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Bryan Applications, S

The mechanism of a sneeze is similar to that of a cough. There is first a deep inspiration and then closure of the glottis. Following on this is a violent expiration-effort, the glottis flies open, and a blast of air is sent out through the nose. The sneeze is provoked by some irritation in the nose, and its object is to get rid of the irritant.

Paroxysmal sneezing is a feature of hay fever, but may be caused by other irritants besides pollen, and sometimes occurs when there is no evidence of any irritant at all. There is at the same time free watering of the eyes and a copious discharge.

Sneezing is a symptom also of a common cold and of influenza, and its effect in these diseases may be to disseminate germs far and wide. A sufferer from of those diseases should have a handkerchief impregnated with some volatile antiseptic and should always sneeze the handkerchief.

The treatment of sneezing is that of the disease underlying it, but when bouts of sneezing are frequent it is well to have the nose examined, as a septal spur or some other source of irritation may exist. See: Allergy.. Cold.. Hay Fever..