Re: nonstop sneezing
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Posted by ccf neuro M.D.* on September 13, 1997 at 15:32:20:
In Reply to: nonstop sneezing posted by Ruth on September 06, 1997 at 11:24:38:
I have a 10 year old who is having sneezing attacks. She will sneeze every 5-10 seconds for 45-50 minutes(after dosage of benadryl) and up to the longest episode of 2 hours 15 minutes (I gave her benadryl 48minutes befor this episode finally stopped. Her pediatricians and grandfather(internal medicine)have seen these episodes and agree it is true sneezing but have never seen them last so long. She saw an ENT who never observed the sneezing but found her tonsils so swollen that they were removed immediately(March 1997), she did not have any more episodes until 3 days ago. Friday the sneezing woke her up, and I was able to get her to the allergistfor him to actually observe this, but by the time we got there it had changed from strong true sneezes to a sneezing type noise. This is typical for her. Approximately 30 minutes after administration of benadryl, the sneezes will change in force to a sneeze that seems to be like she's cought in a cycle that won't break. The sneezing stopped 45-50 minutes after po benadryl. The allergist thinks that the type sneeze he heard was a tic, but he did find she had fluid behind her eardrum. The only common thread I can find (after keeping track any possible allergen, stresses, etc.) is that each time she is found to have an ear infection. Could the infection and pressure be causing a nerve to continually fire a false "sneeze message" to her brain? Have you ever heard of anything like this before? I would appreciate any suggestions or information you could pass along to me. Thank you so much for your time.
A very interesting question and undoubtedly annoying problem for both your daughter and your family!!! It is interesting that you mention the ear infection aspect insofar as that the eardrum and ear canal are very unusual in that three different nerves supply fibers to them. Two of these three same nerves also send other branches to the throat and are involved in triggering the cough reflex, gag reflex, and to a lesser extent actual sneezing. So there is at least a small theoretical basis to support your observations. If your daughter CONSTANTLY has fluid in her ear, you may wish to consider bringing her to an ENT doctor to be sure she does not have a tumor or something funny going on inside the ear, although I've never heard of sneezing as the main symptom of one before. Benardy is an antihistamine that will stop allergy-induced sneezing. Tics are repeated, stereotyped movements or noises (so-called vocal tics) that are seen sometimes for no reason in otherwise normal children, or may be part of a syndrome called Tourette's syndrome, in which many tics over time appear. This is somewhat treatable by medication, but not antihistamines per se. If you think the sneezes are not true sneezes and might instead be grunts or repeated throat clearing (a very common vocal tic), it may be worth having a pediatric neurologist see your daughter to rule out the possibility of a tic disorder. Good Luck!!! Information provided in the neurology forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only. Actual diagnosis and treatment of your daughter's particular illness should be strictly in conjunction with her treating physicians. If you would be interested in having her evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic department of pediatric neurology, I would suggest in particular a Dr. Gerald Erenberg, who is an expert in tic disorders and Tourette's syndrome (which more commonly affects boys). We hope you find the information useful.