Why Can’t I Stop Sneezing? Uncontrollable Sneezing Fits

Updated
Updated

How to stop sneezing

Sneezing is typically the result of an inflamed or irritated nasal passage. This is your body’s natural attempt to expel irritants like dust, pollen, pet dander, and even germs. Limiting exposure to these substances, using OTC allergy meds, or trying allergy immunotherapy can help you stop sneezing.

While it’s a completely natural bodily function, sneezing becomes annoying when you experience frequent sneezing fits. Here’s what you need to know about what causes these chronic fits and what you can do to stop sneezing.

What Triggers Uncontrollable Sneezing Fits?

There can be many triggers that lead to uncontrollable sneezing fits. In some cases, allergies may be the culprit of your sneezing fits, especially if you experience other allergy symptoms. These symptoms can include itchy eyes, congestion, and a runny nose.

During seasonal allergy season, airborne triggers like pollen are found in higher concentrations, which can induce chronic sneezing. If these fits occur in the home, allergens from pets and dust may be the reason.

Besides Allergies, Why Can’t You Stop Sneezing?

Not all sneezing fits are related to allergies. Other common causes of sneezing fits include:

Cold or Sinus Infection

Sinus infections can cause sneezing. If you have a cough, fatigue, runny nose, and fever along with your sneezing fit, contact your doctor to see if you have an infection.

Air Quality

Particles in the air can irritate your nose, causing uncontrollable sneezing. Dirt, dust, and smog can also inflame your sinuses, further triggering sneezing.

Dryness

Dry sinuses are prone to sneeze-causing irritation. If you live in a dry climate or are exposed to air conditioning for periods of time, dryness may be why you can’t stop sneezing.

Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays like Flonase are often used to treat allergy symptoms, but they can also cause sneezing fits. If your nasal spray is making you sneeze, you may notice throat irritation or a stinging sensation in your nose.

Why Do Allergies Cause Sneezing Fits?

Sneezing is the body’s way of removing particles and irritants from the nasal passages. For instance, bacteria and viruses irritate nasal tissue on contact, triggering a sneeze to expel them from the nose. But harmless particles like dust, dander, and pollen can also trigger sneezing due to allergic reactions.

How Do I Stop Sneezing Fits?

If allergies are causing your sneezing fits, the fastest way to find relief is to use an antihistamine. This medication is used to treat allergy symptoms, but if taken early, it can also prevent them from occurring.

You can use nasal sprays to treat sneezing and allergies. But if you are still noticing sneezing or irritation after use, you may want to try an oral antihistamine instead.

Choosing an antihistamine often comes down to personal preference, but the most popular include:

Zyrtec (Cetirizine)

  • Fast-acting antihistamine
  • Causes drowsiness
  • Safe for ages 6 and up

Allegra (Fexofenadine)

  • Non-drowsy antihistamine
  • Not recommended for children under 12
  • Takes 1-2 hours to take effect

Claritin (Loratadine)

  • Non-drowsy antihistamine
  • Safe for ages 6 and up
  • Takes 1-3 hours to reduce symptoms

Tips to Handle Sneezing Attacks

No matter what’s causing your sneezing fits, there are things you can do to reduce their frequency and duration.

First, make sure to avoid potential triggers when possible. If you can’t avoid them, then prepare for them. For instance, if cat dander makes you sneeze, avoid petting cats or take an antihistamine when you know you’re going to be around a feline.

When dryness is a problem, use a humidifier to combat dry air. If it’s poor air quality, keep windows closed and wear a mask outdoors. These measures also help when pollen levels are high.

Long-Term Allergy Relief

If allergy-induced sneezing fits drive you crazy, Wyndly can help! Our allergy doctors not only help you to pinpoint the sneezing triggers at the root of your problem, but they suggest solutions and develop a personalized treatment plan just for you. Schedule your allergy consultation today and be one step closer to an allergy-free life!

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