We may all have missed a heart beat in our life. At least once, when we were in the romantic stupor. We are once again referring to missing a heart beat even now. Perhaps daily. Maybe more than once a day !!!

Surprised? Amused? Intrigued? Wondering what we are talking about?

Yes, we miss our heart beat every day.

Particularly, when we SNEEZE !!!

Often we sneeze following a change in climatic conditions consequent to a cold, a chill in the atmosphere and the like. But it need not be trigerred by a change in climatic conditions, always.

Several underlying conditions most associated with sneezing are allergies or infections. Dust, tree and grass pollen, dander (often from pet hair) and molds are among the most common allergic triggers.

Viruses that inhabit or invade the nasal passages can cause swelling of the membranes, increased mucus and runny nose. They are much more common triggers of sneezing than bacteria, fungi or other infections.

There are numerous myths about sneezing. It is hard to know which one could be believed. However, one such “explanation” about sneezing goes thus:

For up to 30 percent of the population, looking at a bright light can trigger sneezing. It is called “photic sneezing” and why it occurs is unknown. There are theories that a bright light somehow triggers the other nerves involved in the sneeze reflex by the flood of signals into the retina (at the back of the eye), the pupil (at the front of the eye) or from squinting. That is, it may be a situation when signals that are separate in most people are “crossed” in those with photic sneezing. At least it is not harmful and it can even be useful: When you feel you are about to sneeze but just cannot, look briefly at a light; often that will encourage the sneeze and relieve that itchy, “about-to-sneeze” feeling. If you are one of those who are troubled by fits of sneezing after coming out of a darkened movie theater into the light, keep your sunglasses handy; one study found they could prevent the photic sneeze.

However, many questions remain unanswered when it comes to sneezing. Particularly, why does each person sneeze somewhat differently with sort of a “sneeze fingerprint”?

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September 24, 2018

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