Why can looking at a bright light make you sneeze?

18th July 2011
Why can looking at a bright light make you sneeze?

Asked by: BBC Focus Magazine

The technical wording for this is the photic sneeze reflex. Its exact cause is not known but it’s been found to run in families. One theory is that photic sneezers are unusually sensitive to light. The irritation caused by emerging out of the dark into the light or staring towards the Sun causes a similar reaction to that from pollen, leading to the sneezing reflex.