A school girl has started sneezing 8,000 times a day but doctors can't work out why it is happening.

Ira Saxena, who is nine, started sneezing an average of ten times a minute three weeks ago.

It has become very painful and the only respite she gets is when she goes to sleep. She is also missing school because she is unable to concentrate in lessons.

Several doctors have examined Ira and she has tried various remedies but so far none has cured the condition.


The youngster from Colchester said: "It is really horrible. My face hurts every time I sneeze, it just shoots a sharp pain in my head and sides.

"I can't go to school, I can't finish the day because I'm sneezing so much. Some friends think it's contagious, but it is not, so they don't want to sit with me.

"I can't really go outside as it makes it worse and more violent. All I can do is sit at home. I can't really do anything."

Ira's sneezing began one morning last month. It has stopped her taking part in her usual hobbies of painting, singing and swimming. She has been reading in the meantime to avoid falling behind at her primary school.

Her Indian-born parents, who came to Britain in 2004, have taken her to doctors, specialists and a private clinic. Her mother Priya Saxena, 42, a primary school teacher, said: 'It started slowly and has progressed to become more constant and violent.

"The doctors are saying it is possibly an incorrect signal being sent from her brain or a tic but nobody can be sure.

"She is not allergic to anything and has been given steroids, antihistamines and a nasal spray but she is just not responding to anything. No one has seen anything like this before. We have tried everything, even prayer. We just want something to work."

Ira is now experimenting with homeopathic medicine. The only time the sneezes stopped was during an hour-long hypnotherapy session, although the sneezing began again afterwards.


Her mother added: "In that session she didn't sneeze, which makes us think it is something to do with the brain."