ACHOO Syndrome – Sneezing and the Sun

In the summer I always find myself sneezing whenever I leave a building and walk outside, hitting a wall of bright sunshine. This is not something I particularly make conversation about as, let’s face it, what exactly is there to talk about? The cause of my sneezing was obviously linked to sunlight… so what?

However, about a year ago I started to realise that this condition may be more widespread than I had thought when, during a game of Trivial Pursuit, I got asked what Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome was. Getting excited I answered that it surely had to be the medical term for whatever ‘syndrome’ I had: sneezing when confronted with the sun.

I was close, but the quiz Nazis I was playing with didn’t allow me a piece of that tasty, multi-coloured pie as the correct answer was that ACHOO Syndrome is a backronym for the Photic Sneeze Reflex, the correct name for this condition.




One response to “ACHOO Syndrome – Sneezing and the Sun”

  1. EtherDoc

    Happens to me all the time. I’ve tracked it in four generations of my family. Autosomal dominant. Occurs with either eye, but stronger with both eyes.