Oesophageal Patients Association
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Do you sneeze a lot?

Most of us seem to have had a cough after an esophagectomy, but I sneeze in a different way as well since surgery.

I sneeze so violently I once knocked myself over. I can sneeze up to thirty times in quick succession with hardly time to catch a breath in between. I try to sit down, or at least lean against something, to stay upright.

Very embarrassing in public, and very tiring, and hurts my ribs.

Does anyone else have this problem?

1 Reply

I have asked around and have not heard of anybody else with this problem (coughing yes; sneezing no) which does not mean to say that we won't have somebody offering some really good advice later on.

It must be tiring and a strain on your ribs, and I sympathise, but my first reaction is that it might be nothing to do with your surgery. I would feel inclined to ask your specialist nurse / surgeon what they think - they may have a simple answer; or they may refer you to another specialist (perhaps ear, nose and throat?). There is probably some nerve that is being triggered perhaps? Has it occurred immediately after your surgery; or did it start after a certain point? Tracking the history would be useful for them (eg where it happens, what time of day, whether there are any smells etc around). Have a look at the side-effects of any medication you are taking. Are you allergic to anything? Does it happen at home as well as being our in public? Has it been linked to any infections?

I dare say that there are some sneezing experts around somewhere who will probably have a good insight into what you may be able to do. Even if it is only understanding the process of sneezing it would be worthwhile.

I think it is one of those things that you need to have investigated, and not simply put down to a mysterious after-effect of major surgery. I am sure we would all be interested in the answer.


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