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Old 08-28-2004, 12:33 AM   #1
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garybeck HB User
occasional scary choking problem

I've had this problem as long as I remember. It only happens occasionally, sometimes weeks or months can go by with no problem.

Every once in a while, something causes my throat to constrict and I can't breathe. It usually happens when I put something tart, sour, or sweet in my mouth. Or it can happen when anything, even just the saliva in my mouth, touches a certain spot in the back of my throat.

When it happens, I can breathe out normally, but breathing in feels like I'm trying to get all that air through a pinhole.

It's very scary. I feel like I'm going to die. It it usually about a minute until it starts to subside and a few minutes until I'm breathing normally again.

I've read that when you swallow, the epiglottis closes off your trachea so the food doesn't go down your wind pipe. It feels almost like that's what's happening. I can swallow fine, and I can breathe out. I just can't breathe in. It's like something is causing that reaction to happen when it's not supposed to. Like the epiglottis is having a spasm. I've been to a few doctors but no one has been able to help me.

I wish I could find someone else who has experienced this or who knows if there is any kind of treatment for it.

 
Old 10-10-2004, 05:25 PM   #2
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Posts: 148
dianne12315 HB User
Re: occasional scary choking problem

When I read your post I felt I should respond to it even though it's been awhile since you posted it. I am fairly new or else I would've posted a reply sooner.
The same thing happens to me whenever I try to eat rice, anything tart or anything that is very sweet. I go to a GI doctor for GERD and I explained to him what is happening and he said that sometimes the esphogus (I hope I spelled it right) will go into spasms. If I were you I would go see someone about it because it's a terrible feeling. I'm on medication for the GERD and I avoid any foods that I think will cause it to happen.

Good Luck.
Dianne

Last edited by dianne12315; 10-10-2004 at 05:26 PM.

 
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:50 AM   #3
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loralei HB User
Re: occasional scary choking problem

This sounds like it could be something related to acid reflux. Over time acid can cause the esophagus to swell and very scary stuff can happen. My brother had it for years, but no one ever did anything about it. One day he just started yacking up on a piece of steak that merely got caught in his throat. He was puking up flem and coughing. My mom told him that it's because he eats too fast and doesn't chew enough. That has nothing to do with it. The ER doctors had to remove the steak. You can get medicine for stomach acid, and treatment if your esophagus isn't normal. Definitely go see a gastroenterologist (SP?)

 
Old 11-29-2004, 11:56 AM   #4
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Location: Erie, PA, USA
Posts: 65
jmsimon HB User
Re: occasional scary choking problem

My father had the same problem and then it started happening often and he would have to go to the ER to get his esophagus stretched. He had GERD but it got so bad that his throat would swell and close up. Eventually he had surgery to remove the bottom part of his esophagus b/c it was so eaten away, but that was after 15 years of going through this. But he is fine now, so get it checked out before it gets too bad!!! Good Luck!!!

 
Old 12-16-2004, 09:38 PM   #5
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 359
luv2read HB User
Re: occasional scary choking problem

I have this also. It is very scary when it happens. When mine happens my throat tightens up and actually closes. I'm just gasping for air.

The worst thing you can do is panic when you feel it coming on. Someone told me that if you close your mouth , you should be able to breath threw your nose.

It happened to me last week. I woke up choking and my throat was ready to close off. I relaxed and tried breathing threw my nose. It did help some.

I have GERD also.
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Old 12-21-2004, 12:46 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2
cdmwilder HB User
Re: occasional scary choking problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by garybeck
I've had this problem as long as I remember. It only happens occasionally, sometimes weeks or months can go by with no problem.

Every once in a while, something causes my throat to constrict and I can't breathe. It usually happens when I put something tart, sour, or sweet in my mouth. Or it can happen when anything, even just the saliva in my mouth, touches a certain spot in the back of my throat.

When it happens, I can breathe out normally, but breathing in feels like I'm trying to get all that air through a pinhole.

It's very scary. I feel like I'm going to die. It it usually about a minute until it starts to subside and a few minutes until I'm breathing normally again.

I've read that when you swallow, the epiglottis closes off your trachea so the food doesn't go down your wind pipe. It feels almost like that's what's happening. I can swallow fine, and I can breathe out. I just can't breathe in. It's like something is causing that reaction to happen when it's not supposed to. Like the epiglottis is having a spasm. I've been to a few doctors but no one has been able to help me.

I wish I could find someone else who has experienced this or who knows if there is any kind of treatment for it.

 
Old 12-21-2004, 12:51 AM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2
cdmwilder HB User
Re: occasional scary choking problem

I wanted to write to you in regards to your choking problems. I read the many replies about the reflux and they are very correct, it can cause you to choke. the is another problem you might look into, it is called Eagle
Syndrome.
I have it and I have had choking episodes for many years. It is caused by elongated syloid process bones at the base of your skull that tickle the nerve endings in your throat. It is a rare thing, but some think not so rare, and can cause some weird symptoms.
You would need to find a specialist in your area that can dignose this for you with a panoramic x ray of the jaw region. It can be treated by having surgery, but be sure they really know all about it cause some Dr's think you are crazy for complaining of those symptoms! Good luck.

Last edited by cdmwilder; 12-21-2004 at 12:54 AM.

 
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