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March 15, 1965

Photic Sneezing

Author Affiliations

Camden, NJ

JAMA. 1965;191(11):949. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080110073034

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To the Editor:  In the QUESTION AND ANSWER section of the Nov 2, 1964, issue of The Journal (190:479) there is an inquiry regarding photic sneezing. The answer by Dr. Everett was inconclusive.For many years I have sneezed when going out into bright sunlight and the explanation has seemed quite simple. The first reaction to the bright sunlight is to squint to reduce the amount of light entering the eyes. The contraction of the muscles around the eyes forces an extra amount of tears through the lacrimal ducts into the nose. The flow of tears tickles the mucous membrane of the nose with a resulting sneeze.

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