This passage discusses what causes a person to sneeze.

Lexile Level: 990L

Categories: Sports & Health

What causes people to sneeze? Whenever something irritating enters the nose, we sneeze to cause that irritant to be expelled. The medical term for sneezing is sternutation. The air that is moving out of our noses can reach a speed of 100 miles per hour, and muscles far from the nose are involved in each sneeze. The next time you sneeze, pay close attention and you will notice that even muscles in your chest and abdomen are contracting. Your eyes close as well. Many things can make people sneeze, such as dust, pepper, or cold air. Some people have allergies that cause them to be sensitive to certain things, such as pet dander or pollen. If a person who is allergic to oak pollen encounters this allergen, one of the body's first defenses is to sneeze in order to remove the irritant. Many people sneeze when they look into bright light. Most anything can trigger one of our most common experiences, the sneeze.

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