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Sneezing, also known as sternutation, is a reflexive reaction to irritants coming in contact with our nasal passages.
Some strange things can make us sneeze — including, according to WebMD and Everyday Health, exercise, pepper, germs, dust, pollen, animal dander, pollutants, sunshine, and sex. MedlinePlus adds the common cold, the flu, strong emotions, mold, drug withdrawal, and certain medications to the list. You can’t sneeze in your sleep, though, as your sneezing nerves are relaxed when you’re sleeping. An irritant may wake you up to sneeze, however!
So why do we sneeze twice (or more)? While some people sneeze three or more times rather than twice, multiple sneezes in a row are more common than a single sneeze. According to Everyday Health, sneezing functions as a reset for our nasal environment. Marjorie L. Slankard, MD tells Everyday Health that “you sneeze to rid your nose of what’s irritating it.
Sometimes that takes two, three, or four sneezes.” Similarly, WebMD reports that “sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses.” Just be glad you only sneeze a few times — poor Donna Griffiths of Worchestershire, England is said to have sneezed every day for 978 days!
So how can you stop sneezing? While some sneezing will be unavoidable, determining the irritants that bother your nose in particular can make a huge difference. Avoiding irritants can eliminate related instances of sneezing, though if you have allergies, evasion may be difficult. You may need to undergo allergy testing to help with symptoms and treatment.
As MedlinePlus explains that, if you make a medical appointment, “your health care provider will suggest treatments and lifestyle changes for hay fever symptoms.” If you have a cold or flu, the sneezing should stop when you get better.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sneezing is mainly caused by allergens that irritates the mucous membranes inside your nose and throat causing you to sneeze. The best way to deal with sneezing is to consult an allergy doctor who will be able to tell you what you are allergic to and the best allergy treatment.
If you’re a Houston resident, Dr. Nguyen can help you treat your allergy problems. With more than ten years experience specializing in allergy treatments, he can assess your situation and provide you with the relief you seek.
Book an assessment with Dr. Nguyen at Houston Sinus & Allergy, and start breathing easier.