Sun sneezing questions

As I start to think about what I'm going to put on the sun sneezing part of the website, I began to think it may be a good idea to ask for the input of people who may actually use it. The main part of the site will be a sort of central register of sun sneezers that you can leave your details in (as few or as many as you wish) and in return you are given an electronic certificate of sun-sneeziness with a profile you can link to.

I know that there are a lot of people who have expressed an interest in it, so at the same time I'd like to be able to find out a little more about how sun sneezing habits change between people and places, if at all. This is where you come in... If there are any fitting questions that you think may be good to ask of people for their profile, I'll be more than grateful if you could let me know and I'll add them to my list. If you would like to leave any suggestions, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post or send me a quick email to dan at karran dot net.

Finally, apologies to all those people who have emailed me already to express their interest. I'll get back to you all when I have a better idea of launch timings.


Been one all my life also. Just recently found out it was an actual condition. I usually only sneeze twice, sometimes right away, sometimes delayed, but always twice. Tickle in the nose, bright lights usually help that too. Up til now, never knew anyone else to have this problem, nice to know it's not just me! :-)

My whole life I have been a sun sneezer and I never really discussed this reflex with anyone else. I find it so interesting that in so many of the posts there are other people saying that they brushed this reflex off as well. I remember realizing it was the sun causing my sneezing at a very young age. I recently posted about my sneezing on facebook and my boyfriends mom posted about my boyfriend always doing the same thing! I've always thought that the reason for it was that my eyes would squint when I looked up at the sun and that by squinting it would push my nose up causing some sort of sensitivity. I guess I was wrong but thanks for bring more information on this topic to my attention.

I have sneezed my whole life every time I step outdoors and its sunny - i always joked I was allergic to the sun :P

No one else in my family, or anyone I know is like this..

I am Caucasian with green eyes & have astigmatism, but after reading through the responses, it seems my near-sightedness doesn't have anything at all do with this condition as I assumed it did, lol.

Its annoying, & embarrassing - I hate sneezing as I am quite a forceful sneezer - they are dry thank goodness, but my head usually goes flying forward as I half double over, and thank goodness my record is only 4 in a row!

I don't have to look up at the sun either, in fact because I know its going to happen I try to keep my eyes half closed when i go out for the first few mins - never helps though lol!

The only 'good' thing about this, on cloudy days I am like a weather forecaster - I can tell others its going to get sunny in about 5 mins because the sneezing starts!

I like so many of the other poster's before me sneeze at any bright light I happen to come upon.I get the best sneezes from the sun and it seems like the winter sun brings out the longest string of sneezes. Sometimes 8-12 in a row,I have 2 older siblings and the're sun sneezers as well, I am also a blue-eyed caucassion of German desent.

I have been a sun sneezer my whole life. Dont think my parents are. I am fortunate to only sneeze once when I look at the sun though. Works every time, but bright lights from any other source, and just walking outside dont even trigger a tickle. European and Honduran descent. Also ambidextrous but write left-handed.

This webpage makes me laugh. I have been a sun sneezer for as long as I can remember, not as bad as some of you guys, I just sneeze one time, and the sun seems to be the only reliable trigger. I have sneezed at very bright lights before, but nothing like some of the stories I have read. I have blue(ish) eyes, and come from German and Armenian decent. I love going outside and sneezing, it makes my wife laugh.

i have also been a "sun-sneezer" all of my life, i never knew what the heck was wrong with me until about 5 minutes ago!!
its very odd lol

My sun-sneeze reflex is really, really strong. Often I will sneeze sitting at work when the sun comes out from behind a cloud -- my brain has noticed the sun coming out, even though I haven't! This happens often in rainy Oregon. I have very light blue eyes and have always been very sensitive to light. I know this is a really old post but I wanted to record my experience in case anyone else has sun sneezes indoors like I do.

I am a sun-sneezer. I will usually sneeze at when going outside for the first time and looking up at the sun. I can use the sun as a stimuli twice to generate a sneeze, but not a third time.

At times, I have also sneezed to artificial light like a light bulb. Oddly enough, a large, white computer screen has also caused the reaction. I am of Asian Indian decent, first generation born in the US.

Check out the survey being done by Researcher Louis Ptáček:

I'm a sun sneezer. It runs in my family so I assumed my whole life that everyone does this. My husband laughed at me when I asked incredulously "You mean to tell me that you don't sneeze in the sun?" Driving east on the highway when the sun is rising is downright dangerous.

I wonder if there's any connection between sun sneezing and migraine headaches. I've recently developed migraine headaches with my most frequent trigger being bright light. Sunlight reflecting on the snow or off a car bumper equals immediate pain. A lot of them are classic migraines with visual disturbances or aura. Any other sun sneezers have this problem?

I'm 24 year old female of Irish and Swedish descent. I seem to sneeze only in the sun but will start paying more attention to any bright light as a possible trigger.

Hello I've been a sun sneezer for a long time now. I am hispanic and I use to blame the sneezes on just the Texas dust. I always thought it was funny that I was the only one in my family who would sneeze when first going outside, usually up to about 5 times. It was getting to the point that when my sister and I would walk outside she would go, "And she's gonna sneeze right.... now." Sure enough a couple of seconds of just stepping into the sun, my eyes would squint and I'd get the sneeze reflex. I looked it up years ago when we first got the net and I remember pulling up just a few sites that mentioned that it was rare. But reading all these, it can't be all that rare!

Have fun and wear sunglasses! (Although they rarely help...)

Yay! Fellow sun sneezers! Mine isn't as bad but I do sneeze when I first walk outside into the sun. Then if I'm out there long enough, I'll sneeze again. I noticed it growing up that when I couldn't get a sneeze out, all I had to do was look at a bright light. I never understood that not everyone can do that. When someone couldn't get the sneeze out, I usually told them to look at the light, it helps. My mom is a sun sneezer as well. Other than a few family members, I never met anyone else with the same "problem". But all in all, I find sun sneezing funny. Every time I sneeze in the light, I laugh. I know...I'm a little weird.

I thought everyone sun sneezed! but i just found out only about 25% of people do thats pretty cool, but i also found out that it might have something to do with my desensitized nose... (i cant smell unless the scent is really strong)... and I'm only 17 so i hope it doesn't get worse with age.

Hi, my name is Damian and I'm a sun-sneezer :-)
It's enough for a big cloud to cover the sun, and then when the sunlight shines in my eyes again, there I go with the usual 2 sneezes together followed by a third, all by itself after 5 to 10 seconds. My mother does the same thing, at the beat of the same song. Sunglasses seem to help a little, but I often sneeze even if I'm wearing them.
Yes, I also often get comments that my allergies are acting up, and at that point I just nod because until now I never knew how to explain this reflex. Today I found 2 interesting explanations, one from Scientific American (, and one from Dr. Tom Wilson (
And yes, like some of you, if I feel a tickle in the nose but the sneeze won't come out, I also look for a bright light to stare at, so the sneeze will finally burst. I've never associated sneezing with migraines, which I'm lucky not to suffer from.

I had no idea that sneezing when exposed to bright light was actually something that had a "name". I really did not associate the sneeze with anything, I just sneezed a few times and kept going. But when I noticed a sneeze coming on when leaving the house and looking at bright white snow, I thought that something had to be up! How in the world does looking at snow make you sneeze? Oh and if it's sunny and white snow all around, look out! I'm sneezing. I can't be the only on that wears sun glasses because of snow? :D At last the answer...I'm a sun sneezer! I can finally tell my husband that there are some crossed wires in my brain. I can already hear his "Ah Ha!!!" moment! lol

For SO long i thought i was allergic to the sun, then one of the girls i go to school with got snobby with me and said "No you'd have a rash" and my mom FINALLY noticed that I'm always sneezing when i walk into the sun, and finally she asked me about it. Now I understand. :) Thanks!

I have been a "sun sneezer" my entire life. When I was young I thought everyone did it. I don't know which one of my parents is a sneezer but I do know my daughter is one also. My husband loves to make fun of me - apparently I get the "sneezing look" on my face and he knows what's coming. I always sneeze at least four or five times in a row (my record is 12). It's an interesting condition to have :)

I have sneezed at the sun and bright lights all my life and am 40 now, to me its more of an annoyance than anything else. It is very strange to me that it is hereditary as I always thought that it was just the light making my eyes water and causing the sneeze. Thank you for taking the time to do research and put this up.

Although I was quite young (pre-teen), I first remember this happening to me when my mom would wake me for school in the morning by turning on the bedroom light (northern winters = still very dark at 7am or so). I truly believe I sneezed first at a bright light and not the sun, because I remember thinking how weird it was while lying there in bed. Now, I very regularly sneeze when coming out of a relatively darker space into the sun. I'll get that sneeze tingle, and I can look down or away to suppress it, or I can indulge it. I almost always indulge it. Rarely does a bright light initiate a sneeze anymore, there just aren't those occasions where I'm in the dark, then suddenly light. However, if I get the urge to sneeze (a normal urge), I can always tip my head to the light.

My husband has done this for years when first walking out of places into the bright sunshine and now my 4 year old son does it as well. Got me curious so I decided to google and am glad to find that it is not that uncommon. Strange but not uncommon.

Oh my god! I am so glad that this actually happens to other people! Not a single family member or friend have this and they think I am crazy! I've always sun sneezed but never really noticed it until a few years ago. I get it with not only the sun but also with bring lights. I love it, it makes me feel different :)

i only new of one other person who sneezed when they saw a bright light, i'm happy to know that i'm not a wierdy lol my sneezes are realy wierd, i only sneeze in groups of two at a time lol. i sneeze twice i open my eyes and usually sneeze two more times minutes later why do u think that is? i think mabey the brighter the light the more you sneeze lol. my eyes also water when i yawn, is that related?

my name is wendy and i have been a sunsneezer my whole life... lol well while at work my coworkers take bets on how many in a row! i am a taurus and i was told that we usually have some kind of sinus problem sometime in our life, so i often wondered if that had something to do with it since i have cronic sinusitis. im glad im not the only one!

I am a never-fail sun sneezer - always have been and never thought to look it up until now. I am also mildly (usefully) synesthesiac (is that a word?). I wonder if the crossed wires are related? Also, ambidextrous, but write with my left hand. Female, 40 and caucasion (hazel eyes).

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I don't remember when I first noticed it. I was always annoyed when my mom thought I had a cold or something, to me sneezing is a normal part of everyday life. The sun makes me sneeze and it sometimes is very dangerous on the road. Just like you, when I get a urge to sneeze, I often indulge it by looking at a bright light. I just did so a few minutes ago.

My record I believe is 6 or 7 sneezes. I only get 1 sneeze, unless I'm forced to look at the sun (driving), then I may get 2 or 3. But if I get one of those sneezes on a bright day, I can look up and sneeze again (and rinse and repeat an average total of 5 times). I kind of have to "let go" or "relax" to indulge that many sneezes.

I think part of it is looking up too. Not many bright lights are low so I'm not sure if looking up is necessary, I haven't tested this.

hi, im a sun sneezer! I recently found out when everyone kept tellin me i was allergic to pollen in the summer and spring months lol and mold in the winter haha...allergy meds just werent workin! anyways for me its not just the sun, it seems to be just bright light in hope it stops b4 i get to heaven...thats supposed to be a pretty lit up place lol. so do u have this thing going yet? LOL cuz i want my certificate of sneeziness:p this is a really kewl idea btw. high five!

I wondered if you had the sun sneeze thing up too, I am a major sun sneezer, I do it all the time, and bright lights also get me to sneeze.

Hi Dan,Deb and Tanya,Yep, I sun sneeze too. So does my Dad. Bright light causes it too. It's great if you get one of those sneezes that kinda gets stuck and wont come out...just tilt your head back and point your nose up towards the sun or a bright light and hey presto......relief!!

Hi.I'm a sun sneezer. So was my dad. So is my son. I also sneeze when I go out in very cold weather even if it is overcast. I always cary an extra handkerchief because it can be embarassing if I don't.Have fun.

I can coax a sneeze out of a candle. I've been a sun sneezer for some 50 years. It is handy and it is a pain. Handy when you can't quite if sneezing is a pleasure.. but a pain when bright lights make you sneeze. I read long ago that the explanation was the portion of the brain that controls sneezes is right next to the part that controls vision and light can irritate the sneezy section. At any rate, I know sun sneezes exist regardless of what any researcher says to the contrary.

I'm glad that I'm not alone. I only started to realize it lately that it appears that I'm "allergic" (don't think of that literally) to the sun, and to bright lights, as I sneeze instantly. I asked my mom about this and she had said to me that I've always had it, since I was a baby. I've researched this online and found that it's called "Photic Sneeze Reflex", you can look up the article for it on Wikipedia too. It's a bit weird to be sitting in classrooms and sneezing for no apparant reason, and that no one else there seems to have that problem. According to that Wikipedia article, I never knew that it affects around 25% of humans!

My dad, brother, and myself are all sun sneezers. My brother's isn't as bad as mine or my dad's but my mom thinks it's funny to see us all walk out of a store together and sneeze. I've been doing it since I was a little baby and I show no sign of stopping. :D

I love sneezing into the sun or light - my husband laughs and thinks I make up sun sneezing! It's so good to tell him it's real!!!!!! Mainly on one side of the street as I leave work!!!

I sneeze from the sun all the time. Like others, bright lights can trigger sneezing, and one time I sneezed from the light reflected from a car bumper. I am most affected when I quickly move from shadow, such as a dark room, into bright sunlight.Sometimes I have sneezed seven or eight times as quickly as I can. It's very embarrassing. I was told it was from masturbating, so I was really glad to find website. Is there a 12 step program for sneezers?

I sneeze into the sun. It never fails! I thought everyone did this until I was in 7th grade. We had a field trip, and as soon as we left our school building, I sneezed about 4-5 times. The people around me thought I was sick, so I told them it's from the sun. "Doesn't everybody do it?" I asked. That was a huge revelation to me that not everybody sneezes at bright lights.

I am a sun-sneezer very interested in it's genetics. On a High School Bio test I took almost 20 years ago, there was a question that implied my condition fell into the dominant-recessive category of genetics. I always held this to be true, partly because in my family my Dad has it (I'm pretty sure), I have it and one Brother has it, while my Mother and other two Brothers do not have it. (weird note: I am almost always a single sneezer, and my brother is often a multiple sneezer). My nose itches when I walk outside and it's a tremendous releif to sneeze. I'd actually say that I love that I have this condition. (another note: My brother and I often would race to sneeze first when walking outside and could cheat by shading the others eyes)

Going in to bright sun always makes me sneeze a few times but it does stop. My Dad was the same. I have 3 daughters and the middle girl (also the most like me)carries on the tradition as well as my 21 month old grandson - the product of my oldest daughter. It's not a terrible thing but I do have to clean the car windshield often. Yes also if I feel a sneeze coming on and want to get it out looking at a bright light usually does the trick.My wife said she heard it was caused by "mold: Any Comments?

I am a sun sneezer. Any connection to being a brain freezer? (cold icy drinks give a short headache). Which I understand does not happen to all people. Also I get bad headaches once a week.

Oy! and I thought I was the only one! Anyways, I just had to look this one up on the internet, and I'm happy that there are so many other fellow sun sneezers out there. :)

I am a sun sneezer as well and I have recently found out my father has passed this trait down to me. People made fun of me and didnt believe me when i said that i sneeze when I look at bright lights!! It occurs the most when I am inside a building then walk outside to the bright sunshine. But recently, an unusually bright elevator has made me sneeze. I like being a sun sneezer. We are a small, minute group of special people!

I am a sun sneezer and only yesterday discovered that not everyone is. I remember reading somewhere that it is a physiological remnant of something that is designed to clear a baby's nostrils at child birth. In other words, a newborn being exposed to direct light for the very first time sneezes, facilitating the breathing process. No idea if this is true.

Well i sneeze when I come into a building when im out in the sun. I dont get why and is it the same thing? I sneezed like 4 times.

Ok, I am stunned that there is a message board dedicated to "Sun Sneezers". I didn't even know it had a name. My husband always laughs at me when we go outside and I start sneezing my head off. I have found that my children do it too. I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old... both sun sneezers!! Must be genetic. Glad we're not alone:)

I have been a sun sneezer for the longest time I can remember. I used to think I was the only one that did it,kind of glad that I am not alone in this.To make matters worse for me I display the symptoms of hay fever along with sun/bright light sneezing.I looked it up online and this is meant to be something unique to Caucasians,but I am Indian. I wonder how common it is among Non-Caucasians..

I've always been a sun sneezer- and most of my friends think i'm full of crap. My mom does it too, though.BUT- i've read that most sun sneezers also sneeze from bright lights in general. Mine only happen from the sun. hmm..Anyway, I like sun sneezing!

Mine kicks in with any light, it's real weird! I can almost sniff out the light, then BAM it's on! I sneaze anywhere from 3 to 14 times, which is my max. And this is the secretly strange part, it's like having 3 to 14 orgasms in a row. Sometimes I damn near fall over!!! The only set back is that I have occasionally thrown out my back from such powerful sneezing fits!!!

I'm one of you. I saw on wiki the article about "sun-sneezing". I think that i liked the name Helio-Opthalmic Outburst Syndrome. Like the rest of you sunlight invariably makes me sneeze many times. But for me its not just the sun or bright light, but simply the brightest light in the room. If i'm on the verge of a sneeze, but can't get it out I just look at the brightest source of light in the room, be it the tv(i can switch to a brighter channel especially and it will set it off) or like another post mentioned "a candle". Anyway this is the first time that i read up on this condition and found it interesting that there was a message board about.

When I read the wiki article it mentioned that it affects about 25% of the population, 1 in 4. But I have never met another person with this condition ever, no family member or anyone. i also read somewhere that it affects more white people that it does people of African or Asian decent. Anybody know if there is any truth to this?

This is crazy!!! I had no idea there was such a thing as a "sun sneezer" but please add me to the club. I'm 58 and have been a sun sneezer all my life. I don't believe my parents had this reflex and neither does my sister, so I wonder who I inherited this from? It's just wonderful having all of you to share this with. Pretty silly, huh?