It is a myth that a person’s heart stops when they sneeze. The heart does not stop, but it may briefly change its rhythm. This poses no threat to a person’s health or well-being. There’s also some evidence that the high air pressure in your mouth associated with sneezing also causes your brain to tell nerves in your nose to produce extra mucus. This extra mucus helps keep foreign substances from making it into your lungs.
Why does your heart skip a beat when you sneeze?
Again, your heart doesn’t stop when you sneeze– it may get briefly thrown off its rhythm. Here’s a breakdown of what that means:
Right before you sneeze, you inhale deeply:
This builds up extra pressure in the chest, slows down the blood flow to your heart, lowers your blood pressure, and raises your beats per minute (BPM).
Your throat closes up:
You may be familiar with the sensation of your throat feeling blocked right before you cough or sneeze. This allows your abdominal cavity to maintain the intrathoracic pressure already built up to help expel all that air in the final step of a sneeze.
You suddenly become violent and exhale:
When you finally sneeze, all the pressure that’s built up in your abdomen releases quickly. This speeds up blood flow back to your heart, raises your blood pressure, and lowers your BPM.
This sudden pressure and blood flow change results in a brief interruption in your heartbeat as your heart compensates for the rapid increase in blood pressure.
A sneeze is one of the body’s ways of removing foreign objects and substances from the respiratory tract. This tract includes the nose, throat, and lungs.
Other common causes of sneezing include:
The flu, and influenza, is a respiratory illness resulting from a viral infection.
The common cold:
Sneezing is one of the main symptoms of a cold, which results from a viral infection of the respiratory tract.
If a person comes into contact with an allergen, their nasal tract may become inflamed. This is called allergic rhinitis, and sneezing is a main symptom various medications can treat it.
Avoid of sneezing
There are several ways to avoid sneezing:
This is important when sneezing results from an allergic reaction. Because avoiding allergens is not always possible, a person might consider carrying an over-the-counter medication, such as antihistamine tablets or a glucocorticosteroid nasal spray.
Blowing the nose:
Doing this when a sneeze is coming may remove the irritant and prevent the sneeze.
Some nasal sprays may help prevent sneezing by clearing the sinuses.
Pinching the nose:
Some people find that this prevents a sneeze.
When you sneeze your heart rhythm is thrown off and the next beat is delayed, but your heartbeat doesn’t fully stop. This isn’t a serious condition. But see a doctor if you notice abnormal symptoms after you sneeze, such as dizziness, nausea, and fainting. These can all indicate conditions that may need treatment to prevent long-term complications, especially those related to your heart.