After-dinner ‘sneezures’ could be ‘fight or flight’

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October 3, 2019 - 10:04 AM

Dear Dr. Roach: Frequently, after eating and most often after dinner, I begin to sneeze. The sneezing goes on up to 10 times. It doesn’t seem to matter what I eat or where I am. My husband calls the episodes “sneezures,” and we found that if he tickles me, I start to laugh and the “sneezures” cease. I’ve tried to research this phenomenon with no luck. Would you be able to shed some light and possibly help me? — V.B.

Answer: Sneezes can have several causes. The most common is due to irritation to the nose, such as by allergens, nonspecific irritants like cold air or dust, or infection.

However, there are unusual triggers, too. These include sunlight (photic sneezes), sexual activity and plucking eyebrows. Gustatory rhinitis (from Latin for “tasting” and Greek for “nose inflammation”) causes the nose to run, and this often leads to sneezing. For many people, hot foods (both temperature and spicy) are more prone to cause this problem.

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