Sneezing Symptoms, Causes & Treatment in Denver, CO
Constant sneezing is frustrating and annoying – both for suffering patients and for those around them. Thankfully, our ENT experts specialize in finding the root cause of your sneezing and creating a treatment plan that truly works. End your sneezing symptoms today.
What Causes Sneezing?
Sneezing, also called sternutation, is a sudden burst of air through the nose and mouth that occurs when the sensitive mucous membranes in the nose are irritated. When you sneeze, around 40,000 droplets are ejected from the nose at a speed of about 10 miles an hour, traveling anywhere from 2 to 26 feet away. The nose attempts to clean the air we breathe by filtering dirt and debris as it enters the nostrils. Sneezing is usually caused when an irritant enters the nose that can’t be filtered or absorbed right away.
Sneezing can be triggered by many different sources, including:
- Sinus and nasal issues
- Viruses, such as cold or flu
- Nasal irritants, such as dust, smoke, or other particles
- Inhalation of nasal sprays or drugs
In Denver, Colorado the most common cause of sneezing is allergies. The doctors at Advanced ENT & Allergy Center have helped countless patients overcome their sneezing symptoms through careful diagnosis and treatment. Schedule a consultation with our experts.
Am I Sneezing Because of Allergies?
The most common cause of continued sneezing is allergies. This is especially true in Colorado where the dry climate contributes to many particles floating in the air. Allergens that we see most frequently include pollen, mold, dander, hay fever and dust mites. It can be difficult to determine which exact allergens are causing your sneezing without help and accurate testing from experts.
Allergies are caused by your body’s response to foreign organisms, much like sneezing. When the body detects an “invader,” or allergen, it produces antibodies that attach themselves to mast cells to fight the allergen. This causes a release of potent chemicals which cause symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy or watery eyes.
Other allergy symptoms that may occur along with sneezing include:
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, mouth or throat
- Puffy eyelids
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
Am I Sneezing Because of Nasal Issues?
The inner structures of the nose and airways are very sensitive. When abnormal deterioration or inflammation disrupts the membranes and tissue in the nasal cavity, the body’s reaction may be to sneeze as a result of the discomfort. Certain nasal and sinus issues are more likely to cause sneezing than others.
Some of the nasal problems that can cause sneezing are:
- Deviated nasal septum
- Enlarged turbinates
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
Am I Sneezing Because of Infection?
Respiratory infections such as the common cold or flu can also cause sneezing. Colds and infections cause mucus production, which often irritates nerves within the nasal mucous membranes.
Symptoms that may accompany sneezing if the cause is infection include:
- Body aches
- Dry nose
- Fever and chills
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy or exhaustion
Other Causes of Sneezing
Sneezing can also be caused by other external or chemical irritants such as strong odors, seasonings, perfumes, and smoke. These triggers usually only cause temporary sneezing and exposure can be avoided. Physical irritants like bright sunlight can also cause sneezing. This is referred to as a “nasoocular reflex”, which involves a reflex connection between the eyes and nose. When your eyes see the light, it stimulates the nerves within the nasal mucous membranes, resulting in a sneeze.
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How to Treat Sneezing
Nasal allergies are frequently the underlying cause of constant sneezing, so treating your allergies can help eliminate your symptoms. It is important to be tested for allergies to determine your exact triggers, and then work with an ENT specialist to determine the best allergy treatment for you.
Medicines that block histamines, either over-the-counter or prescription, can be effective at eliminating sneezing that occurs from allergies. Nasal steroid sprays are also helpful to decrease sneezing that is related to allergies, but both of these treatments only work temporarily and require consistent, indefinite usage.
We recommend sublingual immunotherapy or allergy drops to our patients to stop sneezing and other allergy symptoms. They encourage your immune system to develop blocking antibodies, which keeps your cells from releasing histamine in the first place and helps to cure your allergy symptoms like sneezing. These simple, customized drops are used daily at home to treat your allergies and can even keep new allergies from developing.
If nasal or sinus issues are causing your sneezing, such as a deviated septum, inflammation, or sinusitis, it is important to consult with an experienced ENT doctor to determine the best way to treat your unique problem. Each case is different, but treatments can range from medications to surgical procedures depending on the diagnosis and lifestyle for each patient. Discussing your symptoms and options with a doctor is the best place to start.
One of the best ways to keep from sneezing from exposure to irritants is to avoid things that trigger this reaction. You can make some simple changes in your home to reduce irritants, like using fragrance-free detergents and body products, or cutting and cleaning a pet’s hair more frequently. Some patients find it helpful to use over-the-counter nasal irrigations to remove any particles that have already found their way into the nose. Changing the filters in your filtration system frequently may also help prevent irritants like smoke and pollen from entering and lingering in the home.
Get Help from Experts and Stop Sneezing Now
Sneezing can have a major negative impact on your quality of life – but it doesn’t have to. The doctors at Advanced ENT & Allergy Center know how to get to the root cause of your symptoms and create a unique treatment plan that truly works. Find lasting relief from sneezing and other symptoms by making an appointment with our specialists today.