Science Questions

Sun, 18th Dec 2005

Part of the show The Coriolis Effect and Christmas Questions for Dr Chris

Question

Chris in Suffolk asked:

When you sneeze, why do you sometimes get a horrible smell?

Answer

I have no idea! One possibility is that when you sneeze, you take a lot of air and push it out quickly. It's like your body trying to scratch the inside of your nose. The air hopefully dislodges whatever's aggravating your nose. This may bring up some mucus and put it near the respiratory epithelium, which may be what you're smelling.

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