Why do our eyes close when we sneeze?

(Image source: Pexels)

Question from Ashley Morgan

Sneezing happens for all manner of reasons. Your nose is extremely sensitive so when it is exposed to a change in temperature or small allergic particles like dust or pollen, a protective mechanism engages to clear your hooter. This is a sneeze. So why do our eyes close when we do it?

Your eyes close automatically due to what’s called an uncontrolled body response. The process is the same as your knee jerking when it is struck or your hands protecting you when you fall. Anatomists claim that even if our eyes remained open, eye muscles are strong enough to protect the eye. Your eyes closing is more of a reflex action rather than a protective measure.

An average sneeze leaves you at around 65 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour) and experts claim that it can be, on rare cases, up to 160 kilometres per hour (100 miles per hour). So maybe it’s best your eyes do close. Just to make sure.


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