December 20, 2008

Sex makes some people sneeze

Some people sneeze when they think about sex, have a full stomach or walk into sunlight, says a British doctor who investigated sneezing phenomena.

It certainly seems odd, but I think this reflex demonstrates evolutionary relics in the wiring of a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system, said Dr. Mahmood Bhutta, an ear, nose and throat specialist at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Sneezing caused by sexual thoughts may be under-reported because people are embarrassed to discuss the problem, said Bhutta, whose team turned to Internet chat rooms and found many people admitted anonymously that they sneezed when sexually excited, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Other people sneeze in response to sunlight and there are entire families who sneeze when their stomachs are full, indicating the sneezing is genetically linked, said Bhutta, whose research was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.