Why Do We Sneeze When We Are Sick

Why Do We Sneeze When We Are Sick?


MARCH 29, 2024

Health & Wellness


We all hate it when we sneeze. It can be uncomfortable and, let's admit it, embarrassing in public settings. Your nose tickles and you take a deep breath... before letting out an irritating sneeze.

Sneezing is a mechanism our body uses to clear the nose. It's our first defense against harmful airborne allergens and pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, and mold spores when they enter and irritate the nose.

What actually happens when we sneeze

When harmful airborne particles enter your nose, it may irritate the hairs and skin that line your nasal passage. The delicate lining of your nose gets stimulated, sending electric signal to your brain. The brain then signals your body that it's time to sneeze. In just a few seconds, your body gets ready. You shut your eyes and breathe in, your throat muscles relax, and then force air, saliva, and mucus out of your nose and mouth.

Why we sneeze when we are sick

A normal sneeze is meant to expel irritating airborne allergens. However, our body also uses the same mechanism to eliminate these harmful allergens when we're sick. Symptoms like a runny nose, sinus drainage may cause sneezing as a way to expel fluids caused by:

Indoor allergies

When dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and other harmful airborne allergens enter the body, it releases immune system communication chemicals called histamines which activate the immune system in various ways including inflaming nearby tissues and increasing the production of mucus. This triggers a variety of allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, sinus, and itchy eyes. Below are the common indoor allergens that trigger the allergy symptoms including sneezing:

Dust Mites

Mold Spores



Pet Dander

Skin Flakes


PM2.5 & PM10



Viral infections

Sneezing is a typical symptom of the common cold, the flu (influenza), and some sinus issues since these viral infections often cause inflammation in the nasal passages, which prompts the body to expel fluids through sneezing as part of the healing process.

A good air purifier can remove harmful indoor allergens

Good air purifiers with advanced filtration systems like the Sterra Moon Air Purifier are great for relieving allergy symptoms such as sneezing when sick. The Sterra Moon effectively removes allergens, pollutants, particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bacteria, and viruses from the air.

Capture indoor allergens

A key benefit of a good air purifier like the Sterra Moon Air Purifier is the ability to remove 99.97% of all indoor airborne allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. If you display symptoms such as sneezing, chances are your body is signaling you to remove the allergens present in the air. Place an air purifier to frequent areas in your home such as your bedroom and living room, and keep it on to work its magic.

Destroy bacteria and viruses

High-quality air purifiers like the Sterra Moon Air Purifier with advanced UV-C light system are capable of destroying airborne mold spores, bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. This ensures the air is clear of these harmful pollutants that can trigger allergy symptoms such as sneezing.

Disclaimer: No air purifier can prevent transmission of a virus.

A solution proven to work by studies

Here are some studies that show an air purifier with an advanced filtration system like the Sterra Moon Air Purifier can greatly improve indoor air quality and provide relief for allergy symptoms including sneezing.

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