Sneezing is the body’s natural way to get rid of impurities that try to enter the nose like germs, pollen or dust. But since it is a reflex reaction, it can show up at the wrong place at the wrong time, and even leave an embarrassing booger on your upper lip. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stop the reflex on its tracks, and possibly save your face from reddening.
These are a series of options to try just when that sneeze starts to build up. They work differently with every person, so it’s best to find what bests suits you. As a precaution, never hold a sneeze in, it may damage internal blood vessels or hurt your ear drums.
Pinching the Upper Lip
This works by directing the brains stimuli to another action. Just pinch your upper lip slightly with your thumb and index finger in a motion directed at the nostrils. Massage the upper lip while at it, by moving your thumbs towards one nostril, and the index finger to the other. This stops the sneeze instantly until it dies down, but be mindful of those watching at the office while at it.
Stop the Sneeze with a Tickle
This is a more discrete option that still does the trick. With the tip of your tongue, tickle the upper roof of your mouth the moment you feel that sneeze attack. Your mouth is quite ticklish in that region and this will fool the brain to direct stimuli elsewhere. Keep ticking with your tongue until the urge to sneeze dies down; 10 seconds would do the trick.
Pinching the Nose Bridge
A gentle pinch of the nose cartilage below your eyes can also stop that sneeze before it’s out. Hold your hands horizontally underneath your eyes, then with your two forefingers target the nose bridge. Rub that area gently and the sneeze attack will begin to subside. What this does is disrupt a nerve around the bridge that often triggers the urge to sneeze.
Besides pinching the upper lip or Nose Bridge, there are plenty other ways to disrupt that stimulus till it dies down. Use your hands for instance, pull at the flap of skin between your thumb, and the index finger. It provides the much needed distraction as your attention is diverted elsewhere. Alternatively, with two fingers grab the skin between your eyes and directly below your eye brow. It’s a common area people rub when having a headache; it can also work on stopping that nuisance sneeze.
Instead of struggling to stifle that sneeze in public, just gently pull at your ear lobe and play with it. It’s another discrete way of diverting attention then excuse yourself to go blow your nose. By the way, blowing one’s nose can also get rid of the sneeze attach, especially when an allergen or impurity is dislodged in the nose and the body is frantic to dispel it.
When Sneeze Attacks are Recurrent
If the urge to sneeze is recurrent and doesn’t seem to go away, perhaps you need to move away from the environment you are in. If it’s a room full of mold or a field clustered with pollen, consider moving to a mild zone that will help the problem subside. On the other hand, your sneeze attacks could be as a result of ailment like influenza or common cold. There are simple home remedies to bring relief by alleviating the strong sneezing urges.
a) Take Some Nestle Tea
A cup of nestle tea in the morning before you leave to work works wonders. Nestle has flue relieving properties that help unclog congested nostrils and tone down that itchy feeling to sneeze. Nestle tea supplement is readily available in health stores and can be ordered online as well.
b) Black Cumin Seed
Cumin tastes good in delicacies but is also a remarkable relief to congested noses. Take a pinch of black cumin and roll it on a handkerchief. Inhale this through the day and it instantly clears blocked noses and takes away the sneeze itch. Black cumin is available in online and physical health stores as well. In case it’s hard to find this ingredient, eucalyptus oil does a commendable job of unclogging blocked noses as well; carry a bottle and rub some eucalyptus on a handkerchief and inhale the soothing vapor.
c) Peppermint Oil
It comes highly recommended due to its anti-bacterial properties which fight sneeze causing allergens. Boil some water then pour it into a basin, adding about 6 drops of peppermint oil into the water. Bring yourself to inhale the steam while covering your head and the rim of the basin to get most of it. Within a few minutes your nose is cleared up and the sneeze urge subsides. Alternatively, boil water in a kettle and drop the peppermint into the water; inhale the vapor as the kettle continues boiling.
d) Fennel Seeds
Just like peppermint, fennel seeds also fight bacteria and contain antibiotic properties as a bonus. Boiling some water (one cup is enough) and add about two teaspoons of fresh fennel seeds. Let the seeds soak for about 15 minutes before draining the liquid; take this twice a day and it reduces sneezing urges while unclogging your nostrils as well.
e) Ginger and Garlic
If all the above remedies are not readily available, one can also find solace in ginger and garlic. Boil a cup of water and cut some fresh ginger root into it. Mix this with honey and take before bedtime to prevent excessive sneezing through the night. Garlic on the other hand has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties that fight both flu and common cold. Crush the fresh garlic cloves into a fine paste and inhale the aroma. Later you can add the garlic paste to your food.
While sneezing is a totally involuntary reflex, it’s possible to stop its onset. Any of the above mentioned remedies will help stop the urge temporarily or help fight the sneeze causing allergen while bringing relief to a stuffy nose.