Is sneezing a sign of a cold?

People sneeze to try or get rid of whatever is irritating their nostrils or the inside of their noses.


For most of us, sneezing is a normal occurrence. It can be caused by different factors such as allergies, environmental factors and certain food items (e.g. pepper). Sneezing is a sudden and involuntary expulsion of air from the nose and the mouth that is caused by an irritation of the nostrils. People sneeze to try or get rid of whatever is irritating their nostrils or the inside of their noses.

allergic to cat

But does sneezing mean that you will be getting a cold or flu, anytime soon? The answer is maybe. When a person sneezes it may be because of 3 reasons.

  1. When you smell something that irritated your nose or nostrils, the immediate reaction of your body to get rid of it, is to sneeze.
  2. Allergies occurs when your immune system has an abnormal reaction to a certain food item, substances like pollen from trees, dusts, animal fur and molds, upon consumption or exposure. Your body then releases histamines; these histamines are what cause the allergic symptoms, which includes sneezing a lot as well as sore throat, runny nose and coughing.
  3. Your sneezing is caused by an infection that can lead to a cold or a flu.


If you feel like your sneezing is an early sign of a cold, assess yourself if you have the following symptoms, since you might get confused if its an allergy or a cold:


  • The usual symptom starts off with a stuffy nose, a sore throat and a low fever. With allergies, eyes and nose become itchy. Although there are some cases that eye discomfort can occur with colds.
  • Mucus begins to develops and often turns green or yellow (with allergic reactions, mucus is clear)
  • Colds last for a week or two while allergies takes long especially if you are exposed to the cause.
  • If your body aches and you feel feverish, it is a cold.


If colds are the reason for your sneezing, you may try the natural remedies below to stop it from progressing:


  • Drink a lot of water, fresh fruit juice or herbal tea. No caffeine.
  • If necessary, you may use nasal sprays
  • If you have an irritated throat, gargle with salt water
  • Use a humidifier or steamer.


In summary, sneezing does not always mean you have or will have a cold. There are more and different explanations as to why a person sneezes, just keep in mind to be respectful towards the people around you. So please have that hanky or towel in hand when you sneeze or if not turn around or distance yourself from people or any food items around you, it’s just proper etiquette.





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