I can´t box, but can I get my nose pierced?
September 13, 2013 3:23 PM   Subscribe

I don´t know if it´s how my nerves are arranged, or if I have an air passage too tight, but whenever I get hit on the nose, even if it isn´t too hard, I start sneezing uncontrollably a few seconds later. Now, I want to get my nose pierced (nostril, not septum), and I´m a bit afraid of that.

Hopefully someone who has done a lot of piercings (even with people with this same problem) can shed some light into this.

I have no idea if sticking a needle through my nose would have the same effect as getting hit, but I´m a bit scared of sneezing when the piercer still has a firm grasp of the needle that is partly through my nose and ending up either losing half my nose in the process or blowing the needle into the piercer´s eye.

I intend to go to a professional, but the reason I´m asking here is that a professional piercer in a smallish city is less likely to have ran into someone with a condition that seems to be quite uncommon (most people can take a punch to the nose and then return it as long as they´re still conscious, they don´t start sneezing while the attacker drops to the floor laughing histerically).

It´s not instant, but I do have to put my head back a bit and make that ridiculous face people make when they know they´re about to sneeze and know they won´t be able to hold it.

So, the question would be if you think piercing my nose would likely to trigger the sneezing like a punch would, and if you have any advice about it for me and my piercer.

I know people with new nose piercings tend to sneeze a lot during healing, I´m not talking about that.
posted by Fermin to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
I had my nostril pierced twenty years ago and I'm quite sneezy and didn't have a problem during the procedure. (I did remove the piercing later because of sinus activity, though. Not sure if that's relevant to your situation.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:29 PM on September 13, 2013

This is either a totally normal reaction to nose poking or we are the only ones in the whole world who have this, because it happens to me all the time. I had my nose pierced twice (septum and side) and it was not a problem for me.

You can try to distract your nervous system a little by holding your hands at chest height, palms together, and press them together hard and fast when the piercer says GO. (you have to enlist their verbal assistance with this obvsly)
posted by elizardbits at 3:31 PM on September 13, 2013

Holy heck. This was happening to me this morning. I bumped the side of my nose, and suddenly I was sneezing constantly like I was having an allergic reaction to pollen or something.

Upon Googling, it seems to be common:


posted by intermod at 3:43 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's more of a firm pinch than a blow... Do you have a reaction if you give your nostril skin a squeeze with your fingers? You can also try (gently) poking at the skin with something pointy (not enough to draw blood or anything) to see if that sets you off. And, maybe try tugging on the nostril a little bit too. Sometimes there's a little jiggling when they're putting in the jewelry.

Good luck!
posted by Fig at 4:36 PM on September 13, 2013

I am super sneezy and the sensation of my nose piercing was NOTHING like anything that would trigger a sneeze for me. I actually think the feeling kind of put my body into a sense of temporary shock that completely froze me (don't worry, it's pretty fast).
posted by joan_holloway at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2013

I actually did sneeze during my most recent nose piercing. I was re-opening an old hole that had gotten closed when I had surgery to make room for the tube, so he had to be much firmer than usual when punching through the scar tissue. I could feel it coming, so I just said "STOP, I have to sneeze!" He immediately drew his hands away and I forced myself to just let the sneeze go, denying the instinctive desire to touch my face while I sneezed. The needle for nose piercing is quite long--I could feel it pressing against both my cheek and my septum while I sneezed. No danger of blowing it out of the nose, for sure.

Just tell your piercer that you're a sneezer and he or she will tell you what to do in the event of sneezing.
posted by xyzzy at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

This totally happens to me too, and I have had my nose pierced and don't remember it feeling the same at all or eliciting the same reaction.
posted by thank you silence at 7:58 PM on September 13, 2013

My septum piercing was more likely to trigger that feeling for me than my nostril piercing is. Also, I can stop a sneeze by holding my breath, you could try that if you're worried.
A sharp needle going through your skin is different from the more blunt force that can trigger sneezes, but I'd just tell the piercer you are worried about sneezing, and let them reassure you.
posted by catatethebird at 7:39 AM on September 14, 2013

Thanks everybody.

Your answers were very comforting. I´m getting it done in about a week, I´ll let you know how it goes.
posted by Fermin at 7:06 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

An update in case anyone comes back to read this. I got my piercing this morning.

I didn´t even get close to sneezing.

Thanks again!
posted by Fermin at 12:01 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

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