All my life, I've been prone to violent sneezes. Most of them occur when I go out in the sun. From what I've read, my nose nerves and eye nerves are too close together, so that bright light striking my face makes me sneeze.
About ten years ago, I decided that I needed a serious strategy to deal with these sneezes. I was afraid I would injure something: pull a muscle or even crack a rib. I'm talking about strong sneezes. My solution at that time was to learn to relax my body when I felt a sneeze coming on. And that worked for me until recently.
I'm older now, and last summer I decided I simply had to stop sneezing. Relaxing isn't enough anymore, the strongest sneezes scare me. But how to stop?
I typically feel a sneeze coming a second or two before it happens. And I seem to be at a point of no return. And to make matters worse, I'm, well, kind of addicted to these sneezes. Avoiding them was going to be a life-changing matter.
I started by trying to remember, every time I went out into the sun, that a sneeze might be coming. (When my daughter was very young, she used to remind me, hoping that I could head the sneeze off.) It was hell trying to remember, and sometimes the sneeze snuck up many minutes later, when I was unguarded.
Meanwhile, I was struggling with the big question: once I feel a sneeze coming on, how do I stop it? Occasionally I got a chance to experiment, and I found a way. If I noticed the signs of a sneeze at the earliest possible moment, I could stop it by – I'm not making this up – scrunching my eyes tight shut, pinching my nose and wiggling it. Those strange motions, all related to my understanding that my nose and eye nerves are 'crossed', did the trick.
Week after hopeless week went by while I rarely noticed the signs in time. But one day, I caught two sneezes and stopped them. Wanting to do better had begun to create positive results. By now, I notice almost all my sneezes in time to stop them, and I rarely sneeze. I hope my sinews and ribs are, at last, safe.