Three weeks ago, Katelyn Thornley began sneezing, and she hasn’t stopped.
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The twelve-year-old sneezes up to 12,000 times each day.
She’s visited six different doctors, but none of them have been able to find the trigger causing her strange condition.
All the usual conditions that cause regular sneezing like viruses, allergies, and colds have been ruled out. Katelyn only finds relief when she is asleep.
There is a constant pain in her abdomen, her legs are weak, and she has trouble eating because of the constant sneezing.
Even going to school is tough for her because her classmates ridicule her condition. She sometimes gets so overwhelmed by her condition that Katelyn says, “Sometimes I wish I could leave my body for a little while so I could watch myself sleep and be at peace because even in my dreams, I sneeze.”
One possible explanation, according to a neurologist from Texas Children’s Hospital Dr. Mered Parnes, is that Katelyn is suffering from a tic like people who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome.
There are two kinds of tics: motor tics and vocal tics. These tics occur during what is normal behavior, and they are often repetitive.
Tics are classified as voluntary movements so that means that the sufferers can suppress the tic for some time, but they will feel a level of discomfort until they can perform the behavior.While tics are most commonly seen in children, they can happen at any age. An estimated one in every four children experience tics at some point in their childhood.
There is no definite cause of tics, but scientists claim that stress and lack of sleep play a part. Medication can help sufferers, but they are only prescribed when the tics become unbearable.
In 2009, there was another documented case of a 12-year-old who sneezed multiple times a day. Lauren Johnson of Virginia also struggled to go to school and eat because of her condition.
Lauren tried hypnosis, but it failed to cure her rare condition.
There have been 40 cases documented of people suffering from this sneezing phenomenon.