Health DisorderNose Disorders

Why Do I Get Nauseous Before I Sneeze?

Sneezing is a natural bodily response that helps us expel irritants from our nasal passages. It is often accompanied by a sudden and involuntary contraction of the diaphragm and various muscles, leading to a forceful release of air through the mouth and nose.

However, for some individuals, this sneezing process can trigger feelings of nausea. Let’s explore the underlying factors that contribute to this unsettling experience.

Nauseous Before Sneeze

Nausea and Sneezing

Before we delve into the reasons for feeling nauseous before sneezing, it’s important to understand what nausea and sneezing are individually.

Nausea refers to a discomforting sensation in the stomach, often accompanied by a queasy feeling and an urge to vomit. It can be triggered by various factors, including motion sickness, certain foods or smells, medication side effects, hormonal changes, or underlying medical conditions.

On the other hand, sneezing is a natural reflex action that serves to clear the nasal passages of irritants or foreign particles. It involves a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, chest muscles, and throat muscles. This forceful expulsion of air through the mouth and nose helps remove the irritants and protect the respiratory system.

Read: How to Stop Smelling Bleach in My Nose

Causes of Nausea Before Sneezing

Physiological Factors

When it comes to the physiological factors that contribute to nausea before sneezing, several possibilities exist.

Reflex Response

Sneezing triggers a reflex response in our body, which involves the contraction of various muscles, including the diaphragm. This rapid and forceful contraction can create pressure in the abdomen, leading to a sensation of nausea in some individuals.

Sensory Overload

The intense stimulation of the senses during a sneeze, including the sudden loud sound and the rapid movement of air, can overload the sensory system. This sensory overload may cause a brief disruption in the body’s equilibrium, resulting in nausea.

Allergic Reactions

Allergies can trigger both sneezing and nausea. Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander can irritate the nasal passages, leading to sneezing. Simultaneously, the body’s allergic response can trigger nausea as a protective mechanism.

Psychological Factors

Alongside physiological factors, psychological factors can also play a role in feeling nauseous before sneezing.

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress can heighten our body’s response to various stimuli, including sneezing. When we are anxious or stressed, our body’s natural alarm system becomes more sensitive, leading to a heightened perception of bodily sensations.

This increased awareness can make us more prone to noticing any discomfort or queasiness before sneezing, amplifying the sensation of nausea.

Learned Association

Our minds are powerful in creating associations between different experiences. If you have previously experienced nausea before sneezing, your brain may have formed a learned association between the two.

As a result, every time you sneeze, your brain anticipates the feeling of nausea, further reinforcing the connection.

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Coping with Nausea Before Sneezing

Experiencing nausea before sneezing can be unpleasant, but there are strategies you can employ to alleviate this sensation. Let’s explore some techniques that may help you cope with the discomfort.

Breathing Techniques

Practicing deep breathing exercises can help calm your body and reduce the intensity of the nausea. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. This can help regulate your body’s response and minimize the sensation of nausea.

Relaxation Techniques

Engaging in relaxation techniques, such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation, can help reduce overall stress levels. By promoting a state of relaxation, you may find that the intensity of the nausea decreases when you sneeze.

Seeking Medical Advice

If the nausea before sneezing becomes persistent, severe, or significantly impacts your quality of life, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your symptoms, rule out any underlying medical conditions, and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options.


Experiencing nausea before sneezing can be puzzling and uncomfortable. While the exact reasons behind this phenomenon may vary from person to person, it often involves a combination of physiological and psychological factors.

By understanding these factors, you can gain insight into your own experiences and explore coping strategies to alleviate the discomfort. Remember, if the symptoms persist or worsen, it’s always best to seek medical advice for a comprehensive evaluation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is feeling nauseous before sneezing a cause for concern?

In most cases, it is not a cause for concern. However, if the symptoms are severe or persistent, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

Are there any natural remedies for alleviating nausea before sneezing?

Deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and staying hydrated can help reduce the discomfort of nausea.

Can anxiety make the sensation of nausea before sneezing worse?

Yes, anxiety can heighten your body’s response to sneezing and make the sensation of nausea more pronounced.

Should I be worried if I only experience nausea before sneezing occasionally?

Occasional nausea before sneezing is typically not a cause for concern. However, if the symptoms worsen or persist, it’s advisable to seek medical advice for a proper evaluation.