It never ever comes when you want it to and does when you least expect it! Why would one want to sneeze? The reasons may be varied but they serve a common purpose; sneezing is a way of clearing the airways in order to get rid of microbes and germs from the nose and lungs. Sneezing also eases nasal congestion allowing one to breathe easier when suffering from a cold. There are many different ways in which you can bring on a sneeze and we will check out some that can make you sneeze in a healthy and safe manner:
1. Tickle your nostrils
This is the easiest way to sneeze. Tickling irritates the insides of the nose, causing your body to react with a reflex action in order to throw out the irritant. Use any soft object for this purpose- feathers, handkerchief or any other piece of soft cloth can help. A cotton wisp and/or a tissue paper can also be used for sneezing. Insert the object gently inside one nostril tickling the walls and hair. Many people use hard objects like Q-tips, pens, pencils or markers to induce sneezing. However one should be very careful whilst using these methods as they can be hazardous and could injure the inside of the nose.
2. Use herbs and spices
Many herbs and spices have a strong aroma and are notorious for making people sneeze. The fine particles of these ingredients sit on the nasal hair. The body then uses reflex action of sternutation-a medical term used for sneezing- which helps the body eliminate the said irritants before they enter the lungs. One of the best spices for this job is pepper. It contains piperine which is an alkaloid chemical having an acrid, pungent and sharp odor that irritates the nostrils. This sends a signal to the brain. You can use either black or white pepper for the purpose. Other herbs and spices that cause sneezing are coriander, cumin, curry powder etc.
Dusting can be an effective way of sneezing and you’d also end up with cleaner surroundings. So take a rag and start dusting those dusty surfaces. The fine particles of dust are invisible to the eye but they enter the nose and get trapped by the fine hair there. This results in a signal to the brain that stimulates a sneezing reflex.
4. Expose yourself to bright light
Many people sneeze when they look at the sun or have their eyes exposed to bright light. This is due to the photic sneeze reflex. Not only stepping outdoors in the bright sun causes sneezing; some people even sneeze when exposed to light during ophthalmologic examinations.
5. Use a vibrator/massager
A face or back and neck massager or a vibrator can also work. Place the massager carefully on the nostrils in a manner that will cause the nose to vibrate. This will sometimes trigger a sneeze reflex.
6. Fake the act
When suffering from severe cold, you want nothing more than to sneeze in order to relieve the pressure. So try and fake it till you make it!
7. Use perfume
Spray some perfume with strong fruity/floral fragrance indirectly near the nose. Make sure you do not spray directly inside the nose as it can harm your mucous lining.
8. Go outdoors in the cold
Sometimes, stepping outside in the cold air is all it takes. The cold air irritates the nasal passage and triggers a sneeze. Step outside and see if that does the trick.
9. Trim those nasal hair
If you have long nasal hair peeking out, it is time to tweeze them out. Doing so can stimulate a reflex that may cause massive sneezing!
10. Use chocolate
Apart from dust and spices, many other allergens can trigger a sneeze, one of the common ones being chocolate. Simply inhale the aroma of dark chocolate! This trick obviously won’t work for everyone!
11. Stimulate the trigeminal nerve
This fancy sounding nerve is situated on the roof of the mouth and tickling it can cause sneezing. Tickle the nerve with a soft toothbrush or the tip of your tongue to do the trick.
12. Trim your eyebrows
Apart from nasal hair trimming, plucking or tweezing out the brow hair can also apparently make some people sneeze. Naturally, this trick might not work always for all.
13. Use salt water rinse
Fill up a neti pot with warm water and salt. Place the spout in one nostril and tilt your head. This will cause the water to run out of the other nostril triggering a sneeze in some cases.
14. Go in for fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks, sodas or carbonated beverages can also easily trigger a sneeze. So go ahead and drink that pop.
15. Altoids and gum
Chewing gum and altoids contain menthol. These are very effective in relieving pressure when suffering from nasal congestion.
16. Snuff or wheezing powders
The alkaloids in these could however irritate the lining of the nostrils so do not overuse.
17. Hum away!
Pinching your nose while humming at the same time could also trigger a sneeze reflex.
Have you tried any of these tricks to sneeze? Let us know which ones worked for you!