Sneeze is a semi-automatic process in which there is expulsion of air through the nose and mouth, usually due to irritation of the inner lining of nose. Sneezing is an involuntary action that results in clearance of the passage of nose and mouth.



Sneeze can occur due to a number of reasons. Some of the important ones are:

  • Sudden exposure to bright light

  • Sudden fall in temperature

  • Cool air breeze

  • Viral infection



The purpose of this involuntary action is to get rid of the irritating particle present in the nasal cavity. This is a cleansing mechanism where the foreign particle, which is trapped in the mucus, is removed.



During sneeze, the connection between the lungs and the mouth cavity is partially closed by the soft palate and palatine uvula. This allows most of the air to pass through the nasal cavity when the lungs contract.



Sneeze can be prevented to some extent using the following techniques:

  • Deep exhalation (breathing out) of air

  • Holding the breath for 5 to 10 seconds

  • Pinching the nose for a while