Sydney, Australia; Discipline of Anatomy and Histology, University of Sydney, Australia.
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