Why do we sneeze?

Why do we sneeze?


Achoo! Planet Science investigates the questions you always wanted to know the answer to. This week, we're finding out why do we sneeze?

Everyone sneezes, but why do we do it? The inside of your nose is surprisingly sensitive. Sneezing happens when the inside of your nose is irritated by something. The irritant could be something like pollen. People who sneeze when their nose is irritated by pollen have hayfever.

Or, the irritant could be an infection - that's why people sneeze if they have a cold. It could even be your mum's perfume!

The nerves in your nose send a message to your brain saying that they are irritated. Your brain then sends a message to your nose, throat and chest, which says sneeze! Your vocal cords close and build up pressure inside your chest. When your vocal cords open the air rushes out of your mouth and nose really fast. This gets rid of anything nasty in your nose. Clever!