How many times have you found your throat feeling unusual? Where once it felt gentle, it now feels dry as the Sahara desert; like something is stuck there. There seems to be mucus building up in the very back, causing a tickling sensation and coughing spells. As you lie down, it only seems to feel worse. If you’re noticing these symptoms, it’s time to see an ENT doctor.
What is Throat Clearing?
Throat clearing can simply be described as a person trying to clear their airway or throat. This is often because something is irritating it or even lining the throat. Most correct this by vibrating the muscles in the throat, either consciously or unconsciously. Unfortunately, this may just cause further irritation, and not help the problem. There are several factors that contribute to the need to clear the throat, most of which should be evaluated by a professional.
One of the reasons for constant throat clearing can be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is when the acid in the stomach begins to travel upwards toward the throat, resulting in discomfort and throat clearing. When the acid travels all the way up to the voice box (larynx), it is known as “Laryngo-Pharyngeal Reflux,” or “LPR.” Interestingly, patients with LPR often to not have the “heartburn” that is typically associated with GERD. For this reason, LPR is sometimes known as “Silent Reflux.” This condition is extremely irritating, and patients should seek professional evaluation. If undiagnosed and untreated, GERD and LPR may result in complications including Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous condition.
If you’ve noticed your throat feeling tight or itchy after eating, you could be suffering from a food allergy. You will likely be able to figure out if there was a unique food that you’ve eaten that may be causing this new reaction. If you feel your throat start to feel tight after consuming something such as nuts, fruits or fish products, seek medical attention immediately! Once proper care has been administered, you can discuss possible allergies, get advice or be tested by a trusted professional.
Rhinitis is a common ailment. The majority of these cases occur because of inhaled allergies. It is often a reaction to something in the air such as dust, pet dander, pollen, or even fragrances. This allergy usually manifests itself with several symptoms, one of which is post-nasal drainage and the constant build-up of mucus in the throat. Fortunately, treatment for this condition can be very effective once diagnosis has been made.
Many people who experience symptoms like mucus build up, a dry throat, sneezing, and throat clearing are dealing with some sort of seasonal allergy. The simplest way to check is to monitor the time of year when these symptoms occur. It’s also important to make note of where you spend most of your time when these symptoms appear. If it gets worse during times you’re around grass, flowers or trees, it could be the culprit! A simple office-based allergy test with an Otolaryngologist or Allergist can help you pinpoint the allergens that aggravate your symptoms. Once these allergens have been identified, a treatment plan can be devised.
There are a number of possible causes for throat clearing. If you feel any of these causes could be affecting you, it is time to seek help from an ENT doctor. Schedule an appointment today in Monroe to learn more.