Symptoms A-Z

Frequent Sneezing Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand frequent sneezing symptoms, including 5 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 5 Possible Frequent Sneezing Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

5 Possible Frequent Sneezing Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced frequent sneezing. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Non-allergic rhinitis

Rhinitis simply means "inflammation of the nose." When it is caused by something other than allergies, it is called vasomotor rhinitis. "Vasomotor" simply refers to the constriction or dilation of blood vessels.

Different substances can trigger the vasomotor reaction, even though it is not an allergic reaction. Common causes are certain medications; air pollution; and chronic medical conditions.

Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and postnasal drip. Since no allergy is involved, there will not be the scratchy throat or itchy eyes and nose of allergic rhinitis.

A medical provider should be seen for ongoing symptoms, since they can interfere with quality of life. Also, using over-the-counter medications meant for allergic rhinitis will not help in a case of vasomotor rhinitis.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and allergy tests, in order to rule out allergies as a cause of the symptoms.

Treatment involves using the appropriate medications to ease the symptoms, and avoiding any triggers as much as possible.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: congestion, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, runny nose, frequent sneezing, eye itch

Symptoms that never occur with non-allergic rhinitis: fever, sinus pain, facial fullness or pressure

Urgency: Self-treatment

Common cold

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nose, mouth, sinuses, throat, and larynx. There are over 200 viruses that can cause upper respiratory infections, and usually the exact virus behind a cold is never known.

The common cold is, of course, very common. Americans catch over one billion colds per year, with adults averaging two to three per year, and children averaging as many as eight colds per year.

The common cold usually lasts about a week, and is self-limited (meaning it goes away on its own). Although there is no treatment for the common cold, there are many strategies for prevention and improvement of symptoms.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion

Symptoms that never occur with common cold: being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache, sinus pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Frequent Sneezing Symptom Checker

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Chronic allergies

Allergies are an overreaction by the immune system to something that does not bother most other people. Many people who have allergies are sensitive to pollen, but other things such as dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, and mold can also cause a reaction.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, irritability, trouble sleeping, runny nose, congestion

Symptoms that never occur with chronic allergies: fever, yellow-green runny nose, chills, muscle aches

Urgency: Self-treatment

New-onset seasonal allergies

New-onset seasonal allergies, also called adult-onset seasonal allergies, are sensitivities to pollen, mold, and other irritants that cause nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sore throat.

Seasonal allergies commonly begin in childhood but can start at any age, especially among those with a family history. Moving to a different geographic location may trigger the allergy in someone with a genetic predisposition. Anyone with asthma is more likely to experience adult-onset seasonal allergies.

Sometimes the symptoms are actually from "pregnancy rhinitis" – nasal congestion and sneezing due to the effects of pregnancy hormones on the nasal tissue.

A new-onset allergy is often thought to be a cold, but a cold will clear up without treatment. Allergies persist, never getting better or worse, and can interfere with quality of life.

Diagnosis is made by an allergist, who will use skin tests and blood tests.

There is no cure for seasonal allergies but the symptoms can be managed for greater comfort and relief. Antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and immunotherapy or "allergy shots" can be very effective.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: sore throat, congestion, cough with dry or watery sputum, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, fatigue

Symptoms that never occur with new-onset seasonal allergies: fever, yellow-green runny nose, chills, muscle aches

Urgency: Self-treatment

Influenza

Influenza, or "flu," is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It is spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, or even talking.

Anyone can get the flu, but those who are very young, over 65, and/or have pre-existing medical conditions are most at risk for complications.

Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, and extreme fatigue. The symptoms may appear very suddenly.

Flu can bring on secondary bacterial infections in the lungs or ears. Dehydration is a great concern because the patient rarely wants to eat or drink.

Diagnosis is usually made by symptoms. There are tests that use a swab taken from the nose or throat, but they are not always accurate or necessary.

Treatment consists mainly of good supportive care, which means providing the patient with rest, fluids, and pain-relieving medication such as ibuprofen. Do not give aspirin to children.

Antibiotics cannot help with the flu, since antibiotics only work against bacteria. There are anti-viral medications that a doctor may prescribe.

The best prevention is an annual flu shot.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, cough, muscle aches

Symptoms that never occur with influenza: headache resulting from a head injury

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Frequent Sneezing

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you feel mucus or fluid dripping into the back of your throat?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Do you have a stuffy nose?
  • Do you have a rash?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having frequent sneezing

Frequent Sneezing Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced frequent sneezing have also experienced:

  • 10% Congestion
  • 10% Runny Nose
  • 8% Cough

People who have experienced frequent sneezing were most often matched with:

  • 33% Non-Allergic Rhinitis
  • 33% Common Cold
  • 33% Chronic Allergies

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Frequent Sneezing Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having frequent sneezing