Whenever someone has to sneeze my family tells them to look at a bright light. This makes most people sneeze.

Recently someone told us that there is a special word or phrase for this.

Is this so? Does anyone know the word?


1 Answer 1



From wikipedia: Photic sneeze reflex

The photic sneeze reflex (also known as photoptarmosis, Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome (ACHOO) and colloquially sun sneezing) is a condition that causes variable difficulty to control sneezing in response to numerous stimuli, such as looking at bright lights or periocular (surrounding the eyeball) injection. The condition affects 18-35% of the population, but its exact mechanism of action is not well understood.

  • 1
    This answer gives the key information (so, +1), but highlights the wrong term: photic sneeze reflex is far more widely used and understood than photoptarmosis.
    – PLL
    Aug 11, 2016 at 3:31
  • 3
    I would have highlighted that instead, but the OP requested a single word.
    – user190075
    Aug 11, 2016 at 3:44

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