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.

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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
  • Indoor Allergies
  • Hay Fever
  • Milk Allergy
  • Vasomotor Rhinitis

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:
severe epigastric pain
high cigarette smoke sensitivity
allergies in family members
frequent meal-related bloating
cigarette smoke sensitivity
dark areas under eyes
regular runny nose
regular unexplained nausea
hay fever
history of sinusitis
anal itching
indoor allergies
... 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
Food Allergies 95% Confirm
Hay Fever 15% Unlikely
Milk Allergy 1% Ruled out
Vasomotor Rhinitis 0% Ruled out
Indoor Allergies 0% 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 nasal blockade." [J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol, 1998 Jul, 8: p.4]

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