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Difficulty sneezing, need to pull nose hair to force a sneeze. What would be the cause of this phenomena?

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I have difficulty in sneezing. Sometimes I am able to sneeze but most of the times, I would get the "ahh" but the "choo" would never come. At times, I need to pull my nose hair to force a sneeze. However, this method does not work all the time. This has been going on for the past few months and it is very irritating. What could be the cause/s of this phenomena?
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 13 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. If the stimulating response is mild, you will not get a full sneeze.

2. If you feel that this is a medical problem, you will need the following investigation to rule this out.
a. A CT PNS (Computerized Tomography - Para Nasal Sinuses) to rule out sinusitis and nasal obstruction. Nasal obstruction will prevent you to pull in enough air for a sudden sneeze.
b. An examination of the oral cavity to rule out palatal palsy and depressed gag reflex which signify lower cranial nerve weakness. These nerves are a part of the reflex XXXXXXX which makes sneezing possible. This situation will then require an MRI (Magnetic Resonant Imaging) Brain and Neck study with contrast.
c. A Chest examination X-rays / HRCT (High Resolution Computerized Tomography) of the Chest, Lung Function Tests will be required to rule out lung disease and diaphragm weakness.

3. Have you ever had a normal sneeze during the past few months? If you have had even one, there should not be any major problem. Then you may take medication such as anti allergics, regular steam inhalation will help to a great extent.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Difficulty sneezing, need to pull nose hair to force a sneeze. What would be the cause of this phenomena? 2 hours later
Dear Dr.

Thank you for your reply. I would like to ask you what do you mean by a normal sneeze? Is sneezing without pulling my nose hair considered normal sneeze? I have noticed that I really need to concentrate and focus just to get a sneeze out of me sometimes. Sneezing does not come as easily as months ago. Hence I do not know if my once in a while sneezing is considered a normal sneeze.

If I were to go for any of the investigations mentioned, which one would you recommend me to go for first?

Thank you.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 10 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Sneezing easily without conscious effort or pulling nasal hair (vibrissae) can be considered a normal sneeze.

2. Having sneezed normally in between these months reduces the chances of there being any major disturbance and may only be related to a low stimulus or irritation.

3. The first investigation that I recommend is for you to be examined by a clinician or a local ENT Specialist. The rest of the investigations can follow later as and when suggested by your doctor.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.


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