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Can certain colors make you sneeze?

By November 11, 2014 - 11:28am
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I've heard that looking into the sun can make you sneeze, but can looking at certain colors make you sneeze too? Whenever I'm working in the office, I sneeze all the time. We have bright orange walls here. Could that be affecting my sneezing?

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Hi Erin,

Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community! Very interesting question...I am sure other people have wondered the exact same thing!

Have you always sneezed in your office or is it something that could have started recently? 

I never noticed the sun/sneezing connection, but according to some Otolaryngologists, the reason for sneezing when looking into the sun is because of a trigeminal nerve, which is the main sensory control panel for your face and mucous membranes. Triggering the trigeminal nerve sets off a response in our brain to sneeze, and thus the sun, light and sneeze phenomenon occurs. It is a quirky connection, but it has been suggested that wearing polarized sunglasses can help!

As for whether or not certain colors make you sneeze, I didn't find any evidence that the color of your office would make you sneeze. Your office, home, car (anything indoors) can trigger allergies, asthma and sinusitis. What causes us to sneeze when we are indoors? There are many things that can bring on a sneeze-attack including dust mites, pet dander, carpet, perfume etc. You can help decrease your sneezing by figuring out what it is in the office that may be triggering your allergies. Extra vacuuming and dusting will help. It might seem extreme, but a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter would be a good purchase for your office.

Erin, did this help?

November 11, 2014 - 12:33pm
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