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Old 09-25-2006, 06:19 AM   #1
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Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

I was just recently diagnosed with GERD. Or, I should say my GP thinks the symptoms point to GERD and has prescribed omeprazole to test it out - saying, if it works, then she probably guessed right....

My symptoms are mainly all in the throat area. Mostly basic stuff like sore, irritated, tight throat, full ears, PND, occasional mild hoarseness. But - I've got one strange symptom to share, and I'm wondering if others have experienced it....

When my symptoms were at their worst, before I started the meds, I suddenly found that whenever I'd swallow, my throat would make a clicking sound. No, not my ears but my throat! That was about four weeks ago, and it hasn't gone away. I've done some research on the net and have found a few discussions about this - but nobody seems to have any answers. Doctors mostly seem to be baffled by it. Some have suggested that it's possibly the hyoid bone in the throat that's rubbing against cartilage. Some have guessed that there was a GERD connection....but, again, just guesses.

Anyone else heard of this or had this symptom? It's actually gotten worse for me over these past few weeks. It used to be that it only clicked/popped when I held my head in certain positions - and it never happened when I was eating or drinking, only during a dry swallow. Now, on bad days - it's an almost constant thing. There's no pain, but it's v. irritating and makes me very hesitant to swallow...

I know this is very unlikely, but I have this idea in my head that the constant acid in my throat for I don't know how long, may have broken down some of the cartilage in my throat, which is causing that sound. Oh, here's the other thing: when I place my fingers around the larynx (is it the larynx? I don't know my anatomy v. well) just a bit below my chin, when I move it back and forth I hear a crunchy grinding sound. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to feel like that!

This is making me v. nervous. Any answers? Thank you...

 
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Hi

Mine started with gurgling sounds in the throat area. A specialist I seen for respiratory disorders (my shortness of breath) don't know but is guessing it could be some throat constriction/irritation going in. Now since couple weeks ago, I get clicking in my throat when I swallow, mostly during nightime. It could be due to my dry mouth and throat because when I drink some water, its not as bad.

 
Old 09-26-2006, 05:15 AM   #3
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Thanks for the reply, hp...

I agree that when my throat feels moist, either from eating, drinking - or just a lot of mucous - that the clicking sound isn't as prominent. Perhaps I shouldn't worry about it. Still....it's not something I used to hear/feel when I was healthy (pre-GERD) - no matter how dry my mouth/throat was. What concerns me, perhaps even more than the clicking during swallowing, is the crunchy, grinding I feel when I move my larynx back and forth. Do you know what I'm referring to? Do you feel that too?

The other concern - perhaps related - is that when I'm working the muscles in my throat, such as eating food that requires a lot of chewing before swallowing - I feel like it's a strain, v. tiring. I feel the same way sometimes when talking - it's definitely more of a strain than it used to be, and my voice feels weak.

Again, perhaps I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I've been so healthy my whole life (I'm 47) - rarely sick, quick to recover, able to eat absolutely anything with no problems - and then just this past year I've had a number of health issues crop up, with the latest being this darn GERD (IF that's what it is - I need to do some further investigating). And so, because I'm not used to having much of anything go askew in my body, I might be overly sensitive to, and get overly concerned about, things that others might take in stride.

 
Old 09-26-2006, 07:26 PM   #4
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Talking Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

I also developed the clicking in my throat. In my case, I had UPPP surgery for sleep apnea in July 05 and shortly after the clicking appeared. I also was diagnosed with reflux a few weeks after the surgery. Now the clicking comes and goes. I also have experienced health issues I never had before--reflux, gastritis, hiatal hernia, now an upper sinus infection (am taking heavy duty antibiotic). It's hard to deal with these kinds of problems when you've never had them before. I do understand how you are feeling!

 
Old 09-27-2006, 12:52 AM   #5
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

I couldn't believe it when I saw this post!!
I thought I was the only one with a "clicking" throat.

I am a 31 yr old female.
I have had this unusual symptom for 3 yrs now and have only mentioned it to one Dr.
He had no idea what I was talking about and he said it was more than likely caused from the anxiety for which I was being treated for.

I still do have this every now and then and in the beginning it actually scared me!
I could actually feel AND hear the click when I would swallow and noticed that it helped if I turned my head (usually downward to my chest) this would alleviate this symptom.

It still does come and go and still to this day do not know what causes it.

As for the "crunchy" feeling in the larynx (not sure either, lol) I have that as well and yes it is disconcerting.

If you do find out more about this please let us know as I am also curious to find out what it could be.

Also I do not have GERD so I do not think it could be the cause, but that is only my opinion.

Take care and wish you the best!!

 
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:11 AM   #6
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Hi there! I was so glad to see that others are experiencing similar issues with the throat. My "clicking" sound started shortly after I delivered my 3rd child at the end of Dec. last year. I had my thyroid checked, but labs came back normal (although I am not totally convinced it is normal, but anyways...,) so after 9 months "thing" in throat is still there. Today I had an appt. w/an ENT who said that this is very common, especially after experiencing heartburn and/or acid reflux. He did the camera down the nostril to check and said vocal chords are a bit swollen and everything else looks normal. I don't feel like I have heartburn anymore but he gave a prescription for Prilosec 2x a day and to come back in 1 month for a barium scope if feeling in throat does not get better. Did you have that test? Also, what is GERD? And when you swallow do you feel this clicking in the center of throat - mine is on one side mainly, and it does matter how my head is positioned, too.
This is so wierd, sometimes i feel like I am losing my mind. I guess i want a more concrete explanation of why i feel this clicking, like there has to be something in there. Sorry this is so long but I hope I helped you feel not alone!!!

 
Old 10-01-2006, 06:54 AM   #7
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Thanks for writing Chriscross (and Albertagirl & Capistrano & HP8) -

I'm sorry to hear that you have the same clicking problem - but, yes, it does help me feel better to know that I'm not alone!

Chriscross - I'm probably not the best person to answer your question "What is GERD" since this is all new to me. (I have my first appt. set up with a GI specialist in a few weeks, so haven't even had any of the standard scoping tests done yet.) But basically - it stands for Gastroesophagal Reflux Disease. Many people have acid reflux occasionally, but when it becomes chronic it can cause a variety of symptoms (beyond heartburn - I don't have heartburn either) and more serious problems such as esophagitis.

That's not a good definition, but it is easy to find lots of info on the internet if you google it. The main reason I wanted to write today is to share some information that I found in an article on the internet, that seems to offer a concrete explanation of why we may be feeling this clicking - and some possible solutions for dealing with it.

I'm new to this site, and am not sure I completely understand the posting rules, but I'm sure the moderator will let me know if I went outside the boundaries by sharing the name of the article I found in an AMA Archives journal.

Clicking in the Throat: Cinematic Fiction or Surgical Fact?
Smith et al.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.2001; 127: 1129-1131.

Actually, I didn't find this article directly in that journal (I'm not a subscriber, so couldn't open it up) - but then I found a copy of this same article on some other site - in response to a question from a doctor who had seen a 25 yr old patient with these same swallowing complaints and was at a loss as to how to deal with it.

Here's a summary of some of what I found in the article.

First of all, the authors of the article said that although this was an unusual complaint - it should not be passed off as simply psychogenic. It's a very real problem. A group of doctors saw and treated 11 patients from UCLA and University of Utah who came to them with the clicking, popping in their throats when swallowing. Often there was also pain and/or dysphagia involved. About half the patients had a previous injury to their throat because of an accident, and a few had just had some type of surgical procedure. Wiith the others there was no apparent explanation for what might have instigated the problem..

The good news is that all cases were treated successfully with surgery! Before surgery each patient's neck was examined and palpated (and sometimes a CT scan) while they swallowed to determine the exact spot where the clicking was coming from. Apparently, in most cases it was caused by an elongated or posteriorly oriented superior cornu of the thyroid cartilage. If the clicking seemed to be coming from the anterior region, rather than the side, then they directed their attention to the overlapping structures in the thyrohyoid space... So, during surgery (under local or general anasthaesia) it was simply a matter of trimming off the thyroid cartilage or hyoid bone area that was the cause of the clicking.

-----

I hope this information is helpful. It helped relieve my mind somewhat. I am not in pain when I swallow right now (it's just so darn irritating!, makes swallowing an effort)......and I don't think I would even consider surgery unless I have been experiencing pain for a time, and couldn't find any other non-surgical means of getting relief. But it's good to know that apparently there are some experts out there who are familiar with this problem and have been able to successfully treat it.

Of course, I'm still hoping that my symptoms will just kind of disappear over time. Perhaps my GERD/acid reflux is aggravating it, and when I get that under control, the clicking sound & grinding feel will be less prominent. I also want to rule out other possible causes (polyps?) for my sore throats, clicking, etc. Will be seeing a GI soon.....and then from there perhaps an ENT doctor.

Best wishes to all of you. I'll keep you posted if I uncover any more clues or answers.

 
Old 10-01-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
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Wink Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justbecause06
I was just recently diagnosed with GERD. Or, I should say my GP thinks the symptoms point to GERD and has prescribed omeprazole to test it out - saying, if it works, then she probably guessed right....

My symptoms are mainly all in the throat area. Mostly basic stuff like sore, irritated, tight throat, full ears, PND, occasional mild hoarseness. But - I've got one strange symptom to share, and I'm wondering if others have experienced it....

When my symptoms were at their worst, before I started the meds, I suddenly found that whenever I'd swallow, my throat would make a clicking sound. No, not my ears but my throat! That was about four weeks ago, and it hasn't gone away. I've done some research on the net and have found a few discussions about this - but nobody seems to have any answers. Doctors mostly seem to be baffled by it. Some have suggested that it's possibly the hyoid bone in the throat that's rubbing against cartilage. Some have guessed that there was a GERD connection....but, again, just guesses.

Anyone else heard of this or had this symptom? It's actually gotten worse for me over these past few weeks. It used to be that it only clicked/popped when I held my head in certain positions - and it never happened when I was eating or drinking, only during a dry swallow. Now, on bad days - it's an almost constant thing. There's no pain, but it's v. irritating and makes me very hesitant to swallow...

I know this is very unlikely, but I have this idea in my head that the constant acid in my throat for I don't know how long, may have broken down some of the cartilage in my throat, which is causing that sound. Oh, here's the other thing: when I place my fingers around the larynx (is it the larynx? I don't know my anatomy v. well) just a bit below my chin, when I move it back and forth I hear a crunchy grinding sound. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to feel like that!

This is making me v. nervous. Any answers? Thank you...

 
Old 10-01-2006, 06:34 PM   #9
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Wink Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Hi, just jumping across different message boards and came across yours.
I too have GERD for many years. The clicking in throat, sure glad to find others at last! I've had the same thing. I'm going to try to copy some posts, (off hand I don't know if thats ok to do) and keep them in purse to show to every single doctor whose ever looked at me baffled. All my doctors have said they've never heard of such a thing! Well they can't say that any more! I don't think my acid reflux is causing the clicking sound. I had GERD way before the clicking. I came out of an Electrophysiology Study with severe neck problems from having to lay still for 10 hrs. That study is not a piece of cake like they make it sound. Over a year later left side of neck still appears like I have swollen glands, but all tests show neck normal. Neuro says its the sterno muscle swollen. Swallow studies, MRI's CT Scans normal. I went to a chiro trying to get my neck to feel better and one time he snapped my neck and as I was driving home I noticed everytime I swallowed I felt a clicking in my throat (If I could turn back time) Clicks and tugs if throat is dry. Eating don't notice it.
Did a search of hyoid bone in message forum and got lots more readers like you. Different things cause it. I like the cartilage theory. If you ever find the cause for sure put it on this message board. I'll do the same.
Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

 
Old 10-01-2006, 06:37 PM   #10
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Talking Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Forgot to add about the crunching when you move larynx back and forth.
Thats normal. I feel that also. Asked GP about that and she said everyone hears and feels crunching.

 
Old 10-02-2006, 03:27 PM   #11
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

The crunching is normal? Really? Gosh, I hope so... My son (he's 23) says that he doesn't feel it, but I'll ask him to test it out again.

Thanks so much, AzSunshine, for adding your insights. Will keep you posted...

 
Old 10-06-2006, 06:53 PM   #12
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Hello Justbecause06 and all others that have posted! Most of you have inicated that you suffer from sore throats quite often. I was wondering if you also experience extreme coughing fits? My symptoms include the famous throat clicking ~ crunching has subsided somewhat, but it was there in full force a few months ago ~ the sore throats are on and off like every other week and now I cough like crazy all the time. I constantly feel like I am getting sick or like a cold but I never get sick. I have quit smoking for over a year and a half (sometimes I cheat but only when I am out socially). I guess this kind of scares me having a sore throat all the time with the coughing. I was just curious to see if any of you have the same symptoms along with the throat clicking. Sometimes when my throat is really sore it does feel like there is a lump or it is tight and very hard to sallow and also hurts and I hear clicking when I turn my head! what's up with that!!!!!! I am supposed to see my ENT in a month if the Prilosec doesn't help, but i think I will find another because he was kind of mean. Anywho, thanks for the info about what you found, I will definitley check it out. Please post if you find out any thing else and I will do the same! Chriscross

 
Old 10-06-2006, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

mine clicks occasionally. i think more often in the morning. but not very often in total.

 
Old 11-11-2006, 06:25 AM   #14
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Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

I have been worried about this for some time now. Just recently I thought I was developing some kind of throat cancer even though I'm not in the risk age bracket, it still caused me some concern. It started back in 1998 when I was 18 and worked in a supermarket. Every time I walked into a building with air-conditioning my left ear would block up. Then automatically I would try swallowing to ease the pressure in my ear. I didn't realise at the time, but out of habit I would swallow too frequently to make this ear problem go away.

Then about two years later I noticed my throat would click on the right side of my voice box when swallowing. I was also smoking at the time which caused me to breathe deeply while inhaling which in turn caused my swallowing to happen more frequently. I suppose it made the clicking more noticeable. Now six years later, my ear still blocks up in airconditioned places and I still swallow just as much to compensate for the pressure in my ear. But to add to this, I notice that when I am under stress the clicking and sometimes tightness in my throat area is more noticeable and I can actually feel something spasming slightly in my throat.

Sometimes if I gulp down a glass of water or yawn, the click is there. More recently when I sneeze, a few seconds after my voice sounds like I've just inhaled a helium baloon. Does anyone know if the change in voice has anything to do with the clicking throat thing and whether this is anything to worry about. I've also found I find it hard to put on weight. For me, I think it could be one of three things, thyroid problem, Cricopharyngeal Spasm, or maybe something more sinister like Cancer. But if this has been going on since I was 20 and now reached 26 I don't see how it could be something so sinister. Does anyone have an idea what I might have?

 
Old 11-20-2006, 12:34 PM   #15
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Unhappy Re: Clicking in Throat When Swallowing - GERD symptom?

Hi to all fellow throat clickers! My throat-clicking started about 3 weeks ago. It did quit for a few days, then started again. It's driving me crazy, not to mention I'm worrying myself sick about it. Have any of you gotten a diagnosis? I am seeing my doctor this afternoon, as I also feel a lump or two, which may have been there for a long time, but now that I've been messing around with my throat, I feel them. Mine also only does it when my head is in a certain position. Help me - tell me it's nothing!! I am the biggest worrier I know, so of course I'm losing sleep over this. What have your doctors told you? Thanks for any info you can give me.

 
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