You know that old wives' tale that says you can't sneeze with your eyes open because the force of it would make your eyes pop out? You might remember hearing it on the playground from some know-it-all kid, and then having nightmares for weeks about your eyes shooting out your skull.
Well, it turns out that's completely false, according to a study commissioned by Olbas.
Roger Henderson, MD, answered the most commonly asked questions about sneezing, and revealed that it is actually physically possible to sneeze with your eyes open. "The sneeze reflex involves the contraction of a number of different muscles and muscle groups throughout the body, typically including the eyelids. But the common belief that it is impossible to sneeze with one's eyes open is inaccurate, although most of us do shut our eyes. Don’t worry — if they stay open, nothing unusual happens!"
He also revealed that the average sneeze can be up to around 100mph — almost as fast as the average train!
Dr. Henderson added that the feeling of a blocked nose is due to inflamed nasal passages as the body’s immune system attempts to fight off the virus. The inflammation then cleverly signifies where the immune cells need to be so that they can physically destroy and mop up the virus particles. And, snot is the result of the nasal blood vessels swelling. Lovely stuff.
He also said that the best ways to stop a sneeze is deep breathing, holding your breath while counting to ten, or gently pinching the bridge of the nose for several seconds. Henderson issued some advice: "Anyone can catch a cold, but the best ways to avoid it are washing your hands with warm water and soap, and not sharing towels or household items, like cups, with someone who has a cold."
"You should also avoid touching your eyes or nose in case you’ve come into contact with the virus — it can infect the body this way — and staying fit and healthy, including having good nutrition and enough sleep, can certainly help to decrease your chances."
This post was written by Emma Dodds. For more, check out our sister site Closer.