Is Sneezing Always Caused by an Illness?

December 30, 2023

Sneezing is a natural, involuntary reflex that often catches us off guard. While sneezing is a symptom that is commonly associated with many respiratory illnesses such as colds and the flu, that doesn't necessarily mean an illness causes every sneeze. Find out what can cause you to sneeze, and whether sneezing is a sign that you should seek medical care. Visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater for same-day illness diagnosis and treatment in Edgewater, MD.

Common Causes of Sneezing

Sneezing is your body’s natural way of expelling irritants. This can include viruses and other germs, but many different things can trigger sneezing, and not all of them indicate the presence of an infection or illness. One primary cause is environmental irritants. Dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and other environmental allergens can stimulate nasal passages, prompting a sneeze as the body's way of expelling these potentially harmful substances. 

Additionally, sudden exposure to bright sunlight, known as photic sneezing, can also trigger this reflex in some individuals. It's an interesting phenomenon and not a sign of illness. You could be sneezing because of allergies or even the sun and just not know it. Even something as simple as eating certain foods can make you sneeze. One, or even a few, sneezes in a row aren't cause for concern. If sneezing becomes a regular occurrence with no signs of improvement, it could be a sign of illness. 

Viral vs Non-Viral Sneezing

While sneezing is a common symptom of viral infections such as the flu or the common cold, it's important to distinguish between viral and non-viral causes. If your sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, body aches, a sore throat, congestion, or fatigue then you may be suffering from an infection.

Sneezing that is not caused by a virus is triggered by environmental factors and usually is the only symptom. Non-viral sneezing also usually is not persistent, and will not happen once you remove the irritant from your surroundings. If you’re sneezing and wondering whether you could be sick, it is important to evaluate whether you’re suffering from additional symptoms that can indicate the presence of an illness.

When To Visit Urgent Care For Illness Symptoms

Understanding the various reasons that may be causing you to sneeze is a vital part of identifying whether you should seek medical care. While occasional sneezing is normal, persistent or severe sneezing may indicate an underlying issue that requires medical attention. Not only can sneezing be caused by a viral infection, but it may indicate a previously unknown allergen that requires management to relieve your symptoms.

Urgent care centers offer prompt and convenient access to healthcare professionals who can assess your symptoms, conduct necessary testing, and provide various treatment options. Whether it's a viral infection, allergies, or an environmental trigger, urgent care can play a pivotal role in addressing your health concerns efficiently without a massive price tag. So, the next time you find yourself caught in a sneezing fit, remember that it might not always be a sign of illness, but if in doubt, urgent care can help!

Visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater For Walk-In Illness Diagnosis & Treatment

If you’re suffering from illness symptoms, including sneezing, AFC Urgent Care Edgewater can help. Our medical professionals are board-certified and trained to identify a variety of illness symptoms to help provide symptom relief. Our walk-in clinic is open 7 days a week with extended business hours and short wait times. Walk in today or schedule an appointment online.

Whether you’re suffering from an illness, allergies, or something else, AFC Urgent Care Edgewater understands that getting rapid symptom relief is important. Our facility is equipped with a laboratory on-site which allows our medical providers to get a precise diagnosis for your symptoms. We never require you to schedule an appointment to receive medical care at our walk-in clinic. Simply walk in when it’s convenient for you. We accept most major medical insurance plans and offer affordable care. For additional information about our clinic, contact us directly by calling (410) 956-3394.

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