Bright lights big sneeze!

Photic Sneez Reflex

  • Photic Sneez Reflex - Is a phenomenon where moving from darkness into very bright light, cause to reflexively sneeze.
  • Photic sneezers would also sneeze when exposed to bright sunlight, flash photography, and in one case, an ultraviolet light.
  • Doctors have found the sneezes only happen when a patient is first exposed to light.
  • The Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle observed the phenomenon as well.
  • In his Book of Problems, he (or possibly his students) asked, "why does the heat of the Sun provoke sneezing, and not the heat of the fire?"
  • He concluded that the Sun's heat aerosolises the fluids within the nose, which triggers a sneeze.
  • The heat of a fire, on the other hand, not only vaporises those fluids, but also consumes them, thus drying out the nose, which actually inhibits a sneeze.
  • Bright lights, big sneeze
  • Driving from dark tunnels into the light can be dangerous if you're a photic sneezer