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Alternative Names Return to topSternutation
Definition Return to top
A sneeze is a sudden, forceful, involuntary burst of air through the nose and mouth.
Considerations Return to top
Sneezing is caused by irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose or throat. It can be very bothersome, but is generally not a sign of a serious problem.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Avoiding exposure to the offending allergen is the best way to control sneezing caused by allergies.
Tips to reduce your exposure:
In some cases, moving out of a home with a mold spore problem may be necessary.
Sneezing not due to an allergy will disappear when the underlying disorder is cured or treated.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your provider if sneezing adversely affects your life and home remedies do not work.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your medical provider will perform a physical exam and examine your the upper respiratory tract. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms such as:
In some cases, allergy testing may be needed to provide an accurate diagnosis.
Antihistamines are the first line of therapy for sneezing caused by allergies. Nasal steroid sprays may be helpful in more chronic conditions.
Allergy shots, also called immunotherapy or hyposensitization, may be considered for seasonal or year round symptoms that cannot be managed with other drugs because of their side effects.
References Return to top
Bahls C. In the clinic. Allergic rhinitis. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Apr 3;146(7):ITC4-1-ITC4-16.
Saleh HA, Durham SR. Perennial rhinitis. BMJ. 2007 Sep 8;335(7618):502-7.Update Date: 9/9/2008 Updated by: Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.