A sneeze is a sudden, forceful, uncontrolled burst of air through the nose and mouth. Anything that irritates the nose can result in sneezing. Sneezing can be triggered by particles of dust, pollen, spices, or animal dander. Sneezing is a semiautonomous reflex that is similar to blinking and breathing, meaning there is a level of conscious control over it. One may be able to delay the sneeze long enough to grab a tissue, turn away, or stop it altogether with the help of some tricks and home remedies. Suppressing a sneeze every time is not recommended, because sneezing is also a way for the body to expel unwanted germs and particles. One should always cover their nose and mouth while sneezing and wash or sanitize their hands to avoid the spread of infections. If the sneezing is caused due to an allergy to something and is recurrent, consulting a doctor is advised. A doctor may recommend identifying the allergen test with the help of an allergy test, and medical management can help manage sneezing and other symptoms associated with allergy.
How to stop sneezing: 8 easy tips
8 Easy tips to stop sneezing include:
- Avoiding triggers: Identifying the causes of sneezing, which can vary with people, and avoiding them accordingly can help prevent sneezing. Common triggers include:
- Animal dander
- Bright lights
- Spices like black pepper and chili powder
- Common cold viruses
- Protection from environmental hazards: People living in a polluted environment or people working in farms or zoos may have sneezing issues. Organic and inorganic dust that can trigger sneezing include:
- Chemicals like pesticides and herbicides
- Cotton wool dust
- Wood dust
- Grains and flour
- Over the counter mediation: People with allergies usually sneeze in bursts of two to three or even more sneezes. Using an over the counter (OTC) antiallergy medication (antihistamine) like Cetirizine, Fexofenadine, or intranasal spray or drops containing steroids, and/or nasal decongestion may help.
- Saying an odd word: It is believed that saying an odd word like “pickles” when the feeling of sneezing arises supposedly distracts one from sneezing.
- Blowing the nose: Sneezing is usually caused by irritants in the nose and sinuses. When the feeling of sneezing arises, blowing the nose can help blow out the irritant and stop the sneeze reflex.
- Pinching the nose: Pinching the nose at the nostrils when the feeling of sneezing arises can effectively prevent the sneeze. When you feel a sneeze coming, try pinching your nose at the nostrils like you might when you smell something bad.
- Using the tongue: Tickling the roof of the mouth with the tongue can curb the urge to sneeze. Pressing the tongue hard against the two front teeth can help pass the urge to sneeze.
- Consuming more Vitamin C and Zinc: Vitamin C and Zinc boost the immune system and reduce the frequency of infections and allergies. Vitamin C is rich in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. Zinc is rich in legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vitamin C and zinc supplements may also be taken.
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Medline Plus. Sneezing. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003060.htm
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