Bless you! Sneezing all the time? Sneezing is a common symptom of allergy

What causes sneezing are foreign substances sticking to the mucous membranes of the nose making them irritated and inflamed. Sneezing is the nose's way of getting rid of the foreign substances, for example dust, mucus and allergens.  It is common for the body to react with sneezes when, for example, affected by a cold. But if you often have sneezing attacks where you sneeze many times in a row, you may in fact be dealing with an allergy.

If the sneezing is caused by an allergy you are probably suffering from other symptoms as well, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes. If you often sneeze but are not inflicted by a cold, it is important to take your problems seriously. If the symptoms are caused by an allergy this means that there is an inflammation going on in the mucous membranes of your nose and throat. Even the respiratory tract is often affected which gives a rise to asthmatic symptoms. Contact a doctor in order to get a proper allergy examination, a doctor can help you find medicines that are able to slow down the disease and ease your problems. You should not have to accept a lowered quality of life because of your allergy.

Sneezing all year round or only sometimes?

Often an allergic rhinitis is the cause of repeated sneezing. Allergic rhinitis implies that the immune system of your body overreacts when in contact with certain substances, called allergens. The allergy may be seasonal or continue all year round, and is mostly caused by airborne allergens. Hay fever is the most common causes of repeated sneezing attacks during specific times of the year. The allergic problems are often worsened during the time of the pollen blooming, and this is when many people, in addition to their other allergic symptoms, feel tired and drowsy. Rhinitis lasting all year round (perennial rhinitis) is often caused by allergies to pets and dust mites. There is also non-allergic rhinitis, triggered by tobacco smoke, perfume, changes in temperature, strong smells, air pollution and other environmental factors.

Treating sneezing

Regardless of whether the sneezing is caused by non-allergic or allergic rhinitis there is help available. Both conditions are treated by attempts to soften the inflammation and stopping chronic problems. Apart from taking your medicines there are some other things you can do in order to optimise your well being in spite of the allergy.

  • Avoid the allergens that trigger the sneezing attacks as much as possible
  • Avoid tobacco smoke
  • Sleep with your head slightly raised by, for example, using an extra pillow. That eases the pressure on the nasal mucous membrane and the symptoms may decrease
  • Rinse your nose using water or saline solution in order to clear off any allergens that stuck in the nasal tract
  • Try over-the-counter antihistamine tablets -  they are usually effective on brief and mild symptoms of allergic rhinitis
  • If the symptoms are prolonged or more severe, a nasal spray containing corticosteroid may be used to impede the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. There is also nasal spray containing both antihistamine and cortisone which softens the inflammation and shows a rapid effect on the symptoms caused by the histamine - sneezing is a classic example of such symptom
  • If you suffer from severe allergy and no medicines help, immunotherapy may be an option. It implies getting injections containing small amounts of the allergen during several years, in order for your body to gradually learn to tolerate it



 UK/GEN/15/0057d                       Date of preparation: December 2015 

Icon quiz

Are you in control of your allergy?

Test yourself here and find out if your allergy is under control.

Test yourself here!