Why Do Dads And Fathers Sneeze So Loud?

The bigger your lungs, and the longer you hold your breath before you sneeze, the more dramatic it will be. While it is true that many dads and fathers have a bigger lung capacity which makes them more capable of producing “mega-sneezes”, there may be more factors involved. A Dad’s sneeze volume may be indicating more about your dad’s personality than about any actual physical characteristic.

If your father’s sneezes are super loud, you are not alone! This strange phenomenon seems to be common amongst fathers – especially amongst dads of teens. It can be quite embarrassing at social events when your dad sneezes one of his super loud explosion sneezes, and all eyes turn on him.

Fortunately, I know quite a few dads and have come to a few conclusions about this fairly common but little talked about condition.  There are quite a few theories about why dads and fathers sneeze so loud.

Fathers that sneeze loudly and with intent may be subconsciously letting everyone know that they are present and are asserting themselves. They are demanding that all attention be momentarily focused on them. They may even be hoping for some sympathy.

A closeup of a very loud and strong sneeze from a father holding kleenex

What Does The Way He Sneezes Say About Your Dad’s Personality?

There are many theories about sneezing that may help you figure out why your dad sneezes so loudly. Most people have a style of sneezing that matches their personality. Once it is established, a big-sneezing habit may become exaggerated with age.

So perhaps your dad started as a normal to medium style volume sneezer in his youth, but as his lung capacity increased, his sneezes also became louder.

There are some varieties of sneezes that can give clues to your dad’s personality and why he sneezes so loudly.

Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny Tiny SneezersWe all know someone who does this. Out of nowhere, there will suddenly be a machine-gun volley of little mini-sneezes. The sneezer usually quickly turns away and tries to get the sneezes under control. They often seem embarrassed. Personality Type: Warm, helpful, and supportive of others.
Functional Sneezers      These people understand that they will, out of necessity, need to sneeze sometimes. It is a bit of an inconvenience and a waste of their time, so they try to get the whole episode over as quickly as possible. This type of sneeze is usually just one explosive sneeze which is often followed up by a quick nose-blow so that no further sneezes follow. Personality Type: Decisive and to the point. They often make good leaders.  
Hygiene-First Sneezers      These sneezers understand that sneezing spreads germs, and they are careful to do their part in containing their own. This group keeps a hanky or tissue close at hand and is always very careful to always cover their sneezes as much as they can. Personality Type: Often deep thinking and careful characters. They think things through and are driven by precision and logic.  
Covid SneezersCovid sneezing is a recent phenomenon that came about with the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless of what type of sneezer you were before the pandemic, everyone had to suddenly modify their long-established sneezing habits according to health regulations. This was no problem for the ‘hygiene first’ group as they were always compliant, and the pandemic sneezing regulations probably came as a relief to them.   Covid sneezers are those for whom trying to sneeze hygienically is a challenge. You can spot them out and about while doing shopping or at restaurants. The final moments before they sneeze, they suddenly panic and remember that they need to cover their nose and mouth completely. They, therefore, need to make a split-second decision of how to cover up and, at the last moment, and make a desperate grab for any available cloth item close to them. This could be the table napkin or bottom of their shirts. Once the sneezes have subsided, they frequently look momentarily sheepish and embarrassed about their lack of planning but recover quickly to act like nothing happened. Personality Type: Spontaneous, live-in-the-moment, and highly adaptable people. They make the best of all situations and generally have an optimistic outlook.  
Enthusiastic Sneezers    This is probably the group where your dad fits. Enthusiastic sneezers are comfortable in their own skin and feel confident in their position in the world. When they emit one of their booming sneezers, they demand the attention of everyone around them. They make no apologies for their presence. Personality Type: Social, charismatic, fun, confident, and can motivate others

What Makes A Human Sneeze?

Sneezing is a really beneficial mechanism. It is your body’s way to quickly expel any irritants in the nose or throat. This involuntary release of air can be triggered by any number of molecules in the air. These can include dust, pepper, smoke, or anything you are allergic to like pollen or pet hair.  

But there is huge variation in HOW people sneeze and the sound they make. Some sneeze tiny, almost embarrassed sounding sneezes, while on the other extreme of the spectrum are fathers and dads. These male humans stamp their authority and dominance on any situation by suddenly bringing the house down with one of their mega-sneezes.

Can Light Make Someone Sneeze? ACHOO!

Sneezing that is caused by bright light is extremely common. It is estimated that almost 35% of humans’ are affected by the reflex that causes them to sneeze when suddenly exposed to bright light, especially sunlight. It is called the Photic Sneeze Reflex.

The scientific name for this is ‘autosomal dominant compulsive helio-ophthalmic outbursts,’ but fortunately, there is an acronym for this known as ACHOO.

How Does Light Make People With ACHOO Syndrome Sneeze?

There are two theories about exactly why this happens, but both agree that the sneeze response directly results from light triggering the pupils of the eyes. So when the person steps out into bright light, their pupils suddenly constrict.

  1. One theory is that this is stimulation of the optic nerve is enough to create the sudden sensation of having an irritant in the nose – and we know by now that will immediately result in a sneeze, a super big one if the person is a dad.
  2. The other theory is that the stimulation caused by the constriction of the optic nerve may cause the eyes to water. These tears would empty into the nose and noses like to stay clear, so you had better brace yourself if your dad has this condition.


Dads and fathers may occasionally terrify everyone with the volume of their sneezes. While everyone sneezes from time to time, the manner that they sneeze does reveal some personality traits.

Fortunately, most fathers and dads are social and fun people, and this can be noticed when they occasionally startle everyone around them with the explosive booming sneezes. The best advice when your dad sneezes is to hang on tightly to something close to you and be ready to say, ‘Bless you!’

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