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Why do we close our eyes when we sneeze?

Published On: Dec 05 2013 10:45:30 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 18 2013 02:17:06 PM CST
Senior's eye

iStockPhoto / tbradford

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Optometrist Bert Moritz, D.O., of the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wis., explains that six extraocular muscles firmly hold the eye in the socket, making it almost impossible for eyeball subluxing (what a relief!).  And though it may feel as if pressure builds in your entire face before you sneeze, it doesn’t increase in your eyes. So why then do we clamp our eyes shut when we sneeze?

 

“This is an involuntary reflex,” explains Moritz. “When our brain sends this muscle message, one part of the message is to close our eyes. It’s similar to a deep tendon reflex.”

Source: http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/the-eye-popping-truth-about-why-we-close-our-eyes-when-we-sneeze