Monday, January 07, 2008


Fortunately both Danny and Susanne are doing better after a rather dreary weekend that included one stretch where I changed Danny 4 times within an 8 hour period. I'm not just talking diapers either. Let's just say we did several loads of wash using the hottest water possible this weekend.

But now that all is well, I thought I'd write about what I believe to be a fascinating observation. Apparently Danny has ACHOO (autosomal dominant compulsive helio-ophthalmic outbursts of sneezing syndrome). I'd never even heard of it before but according to Scientific American, 18-35% of the population has it. What does it mean? He sneezes at light. Consistently. Without fail. Like when I go to him in the morning once he's started fussing, and turn on the light to change guessed it. Achoo, achoo, achoo!

In part the article cited here says:

“Its genetic nature has been known for at least the last 25 years; it is periodically discussed in the medical literature and lay press. Observations that emerging from dim light into sunlight or turning to face directly into the sun commonly triggers the reflex prompted early inquiries into the trait. The number of induced sneezes--which seems to be genetically mediated and can be predicted within a family--is constant from episode to episode and typically numbers two or three.”

I even start saying "God Bless You" before I turn on the light now (he always sneezes 3 times by the way). I once blogged about how Susanne is a serial sneezer but I never attributed it to light. Maybe it is the light? I always thought it was allergies. And she usually sneezes 3 times (occasionally more.) Danny's sneezing occurs from turning on lights indoors (only from complete darkness to bright light.) We'll have to pay more attention when we take him outdoors to see if the sun triggers it for him too.

What can I say? This would fall on the "nature" side of the "nature vs. nurture" debate. It doesn't seem to hurt him, and it just seems so, so, CUTE when he does it. And I do like to say "God Bless You" as often as I can so it really works out for me! -Monica

Here I thought it was his first little yawn and he was probably sneezing instead!

1 comment:

showtune said...

My mother has this. Only with sunlight, though. She will consistently sneeze twice when she goes from indoors to bright sunlight. Neither my sister nor I have it. I can imagine how cute it would be ob a baby!