Gazoontite! This time of year brings the sniffling, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes… oh my! Let’s take a minute just to appreciate how SMART this is of your body… annoying, yes — but very smart!
We sneeze because it’s our body’s way of removing an irritant from the nose. The first line of defense is your nose hairs… so your grandpa with the extra long nose hairs has a SUPER good first line of defense!
If these irritants (particles, dust, pollen, dander) get past these nose hairs, they go to the back of your nose where you have special tissue called the nasal mucosa. This is “special” for a number of reasons. First, it will respond to these irritants by producing mucus which will remove these particles from your body (a runny nose!). It also triggers the production of a immune system chemical called histamine. Histamine makes the capillaries extra permeable… which is just a fancy way of saying that more fluid will leave the capillaries and hang out in the nasal area. All of this extra fluid tries to escape, and this is why you get itchy and runny eyes, and a runny nose.
Histamine will also send signals up to your brain, letting your brain know there are foreign particles that need to get out! So, your brain will start organizing the complex process of sneezing. I know it doesn’t seem complex, but think of how many muscles have to work at the same time for your body to sneeze! Your throat muscles, diaphragm, lung muscles, chest muscles, stomach muscles, mouth muscles, and even your eyelids! You will always close your eyes when you sneeze. Don’t try it… just trust me on that one! All those muscles working together makes a sneeze powerful! The particles of a sneeze can travel up to 100 miles per hour — so watch out!
The human body is like an orchestra, everything working together to produce the perfect masterpiece…. and the conductor is your nervous system! It initiates and coordinates every function in your body. This time of the year with allergies causes a hyper-immune response (all that stuff we talked about earlier). The nervous system is coordinating the immune response, so getting our nervous system checked and making sure it is functioning optimally will help our immune system function properly. This is why we hear a lot of people tell us they have seen huge improvements in their seasonal allergies after starting chiropractic care!
Just like Lucia….
“I used to have the worst sinus and allergy attacks, having to take Claritin as often as I could. Today, I’m free of all over the counter drugs thanks to Dr. Niki and Dr. Bethany!”