Mints Make Me Sneeze

I seem to be unique among people I know in that mints make me sneeze.  And I’m not talking about a minor sneeze here: give me an Altoid, and I’ll sneeze half-a-dozen times with enough force to part the Red Sea. It’s a strange affliction, but at least my sneezes smell fresh.

My kids think this is the funniest thing in the world, of course.  We have a little game where I pop a mint into my mouth, and my kids both guess how many times it’ll make me sneeze.

But for real entertainment, just watch me brush my teeth with an extra-minty toothpaste.  Many times I’ve brushed my teeth and just barely spat in time to avoid decorating the countertop with minty sneeze spray.  And yeah, there have been a few times when the sneeze wins (hence the crusty drops all over my bathroom mirror).

Does anyone else have this weird reaction to mint?

14 thoughts on “Mints Make Me Sneeze

  1. For me, it’s Chocolate. I can take about one oreo at a time, but a handful of m&m’s, or any thing dark, and I sneeze pretty consistently. I’ve never met anyone who had this issue. It does seem to have improved as I’ve aged – I was much more sensitive to it as a kid.

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  2. Not mint…
    But transitioning from Hot to Cold (and visa versa) environments does it every time.
    BTW… nice olfactory (can’t really call it a visual…) on the ole “but at least my sneezes smell fresh.” Not a phrase you see or hear regularly!
    So has anyone ever been hit by Life Savor Shrapnel? The candy would them have to be described as an oxymoron at that point wouldn’t it?

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  3. My wife has that reaction but not to toothpaste. Sometimes you get a small mint sweet after a meal and she has hers then a few minutes later she goes into a sneezing fit…sometimes as many and 20 in a row…
    Funny really. Needless to say we don’t take mints to the cinema.
    The wierd thing is that it’s only certain minty things. The herb mint is fine and so is minty toothpaste or mouthwash….you should try that for the amusement of your kids :)
    I sneeze with bright sunlight shining in my face…

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  4. Brian said: “I sneeze with bright sunlight shining in my face…”
    Ditto. Happens when I see a really bright light after being in the dark for awhile too, such as driving at night and getting hit by high beams. Nice to know I’m not alone. :)

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  5. Like John, I’ve noticed that hot/ cold transition does it for me. Usually in the shower, if I find myself feeling a ‘sneeze twinge’ I’ll stick my head out the curtain and the transition from the hot water to cold air makes me sneeze.

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  6. Hilarious, I never knew anyone else had this… issue… but me. Only powerful mints like Altoids make me sneeze, but they do it every time. Makes my wife laugh hysterically.

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  7. Actually, a guy I know has this exact reaction to ALCOHOL! It subsides after the first few drinks, but it’s quite funny to see his red, exhausted, snot-splattered face up until that point anyway. ;-) Gives the concept of required pre-partying a whole new dimension. :-)

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  8. I have the exact same reaction to mints, much to the amusement of my family and friends.
    Spicey meals also provoke a reaction from my body. Don’t worry, nothing disgusting: spicey meals give me the hiccups. Which makes it really hard (but apparently also an entertaining sight) to continue dinner.

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