What It Really Means When You Can't Stop Sneezing

The occasional sneeze is normal. But sneezing frequently is annoying and may point to an underlying cause. Here's what you should know the next time you can't stop reaching for the tissues.

There are many reasons you might be sneezing more than normal. Seasonal allergies are a common trigger for many people in the spring and summer (via The Healthy). "Sneezing is caused when a foreign particle or irritant hits the nasal tissue," Miguel Wolbert, MD, of West Texas Allergy, told The Healthy. "You sneeze in order to forcibly remove the particle from the nasal cavity," he said.

Allergies are caused by your body overreacting to a foreign particle like dander or pollen. If your frequent sneezes are accompanied by watery eyes, congestion, and a runny nose, you probably have allergies. Frequent sneezing can also be caused by a sinus infection, new medication, air pollution, or poor indoor air quality. Some people even sneeze when they're exposed to bright light!

How to control your sneezing

According to Medical News Today, sneezing is a "partially controllable" bodily function. Because of this, there are some ways you can stop a sneeze in its tracks. If you feel a sneeze coming on, try tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue. This may stifle the sneeze and stop it from happening. Blowing your nose may also help, especially if you believe your sneezing is being caused by dirt, smoke, or other irritants in the air that have become trapped in your nose.

The best way to stop frequent sneezing is to learn what is triggering the reaction. If it's allergies, you may want to take medication to control your symptoms. If you sneeze when exposed to bright lights, avoid those conditions and wear sunglasses when going outside. If you believe air pollution is the factor, consider wearing a face mask outdoors to block some of the irritants from entering your nose.

If you have no idea what is causing your sneezing, visit your doctor. They can help you get to the root of the problem.