Would you rather sneeze or hiccup an inch away from someone else’s face? Would you rather sneeze or hiccup while switching lanes on the highway? If you were about to knock on the door of the dean’s office planning to hand them a transfer credit request that you’ve waited six months for, would you rather sneeze on the papers or hiccup on them as the dean watched in horror?
That’s what I thought. There’s no question that sneezes are significantly worse than hiccups and here are five reasons to convince you.
1. Sneezes are germy and blinding. A single sneeze can spread up to 40,000 potentially infectious droplets which are gross. Sneezing not only spreads unwanted germs further but also temporarily blinds you. According to Optometrist Bert Moritz, closing your eyes during a sneeze is an involuntary reflex and very difficult to ignore.
While it is possible to sneeze with your eyes open, urban legend has it that your eyes might pop out. In fact, a woman in 1882 reported having done so after an intense bout of sneezing. You know those one-eyed pirates? They may have lost an eye during allergy season.
2. Sneezes are one of the fastest things on earth. If you’ve ever had a cat, you probably know how fast they can swat bugs, toys, and unwelcomed head-scratches. Try to think of the fastest feline you know of, be it a lion, a puma, or the domestic farm cat across your street named Tom. One of the world’s fastest animals is actually the cheetah, which can run up to 113 kilometres an hour. A sneeze — which I’ll remind you, is droplets of spit and mucus — can reach speeds up to 160 kilometres an hour, which makes it both gross and hard to outrun.
3. Sneezing equates to bad superstition, unlike hiccups, which according to an old Russian wives tale, hiccups means someone is thinking about you. Aw, how cute.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for sneezes. Superstition has it that in Indian, Bengali, and Iranian culture, a sneeze before a project represents an impending negative interruption. See? At least they understood the dangers of sneezing! They would often even take water breaks before resuming work to prevent any misfortune from occurring.
After you burp, people commonly say, “pardon me.” What about after you hiccup? After scouring the internet, it’s become apparent that people will either mock you or offer you some water. This is not the case for sneezing. After sneezing, the audience around you tends to say, “bless you.” During the Renaissance period, it was believed that sneezing briefly stopped your heart, so people would “bless you” as a prayer for your heart to continue beating.
That’s messed up.
4. But it’s also kind of true because sneezing can definitely injure you. What happens when you close your mouth during a hiccup? Nothing, you simply provide more peace of mind to the irritated people around you. But! The same cannot be said for a sneeze. Holding in a sneeze by closing your mouth can result in ruptured eardrums, ear infections, damaged blood vessels, diaphragm injuries, aneurysms, throat damage, and broken ribs.
5. Sneezing is inescapable and unavoidable. It’s commonly believed that drinking water or holding your breath can get rid of hiccups, yet a cure for sneezing has yet to be discovered. Sure, you could try covering your nose, but that doesn’t negate the fact that There’s also an entire season dedicated to sneezing. It’s called spring. If hay fever wasn’t bad enough, research found that 35 per cent of people sneeze when looking at the sun or bright light.
In conclusion, sneezing is as unavoidable as the sun itself. If you’ve come this far and still believe that hiccupping is worse than sneezing, then I can only wish that there is no one around to “bless you” the next time you sneeze.