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Old 01-09-2004, 05:16 AM   #1
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post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

It all started with a minor cold. Then I started to have some mucus build up at night. I would wake with some caughing and then it would kind of get lodge in my throat and I would literally start to gag for air. This would happen about 1 - 2 times per day. After each episode of this I would feel fine. Because I could not breath each time this happened, I called my doctor. He prescribed a cough medicine with codeine. This at least allowed me sleep through the night, but as soon as I woke in the morning and stood up the mucus would start to move and coughing and then the choking would happen. A few days later I visted the doctor again. Though I felt fine 98% of the day, I still was having some coughing (not a lot) followed by the choking. I was prescribed a antibiotic. Also, I was spitting out some phelgm. However it was not real yellow. To sleep, I found it if I took the cough medicine and a sudafed/expectorant. But in the morning I would still get the coughing and choking. The mucus build up slowed but the post nasal drip continued. The choking also was not as bad, but I started to get major burps. Then one day after starting to cough out the phelgm that was stuck in my throat that triggered me to start to vomit. Each day I continue to feel a little better, but just as I put behind me two days of no choking or gagging, things got worse. Last night just after I fell asleep, I woke due to the post nasal drip that triggered some choking. This triggered again my gag reflexes and then I started to vomit. I eventually got back to bed but the post nasal drip continued to wake me every 30 -60 minutes. But at this point I found myself clearing my throat each time and mentatally trying not to cough and trigger the choking.....

Any advise would be helpful....thank you.

 
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

I am just starting to recover from a 2 week bout of something and what you describe happens to me too. The congestion is not deep in my lungs but higher in the respitory track - in the esophogus area. When i start coughing up the mucus, it gets caught up in my gag reflex and I start dry-heaving... violently. It is extremely painful. Here is what I do when this happens...

First of all - stand up immediately. I have found that standing helps your body expectorate the mucus. Go to your bathroom sink and turn the hot water on full blast. Lean over the sink and throw a towel over your head. The steam you inhale will quickly dislodge the "glue" that is making you gag. And because you are over the sink you can spit in out. It doesn't hurt to look at the mucus you cough up to see what color it is. This can help your doctor know if you are infected. And if there is any blood in the mucus you should contact your doctor right away.

I will tell you that this past week I have been unable to lay down to sleep. As soon as I lay down, the mucus gets built up in my throat and chest and I start choking. If you can, find a comfy chair where you can sleep sitting up. If you don't have one, prop up a stack of 4-5 pillows so you can sit up in bed and sleep that way. And if that doesn't work, sleep on your stomach instead of your back. Sometimes I find relief by sleeping on my stomach, but instead of putting my pillow under my head (which would elevate it), I put 2 pillows under my chest - letting my head hand down over the front edge of pillows. This helps to prevent the mucus from moving from your sinus into your chest and you can blow it out your nose instead.

Just some ideas...

 
Old 01-11-2004, 05:47 PM   #3
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

I went to the DOC again and he prescribed Mucinex (over the counter) expectorant and also he prescribed Prednisone. The Mucinex to be taken every 12 hours and breakes down the mucus. The Prednisone to help my muscles not get so tense (I guess). Well its strange. Things over all seem to be getting better, but I still have a small episode of coughing that then gets me weezing and gagging for air. This occurs when I am sitting and or lying down. And it seems to happen more after the Mucinex probably has worn off (around 8-10 hours). This is certainly one strange ailment. 98% of the day I feel fine...then something happens to trigger it. Today, I was sitting on the couch and started to laugh... this triggered the coughing which then started to tighting things and start my gagging and gasping for air. Its like the body has to relax for things to get better. ughh... hopefully things will totally clear up soon.

 
Old 01-11-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

"...this triggered the coughing which then started to tighting things and start my gagging and gasping for air. Its like the body has to relax for things to get better. ughh... hopefully things will totally clear up soon".

Reading your post, I recall having something like this when I was sick with my cough. I tell you it really scared me. I hate feeling out of control. Tell us how you keep doing. Are you resting and drinking lot of liquids? I found drinking , warm water with lemon and honey was something I did alot. I also took claritin to dry up the mucuous.

After my cough started to finally get a little better. I started taking things alternative to build up my immune system. I still have post nasal drip but am not spitting up as much in the morning as I had during the really bad coughing.
How long have you had your cough? I had mine for about a month!
~dagmar jane

Last edited by dagmarharris; 01-11-2004 at 10:26 PM.

 
Old 01-14-2004, 05:57 AM   #5
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

Well I still have it.... since Christmas (2.5 - 3 weeks). It is better but still there. Just when I think I am cured all the way it is like I have a relapse. Last night I woke with a "clump" or something in my throat. I guess I tried to swallow which brought on the caughing. This was followed by some big burps. Luckily I have been not eating much between dinner and when I go to bed. When things settled down (after the burping and gagging for some good air), I was able to go back to bed. I did notice some post nasal drip at that point. Eventually, I got back to sleep. I have been taking two tablets (600mg each) of Mucinex each day. Yesterday I did not take one in the morning but I did take one in the evening. Overall, I am feeling better but still I wonder why the relapses. This bug just hangs with you. I keep caugh drops handy. If I do feel a cough coming I try to slip a cough drop into my mouth. This helps. The caughing (which is not much) does lead to the choking, gagging and burping. Strange as it is, most of the day I feel pretty well. Go figure.

 
Old 01-29-2004, 11:19 AM   #6
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

It is now close to 4 weeks since my symptoms started. The symptoms are as follows: A choking sensation, a feeling that there is a lump in my throat that starts my caughing. The Caughing starts the choking feeling or the burps. The burping becomes uncontrollable and then there is gasping for air. It is like you can not get any air or breaths. It is not a fun feeling at all. Generally the symptoms occur when lying in bed.. when I turn on my side or when just rising from the bed. Sometimes the symptoms occur when sitting or leaning back in a chair.

The above is what I discussed with a specialist in an Otolaryngology group. After explaining to him the symptoms he said it sounded very much like REFLUX. Which is Acid Reflux. So now I am going to start on some prevacid to see if it does the trick. I hope so.

 
Old 01-29-2004, 01:11 PM   #7
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

I'm confused. In your earlier posts you said that the choking was from post nasal drip or mucus. Now you are saying that is from acid and burping. There is a HUGE difference here.

I have to tell you that based on your earlier posts it does NOT sound like you have reflux. Acid reflux is when your stomach acids leak through the diaphram up into the respitory track. This can be caused by a variety of things - hiatal hernia, ulcers, allergies, etc. The result is usually EXTREME burning and discomfort which results in coughing and choking. But there is something specific that you are choking on and it is usually obvious that it is gastro-intestinal in nature.

The fact that you cannot identify what is causing your choking and that you NEVER once mentioned burning or acidity makes me wonder if you have not described your symptoms clearly to your doctor. You need to clarify if your symptoms seem to be related to a cold or respitory infection - this would normally be accompanied by the general feeling of having cold/flu, feeling "sick," feeling burning in your sinuses or congestion in your nose, ears, throat or chest. On the other hand, if you do not feel sick, do not have excessive congestion, do not have a stuffy nose, but you do have burning in your chest after eating or laying down, then it could be reflux.

Its also not uncommon to suffer from side effects or allergic reactions to either your own cold (excessive mucus) or to the medications you have been taking. I hate to see you go on reflux meds when in fact you are suffering from a cold , virus, or allergies.

I recommend that you start keeping track of EVERYTHING that you consume (in a little notebook) - not just food, but drinks, meds, anything - even brushing your teeth. Then also enter when you have symptoms - the time and day. After about a week you may see a pattern. Symptoms are not always immediate with allergies - sometimes it can take 2-6 hours to have a reaction to something.

I have just recovered fully from my illness - after 3 doctor visits and 3 different antibiotics I was officially diagnosed with pneumonia. It took a total of 4 weeks to fully recover and I am still quite exhausted. I did get some heartburn from the antibiotics I was on, but for the most part, my choking was directly related to my lung infection.

 
Old 02-01-2004, 08:10 AM   #8
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

I agree, it does not seem like Reflux is what I had... in the beginning. Four weeks ago, I did have mucus (phelgm) and seemed to hack it out especially in the morning and when I had the attacks at night. Now, over the last week or so, I so have some acid but I don't feel lots of burning. However, I do feel something in the throat at times which I guess could be classified as a "burning" sensation. This happens when I am sitting (reclining chair) or laying down. I agree, perhaps I have not communicated the symptoms to the doctor well enough. On the other hand, when I communicated the same symptoms to the specialist, he did equate them to reflux. So for now, I have been taking Prevacid for 4 days and I have had less asthma like caughing. I have continued to monitor and watch what I eat and drink. I'll post again in a few days to inform others how things are going. Thanks again for your comments.

 
Old 02-01-2004, 11:12 AM   #9
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimassimo
I have just recovered fully from my illness - after 3 doctor visits and 3 different antibiotics I was officially diagnosed with pneumonia. It took a total of 4 weeks to fully recover and I am still quite exhausted. I did get some heartburn from the antibiotics I was on, but for the most part, my choking was directly related to my lung infection.
How did the Dr's find the lung infection? I've been coughing for sooo long now, and once the GP diagnosed it as bronchitis. Now they say I have sinutitis, along with an URI. I've been on meds for the last several days, but can't get this congestion to go away. Any suggestions? I've heard lemon juice breaks it up.
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Old 11-24-2004, 05:36 AM   #10
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

i think there's some simple things you can do to alleviate your symptoms. the first is to not have any dairy, or foods with dairy content as they create excess mucous in your system. the second step is to keep a plastic bag next to you at all times, and spit any and all mucous out of your system, as mucous is inflammatory to your throat and lungs, and can even cary or worsen your infection in those areas. i don't recommend cough drops as they are extremely high in sugar: excess of sugar can affect your mood, make you feel tired etc. if your throat really hurts you can garlge with epsom salts and do what the previous post said: breathe steam.

if you have post nasal drip you should do everything to avoid sleeping on your back. i also like to keep a small bowl on my bed that i can spit into during the night...that way i can breathe easier and reduce my chance of spreading the infection.

 
Old 03-08-2005, 08:48 AM   #11
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

I am on my 4th week of some type of weird virus. It started out with chest congestion followed by a cough. The cough became more frequent and violent. To the point of almost vomiting. Post nasal drip started, it feels like it blocks my air which causes me to choke and gasp for air. I haven't had a fever or stuffy nose. The "episodes" are so bad I am afraid to go in public by myself in fear someone may call 911. I am exhausted. I have been to the doctor's 4 times. I had a chest xray, pulmonary test, cardiogram all showing nothing. A specialist looked in my throat for a blockage, still nothing. I have tried an inhaler, cough /codein med, and inhaler nothing has helped. My doctor has not seen one of my "episodes." I felt the throat specialist was thinking its all in my head. Has anyone had these systems.

Last edited by george4; 03-08-2005 at 08:50 AM. Reason: spelling errors

 
Old 04-05-2005, 06:38 PM   #12
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

Hey all! I have a similar problem but maybe a bit more severe. It seems that at least once or twice a day I have to vomit mucus because it causes me to beging coughing. That is my first sign. All day I have post nasal drip and it accumulates until I have to vomit. The strange thing is that I could have just eaten a meal and when I go to eliminate the mucus... all that comes up is mucus and nothing else. I'm sure this isn't normal and I can't seem to get a straight answer from my doctor or my ENT. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:36 PM   #13
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

You guys can add me to your list as well. I caught an awful virus that was floating around, one which attacked the sinuses. Those of us who were unlucky enough to catch it had chronic watering eyes (and itchy as heck), itchy nose, constant sneezing, post nasal drip and a cough that occurred almost never in the day time but was AWFUL at night. There was nothing that could be taken for this as it was a virus, but I will admit that those Cold FX pills worked wonders. All symptoms went away but I still have post nasal drip and an occasional cough, but I am in week 8 already. My doctor told me that this one will take several weeks to go away completely, and there's nothing he can give me to help.

Scooter: Burping is a symptom of only a very few things (ulcer, hernia, reflux, or anxiety) so that could be why you got the diagnosis you did. Post nasal drip does burn and often will cause a sore throat because of it. When it is thick it will sit at the back of your throat and you will definately feel it, like a big goober. Trying to cough it up will remove some of the mucous but the lump feeling will remain -- the key is to thin it out. If you actually feel a lump there is a condition called "Globus Hystericus" which causes this, and I do believe it is caused from anxiety. I doubt highly that the Prevacid has helped with anything, but moreso it's that time has passed and your body is healing. Post nasal drip is a bugger to get rid of as it can linger for MONTHS. Years ago I once had it for YEARS. I had to be careful to never cry because if I did, it felt like I was choking to death and if I didn't vomit on my own I'd have to make myself barf in order to breathe.

George: You should try going to a doctor that will look in your nose, and not your throat. Post nasal drip is caused by an inflammation or infection of the nasal membranes.

Roguescot: It is not abnormal to vomit only mucous even after eating if you have post nasal drip, especially if you are making yourself vomit. There is just an abundance of mucous present and your body will only heave out what's on top. If you continued trying to make yourself vomit after the mucous is done exiting, the rest will follow.

Everyone: There is only one thing that will help with post nasal drip but nobody likes doing it, including myself. You have to put some salt water in the palm of your hand, inhale it into one nostril, and spit it out. Then you have to do it again with the other nostril.

Also, the best thing for the coughing is a cough syrup with codiene.

Hope this helps.

 
Old 04-10-2005, 12:31 PM   #14
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Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

I have had pretty bad post nasal drip for awhile. I find myself spitting stuff out constantly throughout the day. I to have dry heaving fits and choke on it. I find it to be the worst in the morning when I wake up because I don't swallow much in my sleep. Finally mentioned it to my doctor and he did an x-ray of my sinuses found that i have severe sinusitis. He put me on 2 1000mg Augmentin twice a day. Now I have more mucous then ever. I guess thats the medicine clearing out my sinuses. I pray that this works or I will be making an appointment with an ENT. Good luck to you!

 
Old 04-10-2005, 01:15 PM   #15
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Unhappy Re: post nasal drip causing gagging and choking... HELP!

wow. I didn't think anyone else had this problem. For over a year now I have had bad post nasal drip and then I gag on it and sometimes I throw up.

I have bad GERD too, but there is definitely a lot of post nasal drip. I have allergies and those werer under controll until december of 2003. I had this odd virus thing and I had to go to the ER with a high fever. They didn't find anything like pnemonia but I was really sick for several days. After that I was never the same. I kept getting colds all the time.

Now I have fibromyalgia. I used to be healthy before that.

I take miraphin and claritin and flonase for the alergies and have tried a bunch of other stuff including the sinus rinse but I still get the post nasal drip. Sometimes bad, sometimes time will pass when I don't get it or get it rarely.

I've had a sinus infection now for over a month... yuck. the retching is the worst part.

 
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