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Sneezing is reflex reaction that usually occurs with the common cold, flu, inhaling an allergen or even just tickly dust irritating the inside of your nose. Either way, the point of a sneeze is to try and get whatever’s bothering the inside of your nose out!
When you breathe in, you take in more than oxygen. You can breathe in dust, allergens, bacteria and viruses floating around in the air.
Sometimes something you breathe in will irritate the inside of your nose. Things like dust or dirt will tickle the mucus membranes that line your nose and throat. Whatever irritating thing you breathed in will stimulate nerves inside your nasal passage. Signals are then sent to your brain to trigger a reflex reaction (a sneeze).
If your sneezing is caused by an infection, like a cold or the flu, it will likely clear up within a few days along with your other symptoms.
If your sneezing is caused by allergies, there are a few precautionary steps you can take:
WHEN YOU’RE INSIDE
Minimize your exposure to things you know will trigger your allergies by:
WHEN YOU’RE OUTSIDE
If pollen counts are high:
If your sneezing is caused by allergies, you will want a medicine with an antihistamine, like non-drowsy fexofenadine (or diphenhydramine HCl for nighttime use). which works by blocking the effects of histamine, the chemical that causes allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Consider them your own personal allergy bodyguards, ever ready to keep those unpleasant allergy symptoms out of your nose, head and throat!
You may also develop a stuffy nose and nasal congestion along with your sneezing.You’ll want to use a nasal decongestant, like pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine or oxymetazoline. These decongestants will shrink the mucus membranes in your nose that are swollen and inflamed that make you feel stuffy.
Oxymetazoline is also a decongestant, but it is only found in nasal sprays. Oxymetazoline is what is known as a “topical nasal decongestant.” That means it needs to be applied to the affected area rather than taken as a pill or liquid.
Some of these medicines may only be available behind your pharmacist’s counter. Some of these medicines also carry risks if abused. If you’re a parent, learn more about medicine abuse and how to combat it.
Use as directed.
See below for products that will help your cough. Use as directed.
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