You’ve always closed your eyes at the moment you sneeze but it’s not worth taking this as a challenge the next time you feel like sneezing. You’re better off accepting that it’s the natural order. Why?
Many people might have successfully suppressed the urge to close their eyes while sneezing but legend has it that your eyes could pop out if you try it.
While many health experts insist that the occurrence of this myth is all too unlikely, farfetched and can only be made possible by some underlying defect in the victim, we’re not prepared to try it. You shouldn’t too.And blocking your nose and mouth during a sneeze is a no-go as well.
But why at all do we succumb to this reflex of closing our eyes when we sneeze?
The eyes and the nose have sensory nerves connecting them to the brain. When the sensation that makes you want to sneeze goes from the nose to the brain, just then, another impulse goes from the brain to the eyes, telling them to close. But why?
Some have put forward the theory that closing our eyes plays a protective role and is why we developed this evolutionary reflex. When we sneeze, we are expelling foreign particles (and microbes) from the nasal passage. We all know the high speed at which the foreign particles are expelled. When forced by our nervous system to close our eyes during a sneeze, this reduces the chances that the eyes will become a destination for some of what is being expelled from the nose. After all, if foreign particles are being thrown out of the nose involuntarily, they’re not likely to be good for the eyes.
This theory makes a lot of sense. Can you think of any other reason why we humans might have developed this involuntary behaviour?