Having an itchy nose and persistently sneezing is undeniably annoying. It’s frustrating, it’s irritating, and it can really get on your nerves if that itch just won’t go away and keeps making you sneeze. But when 38-year-old Robbie from New York found out the reason behind his itch, it blew not only his mind but also the mind of the doctor.
This incredible story might seem too weird to believe, but it’s absolutely true. Sneezing had become a regular occurrence for Robbie, no matter where he was. There was never a moment without a sneeze. And this all came back to the fact that his nose was incredibly itchy—not just a little itchy, but a crazy, “I wish I could just pull my nose off” kind of itchy.
He had always put it down to allergies or maybe hay fever, but being the stubborn man that he was, he refused to go see a doctor about it. “My thought process was always like, why should I go see a doctor just because I was sneezing?” said Robbie, thinking back to his decision. “What the heck is a doctor going to do, give you a pack of tissues and say, ‘Blow your nose, man’? I just didn’t want to waste anyone’s time over something so stupid.”
Besides, the truth was that Robbie really wasn’t fond of going to see the doctor. He had always had an irrational fear since he was a child and tried his best to ride out any illnesses without paying them a visit.
Fear really is a funny thing, and it can make you do irrational things. So, he soldiered on. It would go away on its own, eventually, right? Well, that was what Robbie thought. But the itching and sneezing persisted. In fact, it not only carried on, it got worse. But the worse it got, the more Robbie ignored it, and at some point, it just became normal to him. He had pretty much made peace with the fact that he was going to have to live with an itchy nose and constant sneezing. After all, there are worse things to have to deal with in life.
Little did he know what was causing this intense itching. The thing is, Robbie’s problem started to affect things at the restaurant where he worked. He worked in the kitchen of a well-known five-star restaurant and spent his days cooking for the rich and famous visiting New York City. Of course, one of the number one rules of working with food is that you must maintain the highest levels of hygiene possible to not contaminate or ruin the food you’re preparing. Unfortunately, with such an itchy nose and a persistent sneeze, the possibility that germs could end up in the food was very high.
“For the longest time, Robbie tried to hide the fact that he was suffering so much. But unfortunately, it became more and more evident that there was something wrong,” said the restaurant owner. “We had no choice but to send him home. He hadn’t lost his job, and it was midweek, so it was fairly quiet. But we couldn’t have someone in the kitchen that could put customers at risk. We advised him to book himself a doctor’s appointment and go have things properly checked out before he actually returned to work.”
The day of the doctor’s appointment came, and the ridiculously nervous Robbie arrived at the clinic. As he sat in the waiting room, his mind was racing. What was wrong with him? Why was his nose itching so badly? Why was no one else sneezing as much as him? Finally, he was called in, and he nervously sat in front of the doctor, explaining the whole situation.
Luckily, the doctor was a kind and elderly man who tried his very best to put Robbie at ease. He suggested taking a look in Robbie’s nose and seeing if he could identify any issues. So, using a special tool, he started to explore the entrance to the nasal passage.
“There were no obvious signs of irritation or anything like that,” explained the doctor, remembering the examination. “Usually, you’d expect to see some sort of foreign object in there that would just act as a kind of irritant and thus cause the itching that the patient was suffering from. But as far as I could tell, everything looked normal.”
The doctor attributed the intense itching and sneezing to either acute hay fever or a reaction to the less-than-clean New York air. He prescribed Robbie an extra strong type of antihistamine and sent him on his way, telling him to come back in a week if things weren’t improving.
Little did the doctor know that the true cause was both shocking and astounding and couldn’t be fixed with antihistamines. So, things didn’t get better at all for Robbie. In fact, if anything, they started to get worse. The itching and sneezing were keeping him awake at night, in turn, affecting him day-to-day as he was constantly exhausted.
So, a week later, there he was in the doctor’s office again, just as nervous as the first time. A second inspection of Robbie’s nose left the doctor scratching his head. Not because he had discovered the true cause, but because everything seemed suspiciously normal. He even went to get a colleague to take a look, but again, nothing could be identified as an issue.
So, the doctors decided to take a deeper look into Robbie’s nose. They couldn’t just do this visually, as the nose is too dark and the nasal passage is only very small. So, they ordered him a CT scan.
CT scans, which is short for computed tomography, is a complex imaging technique used to obtain detailed images of the insides of the body. If there was something untoward in there, this scan would find it. But what they were actually going to find deep in Robbie’s nasal passage would absolutely shock you to the core.
Several days later, Robbie turned up at the hospital ready to be scanned. Laying on the bed, he was slid inside the large tubular CT scanning device, and the process began. He had to lay completely still, and the process didn’t hurt one bit. However, there was one thing that concerned Robbie: the fact that he could see the technician from where he was laying.
As the scans clearly started to appear on the screen, the technician’s face grew more and more shocked, her eyes widening in disbelief. Robbie’s heart was pounding, and his stomach was in knots. What could she have seen to cause such a reaction?
Soon enough, the scan was over, and the visibly shaking technician sent him on his way, telling him that he’d get his results in several days’ time. So off Robbie went, still as itchy and sneezy as ever. All he could do was play the waiting game until he got the call that his results were in.
“I just had that image of the technician’s face running around in my head,” said Robbie as he remembered back to the experience. “I just kept thinking that her panicked look couldn’t be a good sign, and your mind starts to run away with you when you get a chance to think. The waiting period really is the worst.”
Thankfully, it was only the next day that he got a call from his doctor, and within an hour, Robbie was sat across the desk from him. There was concern but also a perplexed
look on the doctor’s face. But after one final review over the CT scan results, he let out a big sigh and revealed the crazy results.
Robbie had a tooth growing deep inside his nasal passage. As the tooth grew, it started to tickle the small hairs within the nose as well as irritate the lining. Unfortunately, it was too deep in there for doctors to see visually, but it was this that was causing the intense itching and repeated sneezing.
The news absolutely stunned Robbie and the doctors. Not only was the tooth in the wrong place, but it was also growing upwards towards the skull and not downwards and out of the gums like normal. “It’s extremely rare that things like this happen, but it’s not totally unheard of,” said the doctor.
Luckily, doctors had a solution. They could surgically go into Robbie’s nose and gently and carefully remove the tooth. It was a relatively simple fix, but the results would be life-changing. At this point, Robbie was just ready to get his life back to normal. The itching and the sneezing had taken their toll, and he just wanted it all to stop. So he agreed to the surgery without a second thought.
And the very next day, it was all over. The doctors removed the tooth and root that measured a total of half an inch or 13 millimeters, cauterized the hole, and that’s it. Robbie was fixed.
“So much fuss over such a small thing. Luckily, I’m all better now,” grinned Robbie several weeks later. “The doctors told me they had never seen something so strange, and I’ll be honest, neither have I. It was like something from a Stephen King horror book. But the sneezing and itching have stopped. I’ve been able to get some much-needed sleep, and I’ve been able to return to work. And on top of all that, I’ve even got over my fear of going to see the doctor.”
So, what do you think of this story? How would you have coped with such an itchy nose and persistent sneezing? And could you have ever guessed it was all caused by a misplaced tooth? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section down below.