Sunshine, Sex and Sneezing
The sneeze is perhaps the most common “affliction” known to humans (and some animals, too, as pet owners well know).
Sternutation (the inexplicably more complicated name that scientists call sneezing) is an instinctive immune response and happens when nerve endings, usually in the nasal lining, become irritated by particles such as dust, pollen or bacteria.
But there are other, more bizarre circumstances that can trigger a sneeze or two, too.
British doctors discovered that sex causes some people to start sneezing. And not just actual sex, but for some individuals, just thinking about intercourse results in one, two, or a series of sneezes. One would imagine this telltale reaction could be quite inconvenient (or potentially dangerous) in any number of situations (church, work, your best friend’s wedding, to name just a few).
The research found this "under-reported" phenomenon may be genetically passed on and caused by a defect in the parasympathetic or unconscious nervous system.
A more common, though still strange, reaction is the fact that about 1 in 4 people sneeze due to sunlight. Sneezing caused by exposure to any kind of light and having a full stomach have also been documented.
While on the subject, there is one old-time myth we can put to rest here: Your heart does not stop beating every time you sneeze. So we have that going for us.