My problem is there is the feeling of something in the back of my throat that causes me to get an involuntary urge to gag. I however have never actually gagged because when ever I get this feeling I immediately suppress it by swallowing hard or stroking the palate with my tongue. I have noticed this happening when I am running and even normal things when I am just talking. The main thing that is really bad about this, is my inability to run and exercise to stay in shape because of this problem. After a few minutes of running or exercising I get that feeling of having to gag. I have told doctors about this and one doctor said about the post nasal drip causing it and the other said I had a hyperactive gag reflex and I just have to live with it. What it feels like is that my uvula gets irritated somehow and it stimulates the reflex for no reason. I am currently taking swimming lessons, but this problem makes it almost impossible because when I am blowing the air out through my nose in the water, this also causes me to feel that sensation of gagging which causes me to stop to catch my breathe. I understand that there are many people who have an overactive gag reflex, but I have not read about it being to hyperactive that it affects someone like the way it does to me.
I agree with the doc on the PND. When i was so successful with a neti pot with other sinus type symptoms, i sent one to my friend in Florida. She will almost make herself vomit when brushing her teeth. Irrigating helps get rid of that feeling on your soft palate. It really helped her.. unfortunately she has a injured neck/shoulder and can't tip to irrigate. Her gag reflex is extremely sensitive also. For about $15 at CVS you can try it. You can also do a search on "how to use a neti pot" and there are videos you can watch. I would do it at least twice a day.
I have over-active gag reflex. You are right in that it feels like your uvula is swollen. The only thing I have found that helps is that I sip fluids constantly throughout the day. The throat and uvula dry out very easily, especially during exercise. If you feel it coming on, take some sips of water and see if that helps (I have to do that during house work).
i also have a hyperactive gag reflex...for 30 years...haven't found a solution yet, i think we just have to live with it unfortunately....i just had my tonsillectomy done (not for the gag reflex, but for pain and irritation in the tonsils) so i'll let you know if it helps.
I tried the chloroseptic spray for swimming a few days ago. It was the regular equate brand. I sprayed it and and waited for 15 seconds but it didn't numb my throat at all so it didn't help with the gag reflex.