Sneezing can be due to allergies

Sneezing can be due to allergies

A The sneezing could be due to some allergies that you have, perhaps to the chemicals in the swimming pool and to the grass or pollen in the park.

When a person breathes an allergen into his nasal passages, the allergic reaction causes the release of histamines in the nasal mucosa (nose skin). This results in sneezing and the production of mucus.

The allergic reaction has two phases. The acute phase can start within minutes, while the late phase can start hours later and last a few days. This would explain your symptoms.

The allergic reaction can also lead to sinus congestion, which is when mucus blocks the sinuses (cavities in the bones of the face around the nose). The pressure inside the blocked sinuses can build up and cause pain or even a headache.

If you do have allergies, taking a flu tablet will help control the allergic reaction.

You could try to identify the allergens and avoid them in future to prevent an allergic reaction.

An allergen can be identified by a blood test or a skin prick test, in which a few drops of the purified suspected allergen is introduced through a pin prick in the surface of the skin to test for a reaction.

Alternatively, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome, for which the main symptom is severe fatigue that lasts for 6 months or more. Other symptoms include feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after physical activity, headaches and muscle pain. But this is labelled after all other illnesses are excluded. The cause is not known.

I would advise you to see a doctor to have a comprehensive blood test done, to review your dietary and sleep patterns and to check for allergies and sinus problems.

Dr Kenny Pang, ear, nose and throat surgeon at Asia Sleep Centre at Paragon

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