Do You Sneeze After Eating? Here Are The Reasons Why

Why do I Sneeze After Eating?  

Imagine sneezing uncontrollably after eating out in a fine dining restaurant on a dream date. It's embarrassing. Is it still a medical condition? Or is it a difficult trick for your body to play with you? You can be confident that this is a common situation that many people experience. Sneezing is a way to remove irritants and allergens from your body and keep your nasal passages clean. In your case, if you know what this stimulant is, it is very likely that you will get rid of the sneeze completely.

Sneezing is a natural reaction to inflammation of the human nasal cavity. Sneezing is often the result of inhaling something that irritates the nose, but it can also be caused by inhaling cold air, examining bright light, or eating food. If you sneeze regularly after eating, you may wonder how something in your stomach irritates your nose. Eating certain types of foods and very large amounts of food can cause nasal irritation.

Keep reading about why you sneeze after eating and how to prevent sneezing after eating in the future.

Possible causes of sneezing after eating

1. Gustatory Rhinitis

There are many causes of sneezing after eating. One of them is gustatory rhinitis. This condition causes people to sneeze, especially after eating. Rhinitis is a common condition of inflammation and swelling of the nose. Gustatory rhinitis is known as non-allergic rhinitis because it has nothing to do with allergies. 

It occurs when the nasal nerve is sensitive to environmental factors. Gustatory rhinitis is characterized by a stuffy nose, sneezing, and a runny nose after eating. Some foods, such as spicy foods, alcohol, and even cold foods, can cause reactions in the nervous system, causing symptoms of swelling of the nasal membrane. Alcohol dilates blood vessels, allowing blood flow to block already clogged cavities. 

It also increases inflammation (our immune response to harmful invaders). The exact cause of this is unknown, but researchers suggest that stimulating the trigeminal nerve endings with irritating foods may be a possible cause of nasal rhinitis.  Symptoms of gustatory rhinitis generally disappear within a few minutes once you stop eating trigger foods.

According to an article in the journal Current Opinions in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, there is a special receptor in the nasal lining that detects capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers. When these fibers detect the presence of capsaicin, they can cause one or more sneezes. This condition is relatively common in the elderly. Avoiding these foods can prevent these symptoms. Keep a diary of foods and symptoms to find out which foods are causing you this condition.

However, if your symptoms include skin abnormalities, abdominal pain, or shortness of breath, see a doctor right away.

2. Snatiation Reflex

Some people sneeze after eating a large amount of food.  Satiation is the condition of sneezing too much after eating a large amount of food. This is known as satiation reflex, which is a combination of the words "sneezing" and “satiation."  You will experience this reflex when your stomach is full and stretched. This can lead to a series of sneezing. 

The exact cause of this is unknown, but it is believed that this condition has a genetic component. People with this hereditary trait can sneeze out of control when their brains detect that their stomach is full. Immediately after the stomach gets swollen, there are 3 to 15 consecutive uncontrolled sneezes that occur regardless of the type of food consumed.

It was first reported in a letter to the Journal of Medical Genetics by two researchers in 1989. They describe a 32-year-old man sneezing three to four times after each meal. He told investigators that his father, grandfather, three brothers, one of two sisters, an uncle, and a cousin all had the same symptoms.

Since then, other cases of itching have been reported. However, there is not much research on the situation. It seems to be related to eating a large diet that completely fills the stomach. The type of food does not seem to be a factor.

3. Mild Food Allergies

Some people with certain food allergies have symptoms of sneezing after eating these specific foods. Other symptoms include itching of the eyes and a mild skin rash. In severe cases, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can occur, causing extreme swelling and respiratory distress. Some of the most common foods that can cause allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, and nuts.

4. Airborne Causes

It is very likely that you are allergic to pollen and dust. Your allergies can also be caused by very hot or cold weather. Maybe the person you eat with regularly wears a perfume that causes sneezing. You are also allergic to your pet and may eat frequently in the presence of that pet.

5. Cold And Flu

Sometimes it may possible that you may be suffering from a cold or flu and coincidentally sneezes after eating. Two different conditions may appear to be related.

How to Deal With Sneezing After Eating:

Here are some strategies that you can use to stop sneezing. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to stop sneezing after eating. However, there are some tips for reducing sneezing. These include:

1. Change Your Eating Habits

If you suspect that excessive sneezing is caused by a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, eat small meals frequently instead of three large meals. This prevents your stomach from expanding excessively and does not irritate your nervous system to sneeze out of control.

2. Keep A Meal Diary

If you suspect you have a food allergy that causes sneezing after eating, you should keep a food diary to keep an accurate record of what type of food is causing the problem. It can be not only the type of food but also the method of preparation that can react to your body. 

After a while, you may notice a pattern between episodes of sneezing and food types, ingredients, and methods of preparing it. Avoid this allergen if certain foods are identified as guilty. You may need to observe carefully to eliminate all possibilities and find the exact trigger.

3. Take Medicine

The medicines that can be taken to control allergic reactions are antihistamines. These can be taken in the form of tablets, syrups, or nasal drops. OTC antihistamine nasal drops also help reduce the frequency of postprandial sneezing. These sprays block the release of histamine, an inflammatory compound that can cause sneezing. Nasal decongestants help clear the sensation of a stuffy nose or sinuses. 

Take over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants such as pseudoephedrine to reduce stuffy nose and tenderness that can cause sneezing after a meal.  Be careful not to overuse nasal decongestants. Overuse can lead to a rebound of a stuffy nose. Do not use it for more than 5 consecutive days as the spray can cause a stuffy nose. Take medicine as a last resort. If you are overly dependent on them, consult your doctor to rule out other potentially serious conditions such as nasal polyps.

4. Relieve Allergic Symptoms

Here are some strategies that you can use to stop sneezing. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to stop sneezing after eating. However, there are some tips for reducing sneezing. If the sneezing after eating is caused by an allergy, here are some steps you can take at home to minimize allergic symptoms:

Hold your breath while counting up to 10 or as long as you can comfortably hold your breath. This helps reduce reflex sneezing.

Pinching the nose bridge to prevent sneezing. This has the same effect as a person holding his breath.
There are many over-the-counter saline nasal drops that are safe to soothe the irritated nasal membrane and flush the irritants out of the nasal passages.

You can perform a nasal wash instead of a saline spray. Irrigate your nose using devices such as neti pot, valve syringes, and squeeze bottles. Daily nasal irrigation has been shown to be more effective against allergic symptoms. These devices are used in combination with sterile and distilled water to remove irritants. Most pharmacies sell these nasal wash devices. Carefully follow the instructions for both using and cleaning these appliances.
Do You Sneeze After Eating? Here Are The Reasons Why

Gently clean your nasal passages by blowing your nose regularly.

Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and prevent the mucous membranes from drying out and becoming inflamed.

Steam from a humidifier or hot shower helps to loosen the mucus in the nose and clear the stuffy nose.
You may also find that cleaning the dining room or asking your partner to change the scent can help relieve your symptoms.

Postprandial sneezing and consistent sneezing are rarely medical problems, but they can be annoying and distracting. It is also advisable to reduce the chances of it after eating, as droplets can spread in the air and there is a risk of spreading viruses and bacteria.

Currently, there are no guaranteed cures for gustatory rhinitis or satiation reflex satiety. In many cases, avoiding certain foods or eating large amounts of food can prevent this reflex.

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