Factitious sneezing

Deborah Wiener, Kris McGrath, Roy Patterson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We report a case of hysterical, intractable paroxysmal sneezing in an adolescent girl. The patient had been observed by two pediatricians, an allergist, an emergency room physician, and a chiropractor. She had been treated with antihistamines, epinephrine, corticosteroid nasal spray, and a 1-week course of an oral corticosteroid without improvement. She was referred for evaluation of an allergic etiology before continuing her workup with a computed tomographic head scan. The patient had been sneezing almost daily for 3 mo up to 2000 times a day. The patient did not sneeze at night. She had nasal congestion but no rhinorrhea or eye symptoms. She did not sneeze during the interview. The results of a physical examination were normal except for mild obesity. No organic cause was found. Most cases of intractable paroxysmal sneezing reported in the literature occur in adolescents and appear to have a psychogenic etiology. The problem was discussed with the child and parents, and psychologic therapy was recommended. Considerable decrease in sneezing subsequently occurred, but the parents credited this to further chiropractic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-742
Number of pages2
JournalThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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