10 common household items that could cause sneezing fits

Shot of a young woman blowing her nose while sitting at home
An expert has explained the most common causes of sneezing fits in the home. (Getty Images)

Springtime can bring better weather, but it can also fill the air with pollen, causing some people to have sneezing fits.

While you think you may be safe from the dreaded sneezes in your own home, new research has found that several household items could be contributing to the unwanted ‘achoos’.

The research, commissioned bay Stérimar, found that most people (84%) do not know where their sneezing fits come from, and say it comes from ‘nowhere’.

To find the real culprits, the brand partnered with Dr Sara Kayat, who said that items such as houseplants, air fresheners, and even old books could be causing the issue.

  1. Fresh flowers

  2. Perfumes

  3. Air fresheners

  4. Cleaning products

  5. Spices and seasonings

  6. Pets

  7. House plants

  8. Scented candles

  9. Old books

  10. Incense sticks

"Your home is supposed to be a comforting space, but for people with allergies the home can also be a cause of allergic rhinitis, the medical term for inflammation of the nasal passage triggered by something you’re allergic to," Dr Kayat explained.

"Symptoms like sneezing, nasal itchiness, and congestion can disrupt daily life, impacting the ability to breathe clearly."

According to Allergy UK, allergic rhinitis affects up to 15% of children and 26% of adults in the UK.

Dr Kayat added that other common items that can cause sneezing fits include scented candles, dusty furniture, and pets.

Perfume is a common cause of sneezing in the home. (Getty Images)
Perfume is a common cause of sneezing in the home. (Getty Images)

"Common allergens lurking within homes include pollen, dust mites, and pet hair," Dr Kayat said.

"Interestingly, the research has shown that even flowering houseplants and heavily scented products like perfumes and air fresheners can provoke reactions for allergy sufferers.

"Dust mites thrive in warm, dusty spots like soft toys, pillows and mattresses, while pet hair often accumulates in carpets, rugs and bedding, so even the most unexpected items can be problematic."

  1. Inside my home

  2. In my garden

  3. In bed

  4. At the office/workplace

  5. In my car

  6. On public transport

  7. In garden centers

  8. In supermarkets

  9. At school

  10. At restaurants

A third of allergy sufferers (35%) said they find breathing difficult due to their symptoms, and nearly one in five (18%) avoid fragrance departments so as to not trigger their allergies.

"Hayfever sufferers will also suffer from symptoms this year, with tree pollen often the cause from late March to mid-May, grass from mid-May until July, and weed pollen from the end of June to September – depending on where you live in the UK," Dr Kayat added.

To help prevent sneezing fits, or allergic rhinitis, in the home, Dr Kayat suggested dusting with a damp cloth, washing pets and their bedding regularly, using hypoallergenic bedding, and keeping your home dry and well-ventilated.