Whether your signature sneeze is high and tender or a big screaming honk, we all do. But what exactly is sneezing? “A sneeze is your body’s smart (and dramatic) way of removing germs, dust, pet dander, irritants, or pollutants that are in your nasal lining,” he says Sarah Villafranco, MD “Most of the time, it’s a sign that your body is doing its job to get rid of allergens or irritants.”

In other words, sneezing is harmless. During this time of COVID-19, “Sneezing in public spaces has become less of a good feeling as people nearby disperse almost as quickly as your 40,000 sneeze particles,” says Villafranco. So if you’re looking for tricks to keep sneezing to a minimum, we’ve identified the most common causes and rounded up the best home remedies.