A woman has shared the unusual genetic condition she has and many people were surprised to find they are affected by the same syndrome.
Sarah Allison, from the US, often has to sneeze whenever she is exposed to harsh light, usually direct sunlight, due to a unique syndrome aptly named ACHOO.
She said it happens a few times a day, particularly when she’s driving, and thought every one did the same before finding out it only affects 17 per cent of the population.
‘Do you want to see this weird genetic condition that I have that only like 20 per cent have? Let me show you,’ Sarah said in an online video.
She walks from the inside of her house outside into sunlight and immediately feels the need to sneeze.
Sarah Allison (pictured) has shared the rare genetic condition she has that caused her to uncontrollably sneeze when exposed to harsh light
Sarah explained the phenomenon is called ACHOO which stands for Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioopthalmic Outburst.
‘Which means that light triggers a photo reflex which means that when I see light I sneeze,’ she said added it usually happens in direct sunlight.
‘I thought everyone did that…Sometimes when I’m driving I’ll just started sneezing and I can’t stop. It’s not every time I’m exposed to direct sunlight but it happens a few times a day.’
ACHOO Syndrome has a number of names including sun sneezing, photic sneeze reflex, photoptarmosis and even photosneezia.
Sarah explained the phenomenon is called ACHOO which stands for Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioopthalmic Outburst
The reflex most commonly happens in intense sunlight when moving from a dark to a light environment with some even reacting to a camera flash, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
It’s caused by the crossing of wires over the trigeminal nerve, a facial nerve that go to your eye and nose.
Sarah’s clip was viewed more than 10million times across her social media channels as many people related but weren’t aware sunlight sneezing was an actual syndrome.
‘Only 17 per cent? Literally I don’t know one human being that doesn’t do this,’ one viewer replied.
‘Wait, you’re telling me that it’s not normal,’ a second wrote.
‘Doesn’t everyone do this?? Because my kids and myself do it all the time,’ a mum added.
‘I thought I was the only one and just joke about being allergic to the sun,’ another user laughed.
‘I have it but it only works if I feel a sneeze struggling to get out. Look at sunlight and I sneeze,’ one woman said.
Others were amused by the condition’s ‘suitable’ name with one saying: ‘I like that they called it ACHOO…they didn’t need to do that but they did’.
‘The fact they named it to fit the ACHOO acronym is crazy,’ another quipped.
Many who have ACHOO Syndrome recommended wearing sunglasses while outside as while sneezing poses no risk to someone’s health it can be dangerous when doing activities like driving.
‘I have this too! As a result I wear sunglasses all the time. As an elder millennial, I’ve noticed very few eye lines and wrinkles so it’s double duty,’ someone suggested.
‘Sunglasses prevent it. So wear them when driving. Definitely helps!’ another agreed.