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ETpro's avatar

What does sneezing fix that ends the urge to sneeze?

Asked by ETpro (34415points) February 21st, 2011

I pretty well know that mucus building up in sensitive areas in your breathing passages triggers the need to sneeze. But what’s odd is (pardon the gross parts here) no mucus seems to fly out of the nose when you do sneeze. Whatever does come out is a fine aerosol, not enough to do much good. Also, most of us sneeze a specific number of times when we do have a need to sneeze. For some it’s once and they’re done. I’m almost always a two-sneeze guy. Some people need three or even more. But whatever your magic number, that’s generally what it takes for sneezing to do whatever it does for you. Why the regularity in what it takes to be sneezed out?

What does sneezing do to take away the need to sneeze again? Where or where does all the snot go?

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10 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It expels the irritants.

Regarding the number of sneezes, a Doctor once told me as a rule of thumb that two or more sneezes in quick succession were indicative of an allergic response. Sometimes, I’ll sneeze four times in a minute or two, when I do that it’s time for an allergy med.

wilma's avatar

I’m a three or four sneezer. I guess that means I have allergies, (and I do).
Sometimes a good sneeze will bring things to the forefront, and then you can blow with good results.

talljasperman's avatar

I sneeze from my mouth…. even when my nose is irritated… it’s weird

thorninmud's avatar

There is an effect called “reflex fatigue” that causes reflexes (like sneezing) to stop after a few repetitions. That’s why you can’t keep just keep hitting your knee and getting the knee-jerk reflex over and over. The neural pathways involved in the reflex just stop responding.

Plucky's avatar

I’ve heard of the “reflex fatigue” above. Other than that I’m not really sure the exact mechanism of it all.

Lol I’m a multiple sneezer ..anywhere from 4 -12 times in succession. I have many indoor and outdoor allergies. Tissue/kleenex is a basic necessity wherever I go.
When I sneeze, I can’t seem to stifle it at all (lol it’s sometimes an almost violent experience). My partner, when she sneezes in public, has the ability do a cute “apewww” but at home it’s horrendous.

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo Aha! Thanks for the info on allergens. I am an allergy sufferer and that’s why, I guess, I am generally a two-sneeze type. In fact, what prompted me to ask this is I sneezed three times, and that’s pretty unusual for me.

@wilma Three sneezes and a blow. There you go.

@talljasperman I think most of us open our mouths when sneezing. It’s a lot of pressure to blow out of your nose alone.

@thorninmud Never having been tempted to keep hitting my knee with a hammer repeatededly, I did not know that. Thanks. Now I don[‘t need to experiment to find that out. :-)

@PluckyDog Wow. Up to a dozen in a set. Sure sounds like the allergy sensitivity is the multi0sneeze culprit.

sliceswiththings's avatar

It gets the school bus out of your body, Arnold!

sliceswiththings's avatar

Yesss lurve means someone got the reference!

ETpro's avatar

@sliceswiththings The Magic School Bus.

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