Special Sub-Topic: The Sneeze: Fact or Fiction
|A sneeze is the body's way to remove irritants and toxins from the nose. What is the rarely used but interesting medical term for a sneeze?|
Sternutation. A sneeze is an involuntary expulsion of air through the nose and mouth. Each sneeze can produce tens of thousands of droplets which can travel up to 2-3 meters! Humans actually expel more from their mouths than their noses during a sneeze.
|Almost anything that irritates the nose can trigger a sneezing fit, including allergens like dust, pollen and pet dander. Which of the following has NOT been documented to cause sneezing?|
Using a cell phone. While rumours about cell phones and brain tumors persist, so far there is no proof that they cause sneezing. Changes in temperature, such as going from inside to outside may cause sneezing. Strong smells such as peppermint or perfume will commonly cause a sneeze or two. The strong hormones produced during pregnancy can cause Pregnancy rhinitis, which causes sneezing and nasal congestion.
|In 1894, Thomas Edison's production company strung together a series of still images of a man in mid-sneeze to create the first copyrighted motion picture. What was the name of this now immortalized individual? |
Fred Ott. Fred Ott was Thomas Edison's assistant, and apparently a well known and highly demonstrative sneezer. The black and white film, lasting all of five seconds, shows Ott taking a pinch of snuff, breathing it in and producing a dramatic sneeze. The film was produced and directed by William Kennedy Dickson and is also known as the Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze.
|You can sneeze while asleep.|
False. You cannot sneeze when you are asleep. Sneezing is a reflex mechanism, and when you are sleeping, your motor neurons are not being stimulated as the part of your brain responsible for sneezing relaxes. (This state is called REM Atonia.)
|Are you among the 30% of the population who report sneezing when leaving a darkened place into a bright, sunlit area? If so, you may have what condition?|
Photic sneeze reflex. Believe it or not, the nickname for this condition is called ACHOO, which is an acronym for Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst syndrome. It is a genetically inherited condition present from birth causing sufferers to sneeze in the presence of bright light. Its cause has been debated since the time of Aristotle, but the scientific consensus seems to be that a defect in the interaction between the optic nerve fibers and trigeminal nerve causes bright light in the eyes to trick the brain into believing that the nose is blocked and a sneeze is necessary. Another odd and lesser understood sneeze-related phenomenon is snatiation, which is the condition of sneezing while on a full stomach, after an unusually large meal.
|Throughout history, the power of a sneeze has inspired awe and dread in its victims and witnesses. Which of the following is true about the ancient Greek viewpoint about sneezing?|
A sneeze is a positive sign from the Gods.. The Greeks considered sneezing to be a gift from the Gods because it was spontaneous and beyond human control, and therefore a good omen.
In the middle ages, it was felt that the shock of a sneeze, as well as the breath leaving the body had the capacity to kill you. Although it is not been proven, many believe this to be the origin of the traditional prayer/salutation "God bless you" after a sneeze.
|Which of the following myths about sneezing is actually TRUE?|
Suppressing a sneeze could be dangerous.. Although rare, stifling a violent sneeze can burst an eardrum, tear blood vessels and muscles within the head, and even cause a sinus hemorrhage. Although most people reflexively close their eyes when they sneeze, it is not necessary. Our eye sockets are more than strong enough to hold the eyes in place during a sneeze.
A sneezing newborn is a healthy newborn! They sneeze to clear their nose and respiratory passages of secretions.
And don't worry; the heart and its electrical activity do not stop during a sneeze!
|According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest sneezing attack lasted over two years.|
True. Wow! 12 year old Donna Griffiths from England had a sneezing attack that lasted from January 13, 1981 to September 16, 1983. She produced over an estimated one million sneezes, coming very frequently at first, but then tapering off to around one every five minutes or so.
|Which bit of international sneeze folklore is NOT correct?|
In India, a sneeze before beginning the day's work is a sign of good luck!. Actually, in India, a sneeze before beginning work is a bad omen, thus people generally take a small break before commencing the work again. In many cultures, a benediction after a sneeze consists of a "God Bless" or a "Good health." In Mexico and Brazil, there are different salutations for the first, second and third sneeze.
|If you feel a sneeze coming on, which of these methods is a scientifically proven way to stop it?|
Pinching the tip of your nose. Besides pinching the nose, other techniques for sneeze stoppage are tickling the roof of the mouth with the tip of the tongue for about 10 seconds or pressing the center of the upper lip with your finger.
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