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The Photic Sneeze Reflex: Causes, Inheritance, and Triggers

KOMPAS.com – Sneezing is a natural response that removes irritants from the nose. Sneezing due to a cold or allergies is common, but some people can also sneeze when exposed to bright light.

It is important to note that although bright light can cause sneezing, the reflex is not triggered by the light itself, but by changes in the intensity of the light.

Being in a bright house probably won’t trigger a sneeze. However, exposure to direct sunlight can cause sneezing.

The photic sneeze reflex is hereditary

Reporting from Healthline, the photic sneeze reflex, the term for sneezing due to bright light, is an inherited genetic trait. However, because sneezing is normal, this behavior may occur without realizing it.

Also read: Frequent Sneezing in the Morning, What’s the Cause?

This genetic trait is a dominant trait. If one parent has this reflex, the child can have up to a 50% chance of inheriting the photic sneeze reflex.

The gene responsible for photic sneezing has not been identified. However, if someone has this trait, they will likely sneeze repeatedly in response to bright light. The number of sneezes can be as few as two or three, but some people report as many as 40 or more sneezes in a row.

Although the photic sneeze reflex is inherited, some researchers believe it may also be due to other factors.

A 1995 study found a link between photic sneezing and a deviated nasal septum. However, the actual cause of the photic sneezing reflex is still unknown.

Also read: Can you sneeze while sleeping?

One theory is that sneezing involves the optic nerve. Changes in light can stimulate these nerves, creating the same sensation as irritation in the nose. This sensation may be the cause of sneezing.

Another theory is that exposure to light causes tears to flow briefly down the nose. This can also cause temporary irritation of the nose and cause sneezing.

It’s not just changes in light that can trigger the sneeze reflex. Some people with a photic sneeze reflex are also sensitive to other types of stimuli.

For example, there are people who sneeze after eating. This can happen after eating spicy food or a large meal. Spicy foods can trigger sneezing because receptors in the nose detect capsaicin or chili extract.

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2023-09-09 23:30:00
#bright #light #sneezing #Kompas.com

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