Frequent Sneezing

What Causes Sneezing?

Sneezing can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose sneezing, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "sneezing" as a symptom.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Food Allergies
  • Vasomotor Rhinitis
  • Milk Allergy
  • Hay Fever
  • Indoor Allergies

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
chronic productive cough
bloating caused by specific foods
past pain/burning behind breastbone
high cigarette smoke sensitivity
regular runny nose
spacey/unreal feelings
frequent colds/flus
frequent runny nose
nasal congestion
general flatulence
bulimia
frequent sore throats
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of sneezing:
Cause Probability Status
Milk Allergy 91% Confirm
Vasomotor Rhinitis 26% Unlikely
Indoor Allergies 1% Ruled out
Hay Fever 1% Ruled out
Food Allergies 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate suffering allergic/other reactions, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
How often do you sneeze or have sneezing attacks?
Possible responses:
→ Never / almost never
→ Occasionally / I think I'm average / don't know
→ Moderate sneezing
→ Often / significant sneezing attacks
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate infrequent sneezing, normal sneezing frequency, above average sneezing frequency or frequent sneezing / attacks, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Allergy to Cow's Milk
"Allergy to cow's milk proteins has been defined as any adverse reaction mediated by immunological mechanisms to one or several of these proteins.  Reactions to cow's milk have been classified according on their onset as immediate (< 45 min) or delayed-type (from 2 hours to days).  In the challenge test, 10 hours after milk intake the patient presented serous rhinorrea, sneezing and nasalblockade." [J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol, 1998 Jul, 8: p.4]