A Closer Look At Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst (ACHOO) Syndrome


ACHOO, also known as Photic Sneeze Reflex and Photosneezia, is a condition characterized by successive or uncontrollable sneezing caused by sudden exposure to bright light and other stimuli. This seems like normal sneezing that is triggered by infections and irritants, therefore, differentiating Photic Sneeze Reflex from normal sneezing is quite difficult.   

According to studies, the Photic Sneeze Reflex is very commonly found in about 11 to 35 percent of the world's population which means it can be seen at least in every one of four individuals. The majority of this share of the population is female and white. 

How is Genetics Associated With Photic Sneeze Reflex? 

Although more studies are yet to be conducted to reveal real causes of Photic Sneeze Reflex, the studies that have been done so far convey that genetics have a relation with this condition associated with Photic Sneezing.

Studies convey:

Photic Sneeze Reflex is a genetic trait. If one of your parents has Photic Sneeze Reflex, you have more than a 50% chance of developing the same.  

Gene that causes the Photic Sneeze Reflex has not been identified yet. But you are likely to have this reflex if you have a genetic and inherited trait. 

A person with Photic Sneeze Reflex sneezes multiple times in response to a change in intensity of the light. The sneezing could be as little as 2 and as many as 40. However, most people with Photic Sneeze Reflex commonly sneeze 2 to 10 times. 

Symptoms of ACHOO Syndrome 

Although differentiating normal sneezing and Photic Sneeze Reflex is difficult, a few symptoms have been discovered that identify photic sneeze reflex. 

Photic Sneezing 

Photic Sneezing refers to successive sneezing induced by exposure to generally a sudden change in intensity of the bright light rather than by a constant wavelength of the light. It is the most common manifestation of Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome or Photic Sneeze Reflex. So, when exposed to a sudden change in the wavelength of the light, if a patient sneezes and keeps sneezing for at least 3-10 times without having any control, the patient may have a Photic Sneezing Reflex. 

Photic Sneezing in Response to Periocular Injection 

It has been found that many people with a family history of Photic Sneeze Reflex experience successive sneezing in response to periocular or anesthetic injections. During the procedure, the patient gets sedation treatment but as soon as the needle is inserted into the eye, the patient starts sneezing, resulting in forcing the specialist to remove the needle. This is a vital sign of the Photic Sneeze Reflex. 

Photic Sneezing in Response to Eating Spicy Foods

People with Photic Sneeze Reflex may experience successive sneezing after eating spicy foods or in case of stomach fullness. 

Treatments for Photic Sneeze Reflex 

Although Photic Sneeze Reflex is a known condition, there are no such medications and treatments that stop the reflex. More studies are yet to be done to first know the root causes of it and then to come up with effective medications or treatments. 

Photic Sneeze Reflex is completely harmless to your health. Many people cover their eyes with suitable glasses, scarves, and hats to avoid successive sneezing in response to bright light or sunlight. Using these options is not a solution, but they may prevent you from entering that zone of successive sneezing.

That's it for this post! To know more useful information about Photic Sneeze Reflex, visit the Medical Algorithms website. You will also find informative articles on several medical terms used in healthcare across the world.

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