Can't Stop Sneezing

Sneezing is involuntarily forcing air out of your nose due to irritation in your nasal canal. Most of the time, it is acute - lasting for a few minutes to a couple of days. It is usually caused by acute upper respiratory problems like common cold or airborne irritants such as smoke. If the sneezing is continuous and happens frequently, either as intermittent sneezes or bouts of sneezing that occur often throughout the day, there are chances that you have a chronic condition despite the fact that other symptoms are not present.

Reasons Why You Can't Stop Sneezing

1. Allergies

Allergic rhinitis can be one of the reasons for your constant sneezing. It can either be there throughout the year (perennial) or during specific seasons (seasonal). Airborne allergens are common triggers, unlike food allergens. Common features of allergic rhinitis are sneezing in the morning continuously or nasal congestion, itchy eyes, watery eyes and a running nose. If you have seasonal rhinitis, you will experience sudden sneezing attacks, which are often triggered by pollen. Perennial rhinitis, on the other hand, will be characterized by sneezing after you have been exposed to specific triggers like house dust mites, pet hair or strong scents.

2. Infections

Another reason why you can't stop sneezing is that you may have an infection in the upper respiratory tract. If the infection is acute, the sneezing is short lived. However, if it is chronic, the sneezing will persist. Infectious rhinitis can either be viral (rhinoviruses or adenoviruses) or bacterial. If the symptoms are chronic, they may be associated with sinusitis. Fungal infections are rare though they can also make you have chronic sneezing.

3. Irritants

If you are constantly exposed to ingested, systemic and airborne irritants, you may experience chronic sneezing. Some of the triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes (contraceptive or pregnancy)
  • Dry weather
  • Spicy foods
  • Strong odors from spices and perfumes
  • Cigarette smoking (secondary smoking)
  • Inorganic and organic dusts
  • Environmental pollution

4. Medication

Another reason why you can't stop sneezing might be medication. This is referred to as drug-induced rhinitis. Some drugs dry out the nasal canal causing you to sneeze though there are no signs of rhinitis. Such medications include:

  • Erectile dysfunction drugs
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Nasal decongestants (when overused, they cause rebound rhinitis)
  • Diuretics
  • Hypertension drugs
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

5. Other Causes

  • Professional swimmers
  • Tobacco sniffing
  • Cocaine sniffing
  • Nasal polyps
  • Neurological problems that affect the sneezing center in the medulla or trigeminal nerve.

Ways to Help If You Can't Stop Sneezing

1. Boost Your Immune System

  • Get plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D stops your immune system from overreacting. Your body manufactures vitamin D from sunlight. Use safe sunbeds or go out and bask in the sun. Foods like mushrooms, salmon, sardines and eggs, all have some amounts of vitamin D. Eat them as often as you can. You can also take vitamin D supplements.
  • Eat right. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables should be a mainstay. They contain substances that help your body deal with allergens.
  • Take plenty of vitamin C. It is a natural antihistamine that can help lower the amount of histamine production in your body. Grapefruit, lemon, oranges as well as their juices contain rich amount of vitamin C.

2. Use Essential Oils

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil contains antibacterial properties that naturally decongest and clear up your nasal canal.

You need:

  • 1 bowl hot water
  • 5-6 drops of peppermint oil
  • Towel

Instructions

  • Pour the peppermint oil in the hot bowl of water
  • Cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has immune boosting properties and also clears your nasal cavity. It also suppresses histamine response by the body, thus reducing sneezing.

You need:

  • 2 drops of lavender oil
  • Cotton ball (optional)

Instructions

  • Dab a drop of the oil on each nostril. This will ease the sneezing immediately.
  • Alternatively, you can swipe the inside of your cheek with a drop of lavender oil.
  • If you are not comfortable with either of the above, you can soak a cotton ball in the 2 drops and smell the aroma of the oil.

Lemon Essential Oil

Just the fruit lemon essential oil can be of help if you can't stop sneezing. It is a powerful antioxidant, and it clears toxins from your body including those that might be causing the sneezing. In addition, it also boosts your immunity.

You need:

  • 1-2 drops of lemon oil

To apply, try the following:

  • Add the oil to hot water and inhale the steam.
  • Place the oil in a diffuser.
  • Add some drops to water and drink daily as dietary supplement.
  • Apply the oil directly on your nostrils.

3. Rinse Nose with Saline Solution

Saline solutions are made with warm water that soothes your mucus membranes thus curing the inflammation. This will not only stop you from sneezing, but also from other seasonal allergy symptoms.

You need:

  • ½-1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼- ½ teaspoons of baking soda (optional)
  • 1-2 cups of warm water
  • Dropper/ neti pot

Instructions

  • Mix the salt and baking powder in the water.
  • Fill the solution in either the dropper or the neti pot.
  • Have a bowl or sink under your face and look upwards, tilting your head to one side.
  • Insert the dropper and squeeze a drop in the nostril that is facing upwards towards the roof.
  • As the water drops in your nostril, keep your mouth open for breathing purposes.
  • Tilt your head in a manner that the water will drain out through the other nostril (the one lying downward towards the floor).
  • Repeat the procedure with the other nostril.
 
 
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