How do I
“Hic!” “Hic!” You’ve just hiccupped for what seems
like the hundredth time in a row. Ever wonder where those hiccups come
from? You can blame your diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom
of your chest below your lungs.
When you inhale, the diaphragm pulls down to help
more air enter your lungs. When you exhale, it pushes up to help push
the air out of your lungs. Sometimes, the diaphragm just does not work
in the way it should.
You have probably felt a muscle spasm in your arm
or leg, where the muscle twitches without you doing anything. The same
thing can happen to your diaphragm. When it twitches, it causes a quick
intake of breath. This breath is stopped by the vocal cords in your
throat. This makes the hiccup sound.
The diaphragm can twitch for a variety of reasons.
One of the main causes is a full stomach. Eating too much food too fast,
drinking too quickly, or swallowing too much air can make your stomach
too full, and cause hiccups. In most cases, hiccups go away on their own
in a few minutes.
when I sneeze?
A sneeze is a reflex that clears the nose of
irritants, including viruses, bacteria, and pollutants. Every time you
breathe in through your nose, thousands of tiny particles enter your
nose. Many of these particles are stopped by the hairs in your nose. If
the particles make it past those, shelf-like structures, called
turbinates, help to trap some of those particles.
A sneeze begins when the inside of your nose is
irritated by some of those particles. Tiny nerves signal the “sneeze
center” in the brain. The brain signals the muscles in the chest and
throat to contract, the eyes to shut, and the roof of the mouth to
close. Powered by contractions in the chest and throat, the sneeze exits
through the nose, clearing the nasal cavity. Saliva spews from the mouth
and mucus from the nose. A sneeze can send thousands of particles into
the air at 100 miles per hour.
Some people, like me, sneeze if they step out into
bright sunlight. These people are called photic sneezers. The bright
sunlight causes a misfire in the nerves in the nose sending a signal to
the “sneeze center” when it is not needed.
One interesting fact about sneezes is the saying
“bless you” after someone sneezes. This started in the year 590 by Pope
Gregory I. This blessing was a response to the outbreak of the bubonic
plague. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the
plague, so people began the blessing for others affected by the plague.