Special Sub-Topic: Scratch and Sniff
|Why does a scratch relieve an itch?|
No one really knows for sure.. Scratching an itch is instinctive, but no one really knows for sure why scratching an itch makes it go away. There are many theories about the "itch-scratch cycle".
One theory is that the discomfort of the scratch distracts the brain from the discomfort of the itch.
Another theory suggests that by scratching an itch, one stimulates the large nerves, thus blocking the small nerves causing the itch.
A different theory altogether proposes that inhibitory neurons are stimulated during the scratch, and that these neurons cause relief.
|A sniff is the inhalation of a small bit of air into the nose. Which of these is NOT a reason that human beings sniff?|
To greet others of the opposite sex.. While there are many ways to greet the opposite sex, sniffing isn't generally one of them.
Sniffing can imply a variety of health related issues: Damaged nasal lining caused by a virus could cause a sniff. An unwelcome allergen tickling the nose could cause a sniff, as well.
Of course there are many other reasons to sniff. My favorites are the social sniffs, such as getting a sales person's attention, pretending to be emotionally distraught, letting another person you are in the room, etc.
|Which of these chronic medical conditions does NOT include itching as a symptom?|
Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a serious eye disorder caused by increased eye pressure which can damage the optic nerve.
Eczema, or dermatitis, is a catch-all term for any itchy, red or swollen skin. It is not contagious and has many causes including allergies, genetic predispositions, and irritating environmental factors.
Kidney disease causes itching as well. The damaged kidney cannot successfully remove uremic toxins, and the buildup causes all over skin itching.
Leukemia is cancer of the blood whereby the body's white blood cells begin to abnormally increase. The exact reason why leukemia causes itching is unknown.
|Involuntary sniffing could be a symptom of which neurological disorder?|
Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Syndrome (also called Tourette's Syndrome) usually begins in childhood with the child's inability to control any of a variety of tics. Sniffing is a common tic associated with Tourette Syndrome.
Bell's palsy is the inability to control one's facial muscles because of damage to the facial nerve.
Erythromelalgia is a painful neurovascular disease in which swelling and redness of the lower extremities develops because of blockages in the blood vessels.
Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder whereby the afflicted person is constantly fighting excessive daytime sleepiness.
|Can just thinking about itching actually make a person itch?|
Yes. The power of suggestion is very potent when it comes to itching. When talking about an itchy subject, such as bugs or allergies, it is not uncommon to see people beginning to scratch at themselves. Still, I would call the exterminator, just in case.
|Which of the following is NOT true about our sense of smell?|
The sense of smell of smokers and nonsmokers is exactly the same.. Studies have shown that smokers, especially those who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day, are not able to smell with the same acuity as nonsmokers.
|Which drug is NEVER prescribed to treat itchiness?|
Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicodin). Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicodin) won't help your itching, but could make it much worse. Like many opiates, one common side effect of this drug is all over skin itching.
|Each individual human being has his/her own particular odor called a "smell fingerprint". What is NOT one of the components that make up a smell fingerprint?|
Eye Color. Other factors in your "smell fingerprint" could include medicines you are taking, skin type (dry, oily, light or dark), hair color, and the environment we live in.
|I am so itchy! What can I do to help soothe the itching?|
Cool bath, hydrocortisone cream, and removal of irritants.. Taking a long shower will tend to dry out the skin, thus possibly making the itching worse. Hot water causes blood to rush to the surface of the skin, thus making the itching worse.
Sun exposure, especially if you get burned may only make the itching worse.
Washing clothes and linens may remove irritants from them, but it won't help cure an itch. Also, if you are allergic to your detergent, that may be the source of your itching.
|I am walking down the street, and I just smelled a magnificent aroma of a freshly baked apple pie. Memories of my grandmother's kitchen come flooding back to me. What is the name of this type of memory?|
Proustian Memory. When an unexpected smell from long ago brings back a flood of memories, it is called a "Proustian Memory". 20th Century novelist Marcel Proust described this phenomenon in his classic seven-part work, Remembrance Of Things Past. He wrote how the smell of a madeleine dipped into a lime-blossom tea unleashed clear and cherished memories of his aunt's house, the rooms in it, her town, the country streets where she lived, etc.
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