I developed a cold overnight. I have spent half the day sneezing and the other half of the day thinking I am about to sneeze due to an uncontrollable irritation to my nasal passage.

Is there any way to either stop the tickly sensation in one's nose which indicates you are about to sneeze, or to speed up a sneeze so I'm not sitting here for 5 minutes with the tickly sensation just waiting for it to come?

I've tried blowing my nose to remove anything that could be up there causing the irritation.

The reason I ask to speed up the sneeze is because once I have sneezed, the tickling sensation goes away for a while, so if the feeling cannot be removed, I wish for it to be over and done with.

  • 1
    this phase of the viral infection will pass rapidly - usually lasts less than 24 hours.
    – Bamboo
    Mar 26, 2015 at 15:47

7 Answers 7


As @Mooseman said, pinching the nose can make the tickling go away. But you should not pinch it as if something smells bad (closing the nostrils), but instead only apply some pressure on both sides of the nose bridge with your fingers so that you still can (could, if you did not have a cold) breathe. You might try a bit to find the right spot, but you will definitely know it as soon as you did!

A trick to help sneezing is looking into bright light. Not too bright, of course because you don't want to damage your eyes. This works, because the nerves responsible for the sneezing reflex and the ones for noticing brightness may lay close together in some people. Therefore the brightness signal might "jump over" and intensify the sneezing stimulus which would then finally lead to a relieving sneeze...


This method stops my sneezes 100% of the time.

I hold my index finger above my lip, as if I were imitating a mustache, and press inward and upward on my nasal septum. Keep your finger there with applied pressure until the sensation subsides.

nose map

  • I've done that before... It works amazingly well!
    – L.B.
    Mar 30, 2015 at 1:59
  • I learned that trick from cartoons!
    – mhwombat
    Apr 25, 2015 at 1:22

Pinch your nose. Similarly to scratching an itch, pinching your nose will stop the tickling sensation.


A few years ago I fell down a hole hurting my kidneys and God knows what else (nothing serious). Anyway due to the trauma, I experienced hard pain when I was walking and every time I sneezed pain was incredible. After few days I learned to control sneezing.

The trick is to focus on sneezing, take one large breath and freeze instantly (do not move). Now, I had to learn this because of the pain, but if you ask me you don't need to put that much effort in order to control sneezing. Like others have mentioned it will only last a day or so.

One other thing that is significant. You said that you are only sneezing and haven't mentioned other cold symptoms. Maybe you are allergic to something (it's not important how old are you and if this is the first time you have these symptoms) in which case you should see a doctor.

  • I haven't mentioned other symptoms (such as blocked nose)because it's not the problem, sneezing is!
    – MrPhooky
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:03
  • Ok, I just taught that it might be allergy, and I still think it is possibility especially since it is a spring (in northern hemisphere).Blocked nose is also one of the symptoms of allergy Mar 27, 2015 at 8:05
  • There was a stage where I thought it might be an allergy because it does happen more often than it probably should (sneezing uncontrollably that is) but I've never changed anything (like washing detergent, food, drinks, habits...) and it's not constant so I just always put it down to a cold
    – MrPhooky
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:11
  • With allergies there are SO MANY outside factors which you cannot control and which you cannot predict (trees, grass, flowers, and wind caring pollen) plus our bodies work in a mysterious ways. Mar 27, 2015 at 8:15

Just gently clean your nose with a clean cloth... Or wet the inside first with water then gently dry it with clean cloth. Your nose may have dusts or germs that keep you sneezing.

If sneezing keeps coming, keep away from things that trigger or give you allergy. Cold environment or iced drinks may also be the cause of your continuous sneezing.


As already mentioned, looking toward bright light can induce sneezing. This is known as photic sneeze reflex (PSR), "estimated to occur in 18 to 35 percent of the population".

You could also lightly stimulate the nerves by sticking something with a narrow point up your nose (e.g. pen cap). I wouldn't recommend it, though. Yes, it will cause you to sneeze, but it can — and frequently does — cause an infection itself (even when you don't have one to begin with).

To stop the tickling sensation, apply pressure to each side of your nose with two fingers, right where the bridge (i.e. nasal bone) ends.


The easiest method is to put a small piece of cotton in each nostril. That will not stop the breathing but will block the movement of the things that are causing sneezing.

  • Breeding or breathing? That won't stop the breeding and.... Aug 5, 2016 at 23:00
  • hehehe! idk how it happened! but it did! can't believe it though!
    – Anand
    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:16

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