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Rhinology. 2002 Mar;40(1):10-2.

How often do normal persons sneeze and blow the nose?

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Otopathological Laboratory, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Rhinitis is defined as an inflammatory disease, but in clinical practice the diagnosis is based on the occurrence of nasal symptoms. As all persons occasionally sneeze and blow the nose, it is necessary to define what is normal. In this study the daily number of sneezes and of nose blowing were recorded in diary-cards over a 14 day period by 80 hospital employees and medical students, who considered themselves not to suffer from rhinitis. The results showed that more than 95% of the normal persons sneezed and blew the nose less than 4 times a day, on average. It is concluded that it is normal to sneeze and blow the nose less than 4 times daily while a higher number can be a sign of rhinitis. It is recommended that counting of sneezes and of nose blowing is used in clinical trials in order to define the study population. Together with an objective measurement of nasal patency this can be useful in defining the effect profile of different types of treatment.

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