Wednesday, 4 December 2013

ACHOO - Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst

ACHOO - Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst - syndrome is another name for Photic sneeze reflex. This is the condition that affects around a fifth to a third of the population in which stimuli such as bright lights trigger uncontrolled sneezing. (Also known as “sun sneezing”.)

According to the source from which I discovered ACHOO, the ABC Science Weekly Update, it is “a funny acronym invented by doctors to help them remember the essentials of the photic sneeze reflex!” Personally, I think that “Photic sneeze reflex” is clearer than “Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst”! I suspect they were just having a bit of fun but, either way, it gets the coveted pre hoc status for such a well-aligned (if somewhat over contrived) acronym. (It’s just a shame about the “dominant” bit, which, ironically is probably the most likely bit to be forgotten!)

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