The Varying Theories That Attempt to Explain Why Some People Sneeze When Exposed to Sunlight

In a recent episode of the Mental Floss series “Big Questions“, host Craig Benzine aka Wheezy Waiter addresses the photic sneeze reflex and the varying theories seek to explain why some people sneeze when they first encounter sunlight.

According to various studies between 10 and 35 percent of people have the photic sneeze reflex and it’s actually genetic. One study in the 1960s reveal that if you have the photic sneeze reflex there’s a 50 percent chance that your child will have it too. There haven’t been too many studies on why it exists though, and here comes the most common sentence in the Big Question, there are a few prevailing theories.