Do you have a habit of clearing your throat? Here's what you should do:
Ahem! Ahem! Have you ever felt the need to dislodge the mucus that clings to the back of your mouth? Most of us have done so at some point in our lives. When dealing with the symptoms of a regular cold, the experience often lasts only a few days.
However, what if throat-clearing continues for weeks or months? This nagging sensation may be distressing for the person experiencing the problem and may also annoy friends and family who hear the unique growling sound.
So what is the source of all this throat clearing? There are numerous causes, but I'll focus on four of the most prevalent. It's critical to understand that throat-clearing that lasts longer than two to three weeks should be evaluated by a medical practitioner.
The most common cause of throat clearing is most likely post-nasal drip.
Nasal mucus is produced by the nose to aid in the clearance of diseases and allergies, as well as in response to irritants such as cold temperatures. A chronically runny nose can be quite upsetting. As with mucus dripping toward the front of the nose, some mucus may also drip from the rear of the nose toward the throat, occasionally going as close as the vocal cords. If the mucus is too thick to swallow, we use a loud "AHEM!" to urge it out.
The best way to resolve this issue is to address the underlying source of post-nasal drip. A simple way to do so without medicine is to use a neti pot for nasal irrigation. If you continue to have discomfort, other types of nasal sprays may be helpful. It is recommended that you examine these alternatives with a health practitioner, as some sprays may exacerbate your symptoms. The critical step is to determine what is generating excessive mucus production.
Reflux: nasal drip (post-nasal drip)
Laryngopharyngeal reflux is another common cause of throat clearing (LPR). The acid in your stomach aids in the digestion of food. However, excess stomach acid can occasionally travel backwards up the tube called the oesophagus, which connects the throat to the stomach. This may cause irritation and throat clearing if it splashes on the vocal cords or throat.
Acid reflux does not always cause a burning sensation in the throat. Neither does everyone suffer from heartburn, a classic symptom of a similar ailment known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Certain individuals just have an urge to clear their throats or suffer from chronic coughing.
Solutions: In certain circumstances, consuming an anti-reflux diet and avoiding lying down immediately after eating may help. Often, people have to take drugs for a few weeks or months to cut down on stomach acid production.
Several medications used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure can also cause throat clearing. This class of drugs is referred to as "ACE inhibitors." The irony is that these drugs can elicit an urge even after years of everyday use without feeling that symptom. If that is the case, there is a simple solution. After discontinuing the drug, the sensation should totally subside, but it may take several weeks in some situations. It is very important to talk to your doctor before you stop taking the prescribed medicine and start taking another one.
Nervous system problems
Another probable cause is damaged nerves responsible for sensations in the throat area. These conditions are more challenging to treat and are typically detected after the majority of alternative possibilities have been ruled out. Individuals frequently have this form of throat clearing over an extended period of time.
A multidisciplinary team comprised of ear, nose, and throat (otolaryngologists) and neurologists may be required to explore the issue. Medicines that alter the way a person perceives sensations may be beneficial.
There are numerous other reasons to clear the throat. For example, some people just have a tic from repeatedly cleaning their throats. Observing any indicators that point to the underlying problem can be beneficial. Possibly, frequent throat clearing occurs only in the spring, indicating allergies, or perhaps after drinking coffee, indicating reflux.
A keen eye and jotting notes in a diary may assist in shedding light on the issue and possible remedies. Frequently, when the cause remains unknown, your primary care physician will propose a therapy trial to help diagnose the problem.
Get a free consultation from the Melody Jacob Health Team. Send us an email at email@example.com if you have any questions. Thanks for reading.