This will sound extremely bizarre, but I would be grateful if anyone is able to shed some light on this very annoying thing that I am experiencing. It all started when I rubbed my eyes in my mirror 2 years ago, and then my eyes started stinging really badly, and I found I couldn't sneeze for about 2 weeks.
For about 2 years now, I have been experiencing an inability to sneeze naturally. The sneeze builds up, but it never completes. I reach the "Aah", but not the "Choo". If I fail to complete a natural sneeze too many times, I end up with very bad head pressure and headaches, which are not relieved by over the counter painkillers. When the natural sneeze EVENTUALLY comes out (which usually happens after weeks and sometimes MONTHS), the headaches and head pressure instantly go away.
What I don't understand is, I AM able to sneeze by tickling the insides of my nostrils with a tissue, but strangely that does not get rid of the headaches and pressure. Only the originally trapped sneeze relieves my symptoms, when it FINALLY decides to come out. In fact, tickling my nose with a tissue to force a sneeze actually makes me feel worse. Sometimes, thinking about something erotic makes me sneeze, but that doesn't relieve the head pressure either!
Previously, I have been able to sneeze without any problems by plucking nose hairs. That would almost always send me into a sneezing fit, but sadly it no longer does. If it did, I surely wouldn't have this sneezing absence problem. I have tried many other things to make myself sneeze, such as plucking eyebrows, breathing in cold air, sniffing pepper or spices, looking at bright lights, chewing gum, eating chocolate, faking a sneeze, tilting my head back, but none of them work!
I have done Google searches for this problem countless times. Some people have said it could be that the trigeminal nerve (which controls sneezing) might not be functioning properly, and some people have said it could be a brain tumour or lesion. But surely if I had a brain tumour, I would have more serious problems and I wouldn't be able to force myself to sneeze with a tissue (as mentioned earlier)? Most people have said it's purely psychological and the sneeze reflex will eventually return. I hope so!
Last year, I visited an ENT specialist, who looked up my nostrils, but didn't see anything wrong, apart from mild redness. She prescribed me some nose drops and nortriptyline tablets to ease the head pressure. A few days later, I sneezed naturally and felt better, but I think that was just a coincidence. Now I'm back to being unable to sneeze and I've been given a repeat prescription of the tablets, but they're not working.
Can anyone help? This problem is driving me crazy and it's hard to concentrate with this head pressure being caused by not being able to sneeze naturally.