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ACHOO(Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst) the common sound you make when sneezing has a meaning, though it might not be the sound everyone alive makes. This loud outbursts could be daunting, I sneeze in chains and loudly, in fact you could consider me one of those mega-sneezers. Not that I am infected with any disease but once anything upsets my nasal passage (mucous membranes of the nose and throat), I react with multiple sneezes. These sudden blasts of air or mucus expelling from the nose and mouth are mostly sudden and it is biologically considered as a response to stimulus in living organisms (humans, animals and birds) and which might not be as a result of any underlying infection or disease.


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However, it could be also be a result of some infection and diseases or any other health issues. In my case, I’d like to think it’s hereditary as it could be a trait been passed down to another generation. My reason is simple, I sneeze just like my grandma and a few of my uncles, my mom doesn’t sneeze loudly and one of my siblings too. From my little research a little cousin of mine in the United States has this trait, as young as he is sneezes so loudly like an adult and his classmate had to give him a nickname.

As a reflex, sneezing is good for the body as it keeps it safe, an important part of immune process because you expelled germs and clear your nasal passage in doing so. For individuals in the category of mega-sneezing (loudly and in multiples without being infected), you either react spontaneously to things around you that stimulate it or perhaps sick.

Sadly, it is a common means of spreading diseases and infections (both viral and bacterial infection). Hence people are wary of others sneezing for the fear of contacting a disease, hence the need for awareness.

Whether you sneeze just one-time soft and noiseless or a chain sneeze with expelled germs and mucus flying around, this publication is for all and before proceeding in this exposition lets go through the Biological/Scientific intricacies together.


When you sneeze you make a noise which seems like “ACHOO”, meaning Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome, a form of sneezing disorder as a result of bright light that occurs in some people according to a medical survey, which I would elaborate on. The sound ACHOO is a borrowed word for the noisy effect that takes place during sneezing or sternutation which is a semi-autonomous convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth usually causing foreign particles irritating the nasal mucosa.

Usually anything that irritates the inside of your nose and throats can compel you to start sneezing, for people not suffering from some sort of disease that makes them sneeze anytime, the common causes are dust, change in temperature (cold or heat), spicy food (pepper), sprays (body sprays and insect repellent), flakes and so on. All these could trigger a reaction in the body and then the body eject mucus containing these foreign objects/irritants involuntarily out of the system.

FACT 1- Nobody sneeze’s during sleep due to a state of the body where the motor neurons present in the body are not stimulated, therefore reflex signals will not be transmitted to the brain.

However, from the fact above, it is possible for a living body to sneeze from partial sleep i.e. not in a state of deep sleep, provided there is an external cause so strong that could rouse the body up to do that. For example, a change in temperature, smoke or anything strong that could put a body out of sleep both partially or fully.


One of the reasons why another category of people sneeze is a result of looking as bright lights (most especially from Sunlight) often referred to as The Photic Sneeze Reflex (PSR). You could Sun sneeze which is the syndrome known as the ACHOO, I don’t respond to bright lights like that or maybe you as well, but maybe a friend or family member does or a colleague.
In America, about 17% to 35% of estimated population are affected and reacts like this, the real causes and why is not fully know yet. Studies shows that a change in the intensity of light rather than a specific light wavelength could be the cause of ACHOO and such sneezes could occur in bursts of two to ten.

There is a difference between normal sneezing and photic sneezing (achoo), one is the rate of response to stimulus, Photic sneezing has a genetic factor and could be a result of a wider range or varieties of stimulus (exposure to bright light, change in temperature of the environment etc.). Normal sneezing on the other hands takes place once there is an irritation to the nasal cavity, as of now, there are fewer to none scientific studies of this subject, due to the zero-link between photic sneezing and any other medical conditions.

FACT 2- Generally, bright lights causes the pupils to shrink (contract), hence the assumption that the bright flash might trigger the neuron transmitters to send signals to sensitive organs both in the brain and in the skin, hence the reason why you cringe once a bright light focuses on the body.



People with varieties of infections might sneeze as often (as symptoms and as manifestation). Flu or influenza is one of the most common infections that could make human sneeze uncontrollably. Its major downside is that it the flu easily spreads alongside other communicable diseases.

Temperature Change

People tend to sneeze more often when it’s cold than its hot, but there have been instances of people sneezing when temperature rises, although sneezing through low temperature is more common, you might as well have a running nose and sneeze due to temperature changes and it often leads to common cold (flu).


Furthermore, people sneeze when they are allergic to some things; it’s difficult to differentiate sneezing due to cold/heat to sneezing when reacting to some allergies. For example, allergies to seeds and nuts, to dust or flakes and so on which happens in clusters or two, three more.

Drug Withdrawal

These usually occurs when a people addicted to drugs are on the course of quitting maybe from a rehabilitation program or voluntarily. This type of sneezing stops overtime, after a short period of time when the body has adjusted. In addition, people who recently stop some form of medication might experience sneezing, when a patient stopped using a particular drug, it often results in sneezing.


In this category, it could be allergic or non-allergic, it is the inflammation of the internal part of the nose and it could result to severe or mild sneeze.

There other reasons why people sneeze, as a sudden impulse or as reaction to something. The sneezing mechanism could be triggered by a lot of things ranging from common cold, dust, dander, mould or pollen as well as the ones aforementioned. Below are some of the common ways to stop sneezing using some natural tips.


Prolonged sneezing could lead to severe headache, sometimes it brings out blood. But that’s a symptom of some diseases that needs urgent medical attention.

  • Be advised to seek medical attention in the case of severe sickness leading to an endless sneezing attack, asthma patients falls in this category. Each episode come unannounced and it could be in the middle of the night or some remote cabin in the woods. Once an individual identifies the kind of allergy he or she has which could trigger long episodes of sneezes, then it could be controlled if it is unavoidable.


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  • You could take prescription drugs and shots to prevent any reaction or reduce it. For Example, Glucocorticosteroid nasal sprays could be used as well as pills or tablets like antihistamine. In addition, an individual prone to heavy sneezes could avoid agents that cause reaction like spices, dusts (use a nose mask), bright lights in case of photic sneezing (use sun shades).

  • Increased vitamin C intakes helps as well as taking Chamomile tea daily which contains anti-histamine effects. Pinching the nose also works once the individuals feels the impulse to sneeze (works for me), blowing the nose clears irritants that triggers sneezing too.

  • Tickling the roof of the mouth with the tongue is a common thing, it stifle a sneeze after a few seconds of tickling and finally try avoiding environments that are hazardous i.e. Not clean air places, some irritants in such places (chemicals, coal, cement, metals, poultry feeds) are dangerous to health and could be cancerous to the nose, throat or mouth with heavy exposure.

Thanks for reading.

Disclaimer- This publication is for informational purpose only and such not a means of diagnosing. Consult health professionals if you have any issues relating to this topic for proper clinical diagnoses.