Why Do We Sneeze???

By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.

Email: fihealthie@gmail.com

Germs are everywhere and your hands may carry them and cause infection to yourself and your loved ones. The uncontrollable itch under the bridge of your nose. It intensifies and tickles your sinuses in a very uncomfortable manner.  The itch expels itself in a loud and wet blast. For a moment, you look a little sheepish and silly. But you feel relieved.

Sneezing is a physiologic response to the irritation of the respiratory lining of the nose. Chemicals such as histamine or leukotrienes is been manufactured by inflammatory cells such as eosinophils and mast cells typically found within the nasal mucosa and is released. This chemical release is caused by viral respiratory infections, filtered particles, allergens (substances that trigger allergic reactions) or physical irritants such as smoke, pollution, perfumes and cold air.

Sneezing, also known as sternutation, forces water, mucus, and air from your nose with an incredible force. The sneeze can carry with it many microbes, which can spread diseases like the flu.

Few Allergic Conditions

  • Sinus Infection

There are two major forms of sinus infections (also called sinusitis): acute and chronic. Both acute and chronic sinus infections can be viral or bacterial. Some long-standing infections are fungal.

  • Decongestant Nasal Spray Overuse

Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays are commonly used to relieve nasal congestion from colds or allergies. But if you use them regularly for as little as three days, a rebound nasal congestion can occur. If you continue to use the spray, the rebound effect gets worse and worse, leading to almost chronic nasal blockage. Many times, people with this condition don’t realize that the spray is causing the problem.

  • Nonallergic Rhinitis

These are ailments that mimic some of the symptoms of hay fever, such as nasal congestion and postnasal drip, but are not caused by allergies. Different than nasal allergies, these nonallergic nasal problems usually appear in adulthood, don’t usually make your nose and eyes itch, don’t include sneezing and often occur year-round (1).


People who suffer from nasal allergy symptoms don’t all have the same triggers. If you have seasonal allergies, you might be allergic to a specific tree or grass pollen that only sets off your symptoms at a certain time of year. Or you might be allergic to a specific kind of mold that appears in the fall when it’s been rainy and leaves are wet.

More than two-thirds of people who suffer from seasonal allergies also have symptoms year-round. Those can be caused by allergens indoors, such as dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander from pets and, again, mold (1).

It could also be_

  • Common cold
  • Deviated septum (nasal disorder)
  • Drug addiction
  • Dry air
  • Hormonal changes
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Medications
  • Nasal polyps
  • Object lodged in your nose
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco smoke

In 2012, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that sneezing is the nose’s natural way to “reset.” The study found that cilia, the cells that line the tissue inside the nose, are rebooted with a sneeze. In other words, a sneeze resets the entire nasal environment. What’s more, the researchers found that sneezing didn’t have the same “reset” effect on people who have chronic nasal issues like sinusitis (2).

Home Remedies (3)

  • Understand Triggers

Spicy food, perfumes, dust, cold virus, dander, baking flour are some of the most common elements that can cause sneezing. Therefore, avoid these!

  • Consume More Vitamin C

It is an antihistamine and found in citrus fruits and certain vegetables. Guava, mustard, spinach, kiwis, oranges, lemons have a high content of vitamin C and can help fight a cold.

  • Trust Zinc

Zinc supplements are rich in immunity-boosting agents. Legumes, nuts and seeds which are easily available will make sure that you get enough of this nutrient.

  • Ginger And Tulsi

Adding these in your tea is the easiest and trustworthy way to tackle sneezing. You can also boil 3-4 tulsi leaves with some ginger for added benefits.

  • Have Amla

Eating 3-4 amlas a day or drinking amla juice 2-3 times a day will help you in stopping that irritating sneeze.

  • Chew Black Cardamom

It can be chewed 2-3 times a day when you are suffering from a cold. Its strong aroma and oil content can help normalise the mucous flow and remove the irritants.  


  1. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergy-symptoms/runny-nose-stuffy-nose-sneezing
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/fj.11
  3. https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/8-home-remedies-that-can-help-stop-sneezing/496187

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