My son and I have a similar response if we get stressed, fall in to fits of uncontrolable laughter, respiratory illnesses, or allergen irritations... our bronchial passages seize up. Our response is a form of reactive airway disease/bronchial asthma. My lung capacity is great, but occasional something triggers it and my upper chest feels tight and I start coughing. When the throat and broncial passages get stimulated... excess mucas, coughing, wheezing occurs... the tissues begin to swell and only reduce marginally with medications. It can take a while for the deep retching cough to stop and my allergists, immunologists, internal med guy, and ENT could offer me no quick solutions.
Mainly we try to calm down, drink something with caffine (bronciodialator), use our inhalers, mayhap steam our heads, and wait. It is scary and appears to get worse when I put on additional weight (been fluctuating ever since my pregnancy).
Best of luck. Post if you find something that helps.