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When there is some irritant present in the nasal passages, a person tends to sneeze. This results in a loud and sudden expulsion of these particles. Such sneezing occurs when the irritant refuses to be released from the nasal passage.

There are many factors that cause this condition in a human being, and it is fair to say that nobody is immune to this phenomenon. Sneezing excessively can leave one reeling in discomfort, and can cause many further problems as well.

According to MediLexicon medical dictionary, a sneeze is, "To expel air from the nose and mouth by an involuntary spasmodic contraction of the muscles of expiration." or "An act of sneezing; a reflex excited by an irritation of the mucous membrane of the nose or, sometimes, by a bright light striking the eye."

Excessive sneezing can be very irritating and discomforting for a person experiencing it. Common cold is an obvious cause of excessive sneezing. Other causes may be different in different individuals. For example, some people may be allergic to dust. Therefore, whenever they are in such surroundings, the dust will irritate their nasal mucous membrane, causing them to sneeze continuously. However, dust might not affect a person at all, if he isn't allergic to it.

Sneezing is normally caused by some easily identifiable illnesses like a runny nose, common cold, upper respiratory infection, vasomotor rhinitis, and allergic rhinitis. In fact, such sneezing and a runny nose always go hand in hand and always appear together. Given below are the causes of sneezing.

Causes

Common cold (viral infections)
Hay fever
Allergic rhinitis
Mold allergy
Pollen allergy
Animal dander (pet allergy)
Strong odors (spices like; pepper, chilly powder)
Malfunction of the nerve that controls sneezing
Reaction to sunlight (photic sneeze reflex)
Minty chewing gum
Exposure to small particles in the air (inhaling fumes, dust, smoke, etc.)

Excessive Sneezing during Pregnancy

Some women tend to sneeze more than usual during pregnancy. If the sneezing is not due to cold or other allergies, the reason is most probably, pregnancy rhinitis. An embarrassing situation that accompanies this condition, is passing urine in small amounts, while sneezing. The reason being, added pressure on the bladder due to pregnancy.

Excessive sneezing during pregnancy may also weaken the pelvic floor muscles. In such cases, it is important to consult a doctor. The doctor may advise some simple exercises that can be done at home, to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle. This is very essential for a safe and normal delivery. Also, report to a doctor if the sneezing leads to jaw discomfort, backache or respiratory problems.

The Dangers of Excessive Sneezing

The body suffers extreme contractions while sneezing. A person may sprain a ligament or face a muscle pull at the lower back. Excessive sneezing may also cause respiratory problems or a dislocated jaw. It spills out germs and spreads infection to the surrounding people. Therefore, covering the nose with a handkerchief while sneezing is very important.

Ways to Control Sneezing

Controlling the sneezing forcefully can prove to be very harmful, as the pressure that has to be thrown out will move back into the body. This can damage the ear, brain and sinus. However, there are a few things one can do to stop sneezing naturally. They are as follows;

Find the cause of sneezing and take the necessary measure to cure it.
Stay away from things you are allergic to.
Cover your mouth when you go out, if you are allergic to dust.
Consume a lot of vitamin C fruits or juices. They help with sneezing problems.
Ginger, nettle and lemon grass tea help in controlling excessive sneezing.
Consumption of onion and garlic will alleviate excessive sneezing.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.