Whether your signature sneeze is high-pitched and delicate, or a big, braying honk, we all do it. But what is sneezing, actually? “A sneeze is your body’s smart (and dramatic) way of dislodging germs, dust, animal dander, irritants, or pollutants lodged in your nasal lining,” says Sarah Villafranco, M.D. “Mostly, it’s a sign that your body is doing its job to get rid of allergens or irritants.”
In other words, sneezing is harmless. Still, in this time of COVID-19, “sneezing has become less of a feel-good thing in public spaces, sending nearby people scattering almost as fast as your 40,000 sneeze particles,” says Villafranco. So if you’re looking for tricks to keep sneezing to a minimum, we’ve pinpointed the most common causes and rounded up the best home remedies.