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Author Topic: Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?  (Read 4093 times)

Yates, Alan

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« on: 13/12/2008 19:31:54 »
Yates, Alan  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hello Naked Scientists,

I have a question for your next Q&A show -

Why do we close our eyes when we sneeze (and is there any chance you can damage your eyeballs if you don't)?

Regards,

Alan in Sydney

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #1 on: 13/12/2008 22:02:20 »
I think this blink reflex is to reduce to possibility of the microbe-rich aerosol produced by the sneeze spreading infection to the eyes.
« Last Edit: 13/12/2008 22:04:43 by RD »
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #2 on: 13/12/2008 22:07:24 »
I remember reading somewhere that your eyeballs will pop out if you don't close your eyes!
 

Offline rosalind dna

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #3 on: 13/12/2008 22:48:12 »
You shut your eyes when you sneeze because of the muscles in and around your sinuses also
eyes, nose and forehead,

The same ones that get blocked when you've got a cold or hayfever etc.
 

Offline RD

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #4 on: 13/12/2008 22:58:18 »
Quote
Why do my eyes close every time I sneeze?
June 15, 2004

M.G., Sherborn

Actually, no one really knows.

"It is unclear, but scientists theorize that we close our eyes to protect them. We may be protecting our eyes from microorganisms and particles from our sneezes," said Dr. Bonnie Henderson, director of comprehensive ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. But it could also be simply because a sneeze is a kind of bodywide reflex in which a lot of muscles contract, not just in the nose and throat but also those in the diaphragm, the abdomen, thighs, back, even sphincters (which is why some people with stress incontinence may urinate slightly when they sneeze).
http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2004/06/15/why_do_my_eyes_close_every_time_i_sneeze/
« Last Edit: 13/12/2008 23:00:54 by RD »
 

Offline JnA

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #5 on: 14/12/2008 11:27:09 »
I remember reading somewhere that your eyeballs will pop out if you don't close your eyes!

I think that's actually impossible with the length of the optical nerve.. though some people's eyes do bulge.
 

Offline RD

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Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #6 on: 14/12/2008 11:38:23 »
I think that's actually impossible with the length of the optical nerve.. though some people's eyes do bulge.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7_IyXz5Q5kY&feature=related  [xx(] [xx(] [xx(] [xx(]
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why do humans close their eyes when sneezing?
« Reply #6 on: 14/12/2008 11:38:23 »

 

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