Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Have PSR

What is that, you ask? It's Photic Sneeze Reflex—the sun makes me sneeze. As soon as I step outside into the bright sunlight, I instantly sneeze. Whenever I tell someone this, they look at me like I'm crazy. I have to Google it to prove I'm not (crazy, that is). Roughly 25% of the population suffer from PSR, so it's a wonder no one believes me. And it's not just the sun—bright lights can make me sneeze too.

According to Wikipedia, "The probable cause is a congenital malfunction in nerve signals in the trigeminal nerve nuclei. The fifth cranial nerve, called the trigeminal nerve, is apparently responsible for sneezes. Research suggests that some people have an association between this nerve and the nerve that transmits visual impulses to the brain. Overstimulation of the optic nerve triggers the trigeminal nerve, and this causes the photic sneeze reflex." Got all that?

I like to believe that I'm part of the 25% of humanity that is more evolved than everyone else. If we try to look directly at the sun, we sneeze. Maybe this gene will one day save humanity. Or not. Maybe we'll just keep the sunglass industry afloat.


Kay Sexton said...

Brilliant - no excuse not to be writing then!

Lydia Theys said...

It could be so much worse! You could, say, pee when you stepped into the sun. or vomit. Always count on me to look on the sunny--er--bright side.

SusanD said...

I don't have this, Don, but my grandfather did. He assumed it was because it was too much light flooding his iris, which couldln't dilate quickly enough, so it forced a sneeze to make his eyes close. I don't know if that theory had merit or not, but it is a nice excuse to rock the shades. I have to wear them because I can't stand sunlight AT ALL due to a sloppy eye surgery years ago. I don't mind. I like the shades, too.

eagle said...

You're just one step closer to being a Morlock...and we all know how disturbing that is.