(CollectiveAHA) Sneezing is your body’s way of removing irritants from your nose or throat. A sneeze is a sudden, forceful, uncontrolled burst of air through the nose and mouth, an involuntary and powerful expulsion of air. And it feels so good. Oh yeah.
Causes – Sneezing is caused by irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose or throat. It can be very bothersome, but is rarely a sign of a serious problem.
Sneezing can be due to:
- Allergy to pollen, mold, dander, dust (hay fever)
- Breathing in corticosteroids (from certain nose sprays)
- Common cold or the flu
- Drug withdrawal
- Triggers such as dust, air pollution, dry air, spicy foods, strong emotions, certain medicines, and powders
Home Care – Avoiding exposure to the allergen is the best way to control sneezing caused by allergies. An allergen is something that causes an allergic reaction.
Tips to reduce your exposure:
- Change furnace filters
- Remove pets from the home to get rid of animal dander
- Use air filters to reduce pollen in the air
- Wash linens in hot water (at least 130°F or 54°C) to kill dust mites
- Vacuum and dust frequently
In some cases, you may need to move out of a home with a mold spore problem.Sneezing that is not due to an allergy will disappear when the illness that is causing it is cured or treated.
When to Contact a Medical Professional – Call your health care provider if sneezing is affecting your life and home remedies do not work.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit – Your provider will perform a physical exam and look at your nose and throat. You’ll be asked about your medical history and symptoms. Questions may include when the sneezing started, whether you have other symptoms, or if you have allergies.In some cases, allergy testing may be needed to find the cause.Your provider will suggest treatments and lifestyle changes for hay fever symptoms.
Alternative Names – Sternutation; Allergy – sneezing; Hay fever – sneezing; Flu – sneezing; Cold – sneezing; Dust – sneezing