I have allergies and I sneeze a lot (at least twice a day and could be even 20 times a day)

Does etiquette demand that I say "excuse me/sorry" after every time I sneeze, given the fact that it happens a lot to me?

If so, what would be an appropriate and polite way to apologize in these circumstances?

  • Related and hopefully helpful HERE
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 27, 2018 at 10:48
  • 1
    Hey there. This question is asking for opinions and therefore, is primarily opinion based. This kind of questions is off topic here so, could you please edit it to avoid getting it closed? e.g. something like "what's the etiquette for apologizing for my regular sneezing at the office?" would work better. Don't hesitate to ask for help if that's unclear how you could make it on topic.
    – avazula
    Dec 27, 2018 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


In western cultures it is normal "etiquette" to say something like "excuse me" after sneezing. Some people believe that otheres in the vicinity should say "bless you" when you sneeze, although this is more superstition than etiquette.

If you are sneezing frequently this is going to become something of a chore. Personally, I would say that if it is common knowledge among your coworkers that you have allergies there is probably no need to apologise every time. In fact you could probably cover yourself for an entire day by saying something like:

Excuse me - my allergies are bad today.

If you said that the first time you sneezed then you have given an explanation for any subsequent sneezing.

Probably more important than verbal etiquette is that you follow good hygeine practice, such as covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze, and washing your hands (or using hand-sanitizer) after sneezing, even if you used a tissue or handkerchief, to prevent the spread of germs. If your colleages see you doing this then they will know you are showing them consideration and this really lessens any unspoken requirement to apologise for sneezing in the office.

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