Why does the sun make me sneeze?
Julianna Mariotti (age 4), South Elgin
Perhaps as many as two or three people out of ten experience the same thing that affects you, and it's called "sun sneezing." The technical name is "photic sneeze reflex," defined loosely as a burst of several uncontrolled sneezes, usually no more than 10, that occur when a person is suddenly exposed to bright light like sunshine. It's harmless, but it can be annoying and embarrassing. Unfortunately, the cause of sun sneezing is unknown, though it is possibly genetically inherited. Shielding your eyes by wearing sunglasses and a hat might help. Sun sneezing has not been carefully studied even though it has been described for many centuries. Even Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) discussed it more than 23 centuries ago.