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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Smaze equals sneeze

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace D. Chong - The Freeman

Aaaaa-choo!

You’ve heard this sound before—it’s the sound of sneeze. It could come from anyone; it might even have come from you at some point in the past, or at the moment.

This funny sound comes when you have air come suddenly and noisily out through your nose and mouth in a way that you cannot control, no matter how hard you try.

* * *

Here’s how a sneeze happens:

When you breathe in, you take in more than oxygen. You can breathe in dust, any particles that cause allergy, bacteria, and viruses floating around in the air.

Sometimes something you breathe in will tickle the inside of your nose. Whatever extra you breathe in, other than air, will irritate the mucus membranes that line your nose and throat. These irritating things will stimulate nerves in your nose. Signals are then sent to your brain – your so-called sneeze center.

This will, in turn, send a message to all the many muscles that have to work together to trigger a reaction:

Aaaaa-choo!

* * *

According to a health report I read, “Some of the muscles involved in a sneeze are our belly muscles, our chest muscles, our diaphragm (the large muscle under your lungs that makes you breathe), the muscles that control our vocal cords, and muscles in the back of our throat.”

And of course, our eyelid muscles. Try watching someone sneezing, his eyes are closed!

Sneezing, also called sternutation, is your body’s way of shooing away the foreign things out of your nose. And of course these irritants zoom out like race cars—speeding up to 100 miles per hour!

* * *

That’s how fast illnesses spread.

Once the irritants are out of sneezer’s mouth, totally healthy people can also breathe them in. And before they know it, these tiny foreign bodies have invaded their noses and mouths. Then they too will start sneezing: Aaaaa-choo!  The beginning of an illness.

Kids and adults in Singapore and Mindanao have been sneezing a lot in recent weeks. All because of smaze – a combination of smoke and haze.

You must have read about the Indonesian farming fires, which happen every year. People burn old crops to plant new ones on acres and acres of land. This year, the fire – because of the wind and global warming – became so widespread and uncontrollable. Instead of usually affecting only Singapore, the gigantic smaze reached Mindanao (only about 1,200 kilometers from the nearest Indonesian fires) and some parts of Visayas.

The smaze had become a big problem to the places affected, because it disrupted air traffic. Many flights were cancelled because the haze obstructed the pilots’ sight; they couldn’t see where they were going!

Worst of all, the smaze endangered public health.

* * *

Doctors, the weather and environment agencies in Singapore and the Philippines advised the people in all the places blanketed by the smaze to wear masks for protection.

“People with respiratory disease like asthma should limit outdoor exertion,” they warned.

* * *

Should you see anyone burning anything close to your home, report it to your barangay immediately. Burning of trash, debris, or grass, can cause smaze and trigger lots of sneeze. That’s not very good for people’s health.

When you feel yourself about to sneeze, grab a hanky right away and cover your mouth with it. This will prevent the foreign bodies in your nose and mouth to rush out and endanger other people’s health.

Email me at: [email protected] or send me a message through my website: http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com.

AAAAA

ACIRC

BREATHE

CENTER

MINDANAO

MUSCLES

NOSE

PEOPLE

QUOT

SINGAPORE AND MINDANAO

SINGAPORE AND THE PHILIPPINES

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