Allergic to the Sun?

I am one of 18-35% of the human population with a photic sneeze reflex! If I step out of a dark building into full bright sunlight, it makes me sneeze. It always has. When I was a kid, I used to think I was just weird somehow, but seemingly, it isn’t so rare.

First documented in work attributed to Aristotle, solar sneezes are apparently a genetic thing. The nerve responsible for sneezes (believed to be the trigeminal nerve) has a close association in some people with the optic nerve. As a result, if you overstimulate your optic nerve (by suddenly stepping into bright sunlight, for instance) it also stimulates your trigeminal, making you sneeze. How curious.

I always seem to end up reading random things while I’m waiting for computers to come back online…

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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