THROAT CLEARING

Chronic throat clearing is a problem complained of by many people. Individuals clear their throat to loosen secretions which may be irritating the throat. Patients with chronic throat clearing often complain that phlegm or secretions that are sitting in the throat must be loosened.

Throat clearing is irritating for the individual who must do this often, in the middle of conversations, meals, or meetings.

Throat clearing may be caused by:

  • Increased phlegm
  • Vocal fold paralysis
  • Granuloma
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux
  • Cricopharyngeal dysfunction

Evaluation of an individual with throat clearing involves a full head and neck exam. Laryngoscopy and stroboscopy may be necessary to study the vocal folds and larynx. These examinations may be recorded to allow the patient to look at the throat anatomy as well.

Treatment of throat clearing depends on the cause. For cases of laryngopharyngeal reflux, dietary changes, behavioral modifications and medications may be used to control symptoms. Vocal fold paralysis and granulomas have both surgical and non surgical treatment options.

For patients without a defined cause of throat clearing, a physician may consider the idea that patients may have habitual throat clearing. Some individuals clear their throat during times of anxiety, stress, or nervousness. Others may clear their throats subconsciously, much like tapping fingers or shaking a leg. For those individuals “breaking the habit” may be difficult and require help of others, but in the long pays off.

Dr-Verma - Voice and Swallowing Doctor - Sunil Verma MD

Throatdisorder.com is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.

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NOTE : The information presented on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician. It may not be appropriate to your individual case, and should not be used in making treatment decisions, especially with regard to medication. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, but medicine is a changing field, and this website is not responsible for errors or omissions. Use of this website acknowledges the above.

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