Sun sneezing

Malaysia
December 7, 2017 2:57am CST
I was just randomly wondering today if there are unusual factors that make people sneeze. You know, reasons other than having a cold, or because of dust, etc. And it turned out that there is a condition where people sneeze when they're exposed to the sun or bright light. The proper name is actually "photic sneeze reflex" or ACHOO syndrome. I'm not kidding! ACHOO = autosomal dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst (of sneezing, of course). Clever, right? So basically, the sneezing fits are not caused by nasal irritation, but rather induced by the light. Ever sneezed because of random things? What makes YOU sneeze? Achoo!
If you find yourself sneezing when you come from the dark into the light, you’re not alone. Jason G Goldman investigates why this sudden syndrome strikes.
20 people like this
25 responses
@sishy7 (27410)
• Australia
7 Dec
That happens to my husband. He also has a sneeze fit when he cleans his ears using the ear cotton buds...
6 people like this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Oh really? I didn't know cleaning your ears with cotton buds can make you sneeze too!
3 people like this
@sishy7 (27410)
• Australia
7 Dec
@cahaya1983 I don't know anyone else but him who is like that...
2 people like this
@ilocosboy (33306)
• Philippines
7 Dec
Oh that I learned now. I think I sneeze when colds
3 people like this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Me too. You're not allergic to anything else?
3 people like this
@ilocosboy (33306)
• Philippines
7 Dec
I think I'm not,
3 people like this
@shubhu3 (13557)
• New Delhi, India
7 Dec
Umm I never thought about this. The reason why I sneeze umm may be due to dust sometimes or randomly.
3 people like this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Yeah dust always makes me sneeze too. Not fun!
1 person likes this
@shubhu3 (13557)
• New Delhi, India
7 Dec
@cahaya1983 I agree.
2 people like this
@maezee (27896)
• United States
7 Dec
That is interestig. Maybe I am one of these since if I need to sneeze I always look at the light!
3 people like this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
I never knew about this condition so it might have happened to me too but I just didn't realize it.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (59974)
• United States
9 Dec
Don't laugh, but the sun makes me sneeze. I must wear sunglasses, especially in Florida. Ahcoo!
2 people like this
• Malaysia
9 Dec
Oh yes you should! Not fun having a sneezing fit during your winter vacation I'm sure.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (59974)
• United States
13 Dec
@cahaya1983 It happens at home, too. Can't win. Lol!
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (38163)
• Philippines
7 Dec
hmmm, i have never heard about this, but one very good remedy if you feel you want to sneeze but the sneeze does not come out, is you look at the sun, head up high, and then you are stimulated to sneeze
2 people like this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
So it has to do with the fact that the light can be a stimuli, then. Interesting! I'll keep that in mind the next time I have trouble sneezing.
2 people like this
@ridingbet (38163)
• Philippines
8 Dec
@cahaya1983 yes and i think it is better than inserting a pointed object, like a rolled corner of a handkerchief, or the tip of a match stick, to stimulate oneself to sneeze.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (54849)
• Delhi, India
7 Dec
I am not sure if exposure to light could be a cause of our sneezing. I sometimes sneeze even when sitting in room, which happens due to some allergens.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Well apparently it could. I didn't know there's even such a thing until I read the explanation. There's a more detailed explanation about the condition if you search on academic journal websites.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (54849)
• Delhi, India
7 Dec
@cahaya1983 There may be more than one reasons or say many reasons which cause us to sneeze. Sneezing is a defence mechanism also.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
@dpk262006 For sure. This is one factor, but not the only factor.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Dec
When I was younger, I would need to sneeze but I couldn't sometimes. I would always look into a light and this would help.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
8 Dec
I think I'm going to try the same thing the next time I can't sneeze. Oh but I guess that would only work during the day when the sun is still up.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Dec
@cahaya1983 It also works on inside lights.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
10 Dec
@misunderstood_zombie Yeah I think it's any sort of bright light, so indoor lights should work too.
@RasmaSandra (13424)
• Riga, Latvia
7 Dec
If I have a cold I sneeze quite a lot but other times I just start sneezing in the morning and cannot seem to stop until I am all sneezed out. I don't know why that happens some mornings.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Oh I sneeze more often in the morning too. I don't know if it's because of the cold air or what, exactly. Then the sneezing just stops.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (13424)
• Riga, Latvia
7 Dec
@cahaya1983 and as soon as I replied to this I had a sneezing fit but now all is OK
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
@RasmaSandra I'm glad you're okay! I hope I won't cause everyone who reads this to have a sneezing fit!
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (20483)
• Canada
12 Dec
Interesting! I think I sneeze when my body wants to get rid of something in a hurry.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
13 Dec
Right, I think that's a common cause for most people. It can be a huge relief though.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (20483)
• Canada
13 Dec
@cahaya1983 You bet! Never try to stifle a sneeze. It can be pretty dangerous.
1 person likes this
@bluesa (12836)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
9 Dec
I have quite a few allergies, so I take antihistamines, otherwise I would walk around sneezing. But I can't recall sunlight making me sneeze, never even knew it could. Thank goodness it doesn't cause me to sneeze.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
10 Dec
I only found out about it recently too! I sneeze at random times so I've never really paid attention to what the cause is, it could be the sun but I just didn't realize it.
1 person likes this
@bluesa (12836)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
12 Dec
1 person likes this
@peachpurple (10755)
• Malaysia
7 Dec
8 had been sneezing the whole day after I opened a new shoe box that was delivered today
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Hmm I'm guessing some tiny particles from inside the box irritated your nose.
1 person likes this
@peachpurple (10755)
• Malaysia
7 Dec
@cahaya1983 yes, must be the dust or germs, whatever from the shoe box
2 people like this
• New Delhi, India
7 Dec
This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Thanks! Are you a medical doctor? I'm curious if you have patients coming to you because of this condition.
2 people like this
• New Delhi, India
7 Dec
@cahaya1983 no dear....I'm a dentist.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (27092)
• United States
13 Dec
Yep if I go outside when the sun in bright it makes me sneeze. Some people seem more affected by this than others.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
13 Dec
That's true. I don't think it affects me that much, but if it does I guess I'm probably used to it by now because it's sunny here most days.
1 person likes this
@kepweng (6444)
8 Dec
i sneezed when i smell bad Odor like people not taking a bath or perfume that smell vinegar
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
8 Dec
Oh yes vinegar and black pepper make me sneeze too.
1 person likes this
@Teep11 (6556)
• United States
7 Dec
Sneezes can occur when there's particles entering the naval cavity. Sneezing will help release the particles and sneezing also occurs when there's allergic reactions. That's what happens to me=(Tanikka Paulk)
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Yes generally that's the reason people sneeze, but based on the article apparently sneezing can also be due to other stimuli besides nasal irritation.
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (11908)
• United States
7 Dec
Wow, that's a new one on me. LAst sneeze I had was because of a particularly annoying perfume sample
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Oh yes some perfume smells are a bit too strong. They irritate my throat too!
2 people like this
• Derby, England
7 Dec
I sneeze when I go into bright sunlight or if I spray a strong scent on . Dust also makes me sneeze. In fact any excuse my nose seems to take the opportunity to sneeze!!
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Super annoying that even the slightest thing irritates the nose, isn't it? I think haven't really paid attention to sneezing when I go into bright sunlight because I'm exposed to the sun almost every single day here.
1 person likes this
@dodoazo (11383)
• Philippines
7 Dec
I sneeze for three possible causes. One is when I am sick. That means I am affected by cold virus. Second is when I try to tickle the inner part of my nose with a tip of a feather. And the last, when I direct look at the sun but not too long, then I sneeze.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
I actually had no idea about the sun sneezing until today. I didn't expect to hear that quite a number of people experience this. But why would you tickle the inner part of your nose on purpose, though?
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (13698)
• Japan
7 Dec
Someone is thinking about you so you sneeze. ;)
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
7 Dec
Really? Now that's funny because in our culture we say that if you suddenly cough then it means someone's mentioning your name!
1 person likes this