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Avatar universal

why can't I sneeze anymore?

I used to sneeze , I have always had allergies, although I have to say they have gotten a lot better without taking medication... now I don't even have the urge to sneeze, but I do have a runny nose a lot of the time.
I do suffer with headaches off and on.


This discussion is related to sneezing sensation but unable to sneeze.
15 Responses
Avatar universal
I have been going through the same thing for about two years, started after a panic attack. About 2 months after I started getting the sensation but no follow thru. A firt I went 4 months without a sneeze 5 months later I went two weeks now its been about a month, no sneeze. I really believe its anxiety related.  Also related to muscle constriction, sternocleidomastoid
Avatar universal
It's been about 4 1/2 total years. I no longer have the temptation to sneeze anymore either. I don't know of any events that occurred that could have volleyed my normal reaction to sneeze. I did start taking some medications during that time period however and I wonder if they had an effect. Could there be certain meds. that could deter us from certain common functions? Antihistamines perhaps?
Avatar universal
Hi, im having the same problem, just wondering if you guys get better and what did u do to get better?

Avatar universal
I did a backflip in the swimming pool and got a severe sprain in my neck, chest and upper back area for 6 days. But now that pain is completely and 100% gone.

But now I am unable to sneeze after this incident. I get the sensation but no follow up automatic reflex.

I feel in perfect health ... I'm 29years old. Just this inability to sneeze is bugging me. Read somewhere that it could be a damaged nerve which can take a long time to heal....and asked to eat super foods like Rasberries, blue berries, carrots and drink green tea with ginger as they help in nerve repair.

Anyways, this issue does seem harmless as I read that people have gone years without sneezing and no one seems to know why !!

Any advice would be helpful.....
Avatar universal
I have developed the same annoyance recently--a strong sensation to sneeze, but it just goes away.  I don't have any answers.  I take nutritional supplements, so that may have something to do with this business.  I am glad to know others are also irritated with it.  Weird.
Avatar universal
Like all of you, I've also stopped sneezing.

This happened a few months after a roadside incident. I was trying to record a car parked about 200 yards away from my house, blasting out a stomach churning bass noise. This was a daily ritual for the boom car owner, and it's something to be expected, as this craziness has become the norm in my third world country. What I didn't expect was my sudden black out, and waking up in the dead of night in a hospital. I soon learned that I was hit over the head, and over 5 hours had lapsed since the time stamp of the last video I recorded.

In the following months I would feel the earth spin as I lower my head down on the pillow. At this point I could still sneeze. A few months later, I started to notice that I could no longer complete a sneeze. As described by others, a strong urge would build up, but another second later, it would just vanish.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the nose, but I've made quite a few trips to my ENT, and were prescribed nasal sprays and meds. For months, nothing worked. Later I tried to force myself to sneeze by using cotton swabs. In the past, just merely inserting and gently twisting it inside the nose, that would send me into a giant sneeze. Nowadays, no matter how much I roll the swab, I'd only feel a slight itch, with nary an impulse to sneeze.

I gradually moved on to a tinier, sharper object. I'm now using straightened out paper clips. This seems to work half of the time. Out of 10 attempts, I could sneeze about 6. I know this is not a solution, and knowing my luck, I'm quite sure this would become life-threatening down the road.
Hi I have this feeling to sneeze and I look up at the light and it was not working. It left me annoyed and paranoid. I was wondering if I should go to the doctor or get some medicine?
Avatar universal
Hi there, i also cannot sneeze (i am 32) ,it happens everytime when i quit smoking. as soon as i quit smoking (and i really smoked only 3-4 cigarettes a day but for about 10 years) i did it now for the third time that i quit and every time is the same, the sneeze feeling comes so strong but i cannot sneeze it makes me crazy, i try pepper, tissue and other stuff nothing works. but i dont want to start smoking again. i guess it has something to do with the psychology, because cigs contains Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) combined with nicotine ,thats why its so addictive and if the person quit the antidepressant effect drop down, anxiety comes up and beeing unable to sneeze.
thats my theory. but what is the solution??
Avatar universal

I saw your comment about the SCM muscle constriction. I have been unable to sneeze for the last 3 years now and feel that I have symptoms related to SCM muscles.

Could you please shed more light on how SCM muscle constriction can lead to inability to sneeze. Thanks a lot and awaiting your reply eagerly.

14454741 tn?1434597598
It's wednesday today. On Monday, i had to go to school(for summer school) and my teacher had the room freezing cold(I'm the kind of person who can wear sweaters and pants during summer so idk if it really was that cold). yesterday,tuesday, i woke up with a runny nose. then i started sneezing like a lot. But today wednesday I woke up and had a tickle in my nose, which like made me think oh imma sneeze. but today ive sneezed 3 times. out of lots of times. last time i sneezed was around 4(its 9:14) ive read that it psychological so bc i think of it i dont sneeze bc of some reflex. I've tried pepper. Looking at the sun. steam. snorting water. plucking my eyebrows near eyelids. Please I'm going crazy. I need to sneeze. I just want to sneeze.
Avatar universal
I am 27 and have this problem too for years but it comes and goes and is really annoying and depressing for me. as I've known, this problem is most of the times psychological, as it's been for me, unless you feel that it happened IMMEDIATELY after a hit to your head. so after a hit or crash, if you sneezed and after a few days or weeks it stopped, it's still psychological and if you don't care or think about it, sneeze can return eventually.
the problem with sneezing in this cases is that you think about sneezing a lot. let me tell you an example: you are reading a book in your house and your friend next to you is watching TV. you've concentrated on your book so you don't care about TV's sound. but your friend turns up the TV suddenly and you are distracted and tell your friend to turn it down. he does it. but you don't have the previous concentration anymore and you are more concentrated on TV's sound and you are worried lest he turns it up again. even the low level of TV's sound distracts you at this time. it may take 1 hour or more to return to your concentration mood or you may quit reading that day.
this is exactly what happens on sneeze problem. you used to sneeze automatically. you can't do it one day. you think about "why couldn't I do that?". next time when sneeze is coming you are thinking about it and want to sneeze this time and this time it doesn't come too. like a chain reaction, you find yourself unable to sneeze. that's because you pay all your attention to what has been one day automatically triggered.
so, if we don't concentrate on it, it may back to normal for a while. sometimes it happened for me when I played a video game or reading an interesting article on the internet,  I sneezed and didn't even noticed. so try doing activities that occupy 100% of your mind, that depends on your interests. hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I haven't been able to sneeze around people for over 30 years! I feel your pain. I'm glad I'm not alone because I was thought I was. I really hate not being able to sneeze. How can I make this problem go away?
I have the same problem. How eefreshing to know Im not alone. I can conplete a sneeze when im alone, but if im around ANYONE, I cant.
Avatar universal
Hi. This is Anis from Iran. I had this problem for more than 10 years. I visit many doctors but couldn't find any solution. Therefore I started to search about my problem in the net. I found that this is related to the sneez nerve located beside the vision nerve which could not trigger sufficiently.
One day in the biochemistry class at university, I read that vitamin B group is essential for nerves function.
Quickly I went to the laboratory and did blood test, yes I had vitamin B deficiency.
Thanks God ☺️After using Vitamin B complex for one month, I took a relive and whenever the sense of sneez comes I can sneez.
So I recommend this to all have this problem, consult with your doctors and if they prescribe Vitamin B complex, use it for a while.
Avatar universal
I've been suffering from this problem for just over 2 years now.  My inability to sneeze comes and goes, and when I can't sneeze, my body feels quite weak and I have bad brain fog, head pressure, etc.

I'm trying the vitamin B complex as suggested above by Anis.  Hoping it helps, but wondering if anyone has any other solutions to this annoying problem?
Ive been feeling the same way.  Did you figure anything out?
Sorry for the late reply. Sadly, I'm still feeling the same way. However, I did manage to sneeze a small number of times between now and my last post, and I've found that sometimes when I look at up at the light in my bedroom JUST as the sneeze begins, the sneeze completes. Hoping someone can shed some light on this issue.
Avatar universal
Here's what works for me: alcohol, paperclip, light. Try it. Drink a beer. Straighten out a paperclip. Stare into a light.  Wiggle the paperclip gently in your nose. In most times you'll get a sneeze.
Avatar universal
So let's take a look at the biology of the sneeze here... Sensory nerves trip the nervous system, of which is all going to originate back to the brainstem and ultimately the cranial nerves through the cranial foramen (a nerve channel) to cause the body to, more-or-less, violently twitch for expulsion of whatever contaminants are within the nasal cavities. This affects the  effecting the eyes, nose, diaphragm, chest, and mouth.

That said, I cannot help but wonder if your headaches and inability to sneeze may be related. Where on your head are you experiencing your migraines? Is it typically all throughout the entirety of the head, or is it localized to one side?
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