What Does It Mean When You Sneeze A Lot In A Row?

Sneezing is actually the body’s way of removing the foreign particles or irritants out from the nose or the throat. It can be said that a sneeze is a very powerful and involuntary expulsion of the air from the nose. It generally happens all of a sudden and that too, without any warning. Sneezing is also known as ‘sternutation”. Though sneezing a lot in a row could not be a serious health problem, it could be really annoying. So what does it mean when you sneeze a lot in a row? Read below and know about it.

What Does It Mean When You Sneeze A Lot In A Row?

Part of the job of your nose is to purify the air that your breathe, ensuring that it is free from dirt and several bacteria. However, in some cases, debris and dirt can enter the nose and also irritate the sensitive mucous membranes present in the nose and the throat. When these mucous membranes get irritated, it results in sneezing.

Sneezing generally gets triggered by allergens, nasal irritants, viruses (common cold and flu virus), drug withdrawal and inhalation of corticosteroids via a nasal spray. Generally a sneeze does not come alone. It comes with lot of its friends, and that’s the reason you might sneeze in a row of 2, 3 and even 10 at times. But, what does it mean when you sneeze a lot in a row? Let us understand it in detail.

Why You Sneeze A Lot In Row?

The main reason why you sneeze a lot in a row, is the power behind the blow of your nose. Usually a sneeze is initiated when a foreign particle or an external stimulant enters the snout and thus reaches the nasal mucosa. This in turn triggers the release of histamines, which actually irritates the nerve cells present in the nose. This activates and causes a sneeze. This can even occur when a hair enters your nose and irritates the nasal mucosa. As the most instant reaction, you will feel a crawling sensation in the nasal passage and are most likely to sneeze, as a reaction.

Sneeze is a forceful release of air, which expels what is found in the nose causing you the irritation. However, if the irritant lingers in your nostrils even after one sneeze; your nose would give another sneeze. Another sneeze means that the first one did not do its job properly and that’s why it required another sneeze. You are trying to clear whatever present in the nasal passage by giving out sneezes all in a row, until the all the allergens comes out of the nose.

Cold Can Cause You Sneeze A Lot In A Row – If you are sneezing a lot in a row, but have more time in between the sneezes, then probably the sneezing is due to cold.

Photic Sneeze Reflex Causing You Sneeze A Lot In A Row – It is true that always a foreign irritant or foreign particle might not be triggering the sneezes. About 18% to 20% of the population who stare at bright lights can also cause uncontrollable sneeze in a row. This is actually a genetic condition known as photic sneeze reflex. However, its mechanism is not fully understood till now.

Other Causes Of Sneezing A Lot In Row – There is a belief that rapid pupil constriction can also trigger the nerves that are related to sneezing. Though some researchers believe this, no one knows it for sure.

Take Home This Advice!

So, when wondering what does it mean when you sneeze a lot in a row, it is important to consider nasal irritation, allergies and cold, in particular. In most cases, it is not a reason to worry, however, if occurs frequently or you get annoyed due to this problem it is worth seeking a medical opinion. Timely medical evaluation can help to find the exact cause and take the essential steps for treating or preventing the frequent sneezing.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 26, 2019

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