Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sun Sneeze

Lauren and her mom were sitting on the couch under a window in the den. Wyatt was playing quietly on the floor and he looked up towards Mommom and the sun light, shining through the window, caught his eyes just right and it caused him to sneeze. He then looked up again and sneezed again.

Lauren's mom said something like "I hope he is not getting a cold."

"He is all right." I said "It was probably the sun that caused the sneeze."

She looked at me like I was a little off. "The sun?"

"Yeah. You know how when you walk out into the sun and it catches you just right it causes you to sneeze?"

She just looked at me.

I explained again.

She just just stared at me like I was nuts. "I have never heard of that." she said

I thought she was nuts. I thought the sun caused everyone to sneeze. I know it causes me to sneeze, it causes Max to sneeze and I guess it makes Wyatt sneeze.

Lauren spoke up at this point and called it photic sneeze reflex. Her mom never heard of it. I never heard of the phrase but I knew what it was.

I did some research online and I found out that Photic Sneeze Refelx is a genetic quirk that affects 18 to35 percent of the popluation.

I have thought my entire life, that sun light can make any one sneeze. I thought it was normal.

Lauren's mom, for her entire life, never realized that the sun can cause sneezes. She thought it was abnormal.

With this genetic quirk only affecting less than one third of the popluation Lauren's mom has been, all this time, correct about me. I am abnormal.

For scientific purposes I need to know, have you heard of this Photic Sneeze reflex? Do you have it? Do you know someone who has it?



Now a few people left some comments on this post (Susie, Mainline Mom, Crumb, Ali ) all equated a sneeze to an orgasm. I have Photic Sneeze Reflex. Jealous?

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

of course I've heard of it (there does that sound like it's mainstream now?)...I never associated it just with the sun, but any light. If I feel like I need to sneeze and can't I look in the light.

and my dad...whenever he sneezed...if he sneezed once, he always sneezed 3 time or in increments of 3.

Melissa

Grace said...

I have that!! I never knew it was so rare. I'm like you--I just thought it happened to everyone!!!

Melinda said...

Yes, No, Yes.

Jasmin said...

All 3 of my kids do it (every time we leave a building and it's sunny, someone is sneezing), and if I need to sneeze and can't, I usually can force it by looking at a light. Never heard the term before though. Like you, I just thought everyone dealt with it. Didn't realize how abnormal we are :)

3jaysmom said...

I do it too! I used to say I was "allergic" to the sunlight, because every time I was out in the sun, I sneezed! I had no idea it was a real honest to goodness "thing"! Wow! And a rare one at that. I think my kids do it too. Now I'm going to have to ask and see.

Like Jasmin, I can almost always force a sneeze by looking into the light.

Very cool!

cathy said...

my daughter does it all the time when the sun hits just right. she has all her life.

Sharkey said...

I never knew there was a name for it, but my dad has it. I've tried to do it before when a sneeze was just sitting there waiting to happen, but it doesn't really work for me. Who knew it was so rare?

anj said...

my husband has it...and i don't. and i thought he was nuts until i decided to research it myself as well.

McSwain said...

Wow! The sun makes me sneeze--my friends back in HS used to make fun of me for saying that. And now I have a scientific name for it! Thank you.

Sleeping Mommy said...

I have never heard of that. Now I'm going to be paying more attention to sneezing going on around me.

Candace & Anna said...

My hubby has it but I don't. I have tried to make myself sneeze by looking at the light with no success. I don't think my daughter has it. I never knew it had a name.

Carla said...

You mean that doesn't happen to everyone? No wonder people look at me funny when they say they have to sneeze and I say "Look into the light". Thanks for making it official. I am abnormal. As if the red hair and double jointedness weren't enough to convince people.

Anonymous said...

Man, when you worked at the clubs you must have went 4 years without sneezing.

Anonymous said...

I like the combination of the sun on my face and the "bless you" afterward

Anonymous said...

Also those little water pellets in the sunbeam from the sneeze. Like little daytime fireworks.

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I have heard of it, and I have it, just for bonus, I too have compared it to an orgasm.

Now did you know, according to my younger and can never be wrong brother-in-law, if you don't close your eyes when you sneeze, they will pop out?

***Big Daddy just chimed in and I am supposed to tell you that mythbusters proved the eye-popping theory wrong.

Well, thank goodness for mythbusters or else millions of us might never sneeze again in fear of our loosing our eyes.

Big Daddy said...

I too have heard of it. I had a buddy on my last submarine that sneezed every time he walked from shade to sun. This post reminds me of a conversation we once had on the boat about something called objective tinnitus. It's pretty crazy when you realize what that is. But you wouldn't believe me if I told you, so you'll have to look it up...isn't it nice to know you're not normal?

Cathy said...

I sneeze from the sun - I thought it was normal too. Hmmm.

Sarah C said...

I have never heard of sun sneezes before and am unaware of anyone who does it but I will be certain of keeping my eyes open to sneezing from now on. I have leart my fact for today. LOL

Emily said...

I have two nephews that sneeze at least five times in a row when they get out in the sun after being in the house for a while. I can't believe that it is supposedly so rare. How funny.

Circus Kelli said...

Hubby has heard of, and 'lives' this as well. I do not have it, and had never heard of it until a couple of years ago when Hubby explained it to me.

I distinctly remember thinking "Wow, and you think you know someone..."

Susie said...

Jealous? I'll be jealous when you post that going into the sun causes you to have orgasms. The sneezing? Not so much.

gwendomama said...

omg. i am so stoked to have found you! (via tina mamacita+link)
i completely have the photic sneeze - and my husband always thought i was nuts til the recent VERY OBVIOUS discovery that i have passed this extra special gene on to our 2yo son. because i only passed the best traits down to him. heh.

ohyes, i am also from PA! grew up in northwestern pa but born in and mom lives in ambler - are you back in that area?

Sandy said...

I never knew that name, but whenever I get that feeling of needing to sneeze, but can't quite get it, I look at a light bulb or go outside and presto! sneezes.

Katrina said...

Sun sneezers here too! Never knew about the name though.

Aunt Jo said...

I thought everyone did it too! Everyone in my family does it.

I am a multiple photic sneezer. Are you jealous? haha

Bogart in P Towne said...

Never heard about this...sounds a lot like Restless Leg Syndrome.

Claire and I have this book called "Sneezing Prevents Pregnancy". Does that count?

iheartchocolate said...

My one year old does it, but none of the rest of us. I always thought it was a wives-tale, until I saw him do it. Then I wondered why I don't. HEH, and I thought I was the abnormal one.

Michael said...

I myself do this.

I thought everyone did.

I wonder if it was passed to us from mom or dad?

Is this like a toungue twirling thing?

Margaret (Peggy) said...

I guess I am abnormal too, and everyone in my family as well.

MnRooMom said...

Yes, husband and one of my twins has this reflex? disorder? abnormality? thing.

Heather said...

I never knew it had a name, but if I have the urge to sneeze but for some reason just can't, I go outside, look up at the sun, and sneeze everytime.

The Kept Woman said...

Some people sneeze and get the Big O?

I get snot.

Heidi said...

I have it - I have it!! ***waves hand feverishly**** so do my sons... :)

Pamela said...

The sun makes me sneeze too. I also thought everyone did it.

Did not know it was abnormal and had a name.

Melissa A. said...

I totally have this, although I wasn't sure I knew that's what it was called. I also know that its genetic/hereditary. So if people don't know - it probably doesn't run in their family. I have it, but so far i don't think I've passed it on to my kids. Jury still out though.

eclectic said...

Littlest Eclectic does it every time. He tells everyone it's his alleries -- he's allergic to the sun. Mr. E and I just thought it was cute. Didn't know there was a name for it.

Juli said...

I have it. I thought THEY were the odd ones. I think I'll ignore your info and continue MY way of thinking! ;)
p.s.-> LOVE your blog :)

Erin said...

The sun's always made me sneeze if it hits me just right...makes my Uncle sneeze too. We're the only 2 people I know of that this happens to. I had no idea there was a name for it!! My mom and I were just talking about it the other day actually...

Dan said...

I've got it too. I like sneezing so it's always been a useful trait

The Q said...

I didn't know it was something with a name, but I've heard people say if you have a sneeze that is "stuck" to look directly at a lamp or something to trigger it.

Interesting.

I do not have this "Sun Sneeze" issue nor do I know anyone who has it.


An orgasm is like a sneeze, only nicer? Huh? No comment.

Random and Odd said...

If the 'sun sneeze' is equated to an orgasm...

the sun makes me horny as hell.

I guess that means; yes, I have it too.
Of course, water makes me sneeze to. Explain that one?

Random and Odd said...

I too have tinnitus. It's like living next to the ocean without having to pay the high costs. Sometimes it feels like I am working at a power plant though. It gets to the point where I want to throw up.

I'm just a barrel of fun!

Stacie said...

I never knew there was a proper term for it, but I always thought the sun made everyone sneeze too. It makes me sneeze and my mom and brother, but now that you mention it, I'm not so sure about my kids or hubby...no matter though..they all think I'm abnormal anyway. :)
Stacie

Ali said...

So how often do you head outside when it's sunny, get your sneeze on, and turn around to go right back inside???

Undercover Mutha said...

Oh yeah, count me in. I thought your MIL was nuts for a sec, too.

Carrie (or Maybe Gord!) said...

I'm a sun sneezer too. My bro is better at it than I am though!

And I'm a triple sneezer. I don't feel any better until I've done three. I also am a very loud sneezer...none of the little kitten sneezes a friend of mine would do.

AND I thought I heard somewhere that that awesome sensation after a sneeze, the relief or whatever you want to call it, is like 1/10th of an orgasm. Or something like that.

rhoadestrip said...

I thought bright sunlight (with or without snow) made everyone sneeze? Snow seems to make it more, um, sneezable? Is that a word? You know what I mean. Maybe.

Tiffany said...

I'm with you, I thought the sun made everyone sneeze. I guess I'll be part of the proud 1/3 or the population that has sun sneezes.

Lowa said...

I thought you were nuts when you were talking about the Sun making him sneeze! LOL NEVER heard of it. I know my husband sometimes tells our kids to look at lights if they are trying to sneeze but can't. I always thought that was silly too and it never works for them, so they ignore their Dad now:)

Interesting post. I am with your MIL. Never heard of it before.

I just sneeze, light or not light:)

Does this mean you never sneeze in the dark??

Lowa said...

Ok hang on. I just skimmed over these comments and it seems you freaky "sun sneezers" are more common than us people who just sneeze because we have to sneeze.

Seriously, when I was first reading this and you said that was why Wyatt sneezed, I was totally stumped. Like WTH does sneezing and sun have to do with each other?? I just asked my kids if they do it (thought maybe they did and I didn't notice it) and they just looked at me like *I* am nuts! LOL

judypatooote said...

The sun makes me sneeze too... I guess I never thought about if other people sneezed at looking at the sun....I just thought it was a normal thing.....of course I've never been one to do normal things.... LOL

Papa Bradstein said...

This is funny, because Dad always said that the sun, or a bright light, could make someone sneeze. He was particularly familiar with it as a pilot. When he came up through a cloud bank and out into the sun, he would sneeze. He said it was common among pilots, although I guess it's only 18-35 percent of pilots. Still, something to think about next time you fly...all of a sudden those sunglasses they wear don't look so dorky, do they?

Oh, The Joys said...

Never heard of it.

Joanna said...

The people that HAVEN'T heard of this seem more abnormal than those that actually sneeze in the sun.

I definitely do this, and my son does, too. Is it genetic? So does my husband, but we're only related through marriage (we're not from kentucky.)

Anonymous said...

My husband has it as well, and once in a while i do as well. yeah we are abnormal! Our daughter hasn't done it as of yet that i know of

I also thought it was being allergic to the sun too.

mich

Andria said...

My son's eye doctor called it "Photosternation", and it's actually genetic! Although we don't have it in our family. It was just something that was brought up.

Tismee2 said...

I have it too and thought everyone had it.

Anonymous said...

God Bless You !

gina coggio said...

Totally. This is absolutely a real thing. "Look at the light" is how I learned to get a sneeze out. This is awesome!
I had a boyfriend once who thought he was allergic to the morning because he sneezed every time he woke up and started moving around the house. In the light.
Makes perfect sense!

Shelley said...

I think they need to review those stats. There are more of us than they think who have that. And the orgasm/sneezing thing? Definitely have it. Feels so good. (giggling)

theotherbear said...

If I need to sneeze and it's just hovering there, not quite out, I always look at the light. I don't think I could force it if I didn't have an initial urge to sneeze. Otherwise I probably would, 7 times (I always heard a sneeze is 1/7 of an orgasm).

Anonymous said...

sneezing in a car...


four on the floorgasm

Anonymous said...

Oliver Twist sneezing...

Please sir ...could I have some moregasm?

Anonymous said...

sneezing in Jersey...

Down the shoregasm

Anonymous said...

Abraham Lincoln sneezing...

Four Scoregasm

Anonymous said...

Ponce De LEon sneezing

Exploregasm

Anonymous said...

Wayne Gretzsky sneezing...

Shot scoregasm

kalki said...

I've heard of this. Not the phrase, but the fact that looking at the sun will make a person sneeze. I've also heard it's just looking up, in general, that will bring on a sneeze. But not an orgasm, sadly.

t-bird said...

I have never heard of this before and haven't noticed this behavior in myself or any of my family. But I won't knock it, because, as a previous poster mentioned, it sounds like Restless Leg Syndrome. I'm telling you - that is real and it's ANNOYING!

Lisa said...

Never heard of it, but I do think ripping any kind of hair out of my body makes me sneeze. I wonder if that has a name?

Interesting on the sun stuff.

....Barbra Peapod (visiting from Scarlett)

kcinnova said...

Guess that makes me abby-normal.
Really cold air in my face takes my breath away, too. My mom tells me that she thought it was strange how, as a small child, I would gasp whenever I went outside in the Wisconsin winters.

Meegs said...

Don't know if you'll even see this... but TAG!

http://meegs1982.blogspot.com/2008/03/me-me-me.html

I would love to see what you come up with. :-)

MP said...

I didn't know it had a name..it happens to me every once in a while..mom used to tell me I was allergic to the sun. Strange though it doesn't happen all the time.

Mainline Mom said...

I have the reflex too. Guess I'm abnormal with ya.

Crumbs said...

I equate sneezing with the big O.
I ALSO have the Sun/light Sneeze Reflex.
I moved from Seattle to Miami...and I finally know why!

Circus Kelli said...

Yesterday on the way home, with a turn of the van, the sun landed on Buddy's face. Three seconds later, he sneezed once.

I thought of this post right away.

sometrouble said...

If I feel like I need to sneeze, I can force it by looking at light. I never knew there was a scientific term for it though!

the Photographer said...

On the flip side of that coin. My MIL and FIL constantly tell my kids to put socks on to get warm and not get sick. They also used to freak out when the kids went outside with wet hair (cuz they would get sick). I finally to fed up with that crap and spent about a day on wet hair research and getting sick. FALSE. I also finally told them to keep from getting cold, PUT A HAT ON, not socks.

The Real Kidd said...

It’s funny. Over the weekend my husband stepped outside and got a case of the sun sneezes. After a couple of healthy ACHOO’s he turned to me and asked, “Why does the sun make you sneeze?” I had no idea. “Well why don’t you look that up on the net when you have some free time.”

So I had some free time. Might as well try to solve the mystery of the sun sneeze. Type sun sneeze in yahoo and this is the first site to pop up.

Cool.

At least now I have an answer for my husband.

And just for the record, the sun makes me sneeze as well.

grace said...

this is way too funny to me! until i was at least 20 y/o i thought that everyone sneezed at light, and was shocked to find out otherwise.

then i came to the conclusion that it was just my sisters and me. ahh.. to know you guys are out there. what an outlandish and comforting thing to relate on.

for the record, i would hate it if i couldn't sneeze at the sun; you gotta get it out! and it's definitely orgasmic every time.

Jordan Richardson said...

This happens to me all the time, I told my co-worker today about it after I sneezed twice in a row, he to thougt I was crazy and had never heard of it. Go figure we are all weirdo's I guess.

Daniel said...

I have this syndrome too. I haven't met anyone else that has it. All of my friends have just thought I was crazy when I told them. I always said I'm a vampire or that I'm allergic to the sun. It happens like clock work every time I go into the sunlight I sneeze 2-3 times.

Anonymous said...

Yes, my 14 year old daughter sneezes every time she goes out in the sun.

Anuar said...

Yeah, I sneeze too when I look at the sun. It was a mystery for me since my early childhood cause mom doesn't have sun sneeze and didn't understand me as in your story )))))

But sun sneeze is still a riddle for me ))))

Jomar said...

A day without a sneeze is a day without sunshine for me and others with "achooism." When I walk out into the sun, I'll usually sneeze only once, but it always feels great. In fact, sometimes when I'm indoors I'll go to a window in search of the sun. If I get the angle just right, I'll be rewarded with a big sneeze. Strange to some, but normal for my fellow photic sneezers.

gabbydock said...

My husband has this. I have had lots of fun over the years giggling at him as he let out a "sun sneeze". We realized just the other day that our toddler inherited this from her dad. As we left church on Easter Sunday, she let out a big sneeze and each time she looked up at the sky, another would follow. Funny to me because unless their is a lot of dust in the air, the sun has NEVER made me sneeze!

Anonymous said...

im a sun sneezer
i think its cool cause unlike most ppl i can sneeze whenever i want to and sneezing feels good
i only sneeze once when i stare at the sun but it only happens sometimes

Miss Sneeze said...

Kershoo! Aschoo! Kuschu! I sneeze a lot and I am super sensitive to the sun. I look outside and sneeze twelve times. I just sneezed from the light of the computer.

sam said...

i've got it! i feel so graced to be among the few =]