Arab weather - when the feeling of sneezing hits us , the palm of the hand may rise on its own, and gather to form a cover for the nose and mouth, and now - congratulations - your palm contains drops full of germs and mucus that came out of your nose and mouth, you must now run to the sink, and wash your hands For 20 seconds!
In the event that you do not have a tissue and you start to feel sneezing, you may resort to covering the nose and mouth using your elbow instead of the palm of the hand, but are the elbows really better for sneezing than the hands?
When we sneeze or cough , droplets come out of our mouths of varying sizes.Think of it like you dipped a brush in paint and then pushed it forward with tremendous force, if you were to do this in a white room, you would notice a scattered pattern of paint smudging the walls and the floor.
Scientifically, sneezing is a violent release of air from the lungs that causes progressive disturbances in the normal flow of air, and the cloud of hot moist air that comes out with a sneeze contains droplets of multiple sizes that contain germs and pathogens. The heavier droplets , which contain many pathogens, fall close to the person due to the Earth's gravity, and the smaller drops in the cloud lose moisture over time and become something known as an aerosol. Aerosols can remain suspended in the air long enough that the air can carry it far and wide, and if this disease-carrying aerosol enters the ventilation systems, it can diffuse through the system.
The size and amount of droplets produced varies greatly depending on whether a person is coughing or sneezing . Sneezing generates about a million drops, while coughing generates only a few thousand. Since the volume depends on the pressure in the lungs, the effect of sneezing produces a greater proportion of small-sized drops , while coughing results in a variety of sizes, but does the size of the droplets matter?
Some research papers indicate that aerosols can travel deep into the airways and cause disease . There are other opinions indicating that aerosols cannot carry many pathogens, but they still cause disease more than directly touching the nose.
Recent studies have shown that the aerosols produced by coughing and sneezing can cause diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, and others, which supports the first opinion.
So it is important to cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing , but which is better to cover the nose and mouth in case the handkerchief, hand or elbow is not available?
Which is better to cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, hand or elbow?
Human behavior is highly dependent on habit, and when we sneeze or cough , it seems that we are instinctively using our hands. And if you think about your actions, how often do you think about every surface your hands touch after sneezing or coughing?
We use our hands for countless things every day, knowingly or not, touching things around us, pressing buttons, and many other things.
The drops on our hands can then be transferred to all of these surfaces, and the next person who touches these spots will likely expose themselves to pathogens and pass them on to others. In contrast, the inner elbow does not touch these objects.
Thus, changing our habits to sneezing in the elbow could reduce indirect transmission of disease, and lower infection rates.
In the end, you can choose what works for you, either using your hands and washing them directly, or simply sneeze into your inner elbow and go about your day.