Problems with chronic throat clearing?
Not only can it drive those around you insane, but constant throat clearing is a chronic condition that requires treatment.
Throat clearing is the repetitive urge to rid the throat of an irritant and typically starts with a physical component, like acid reflux or an upper respiratory tract infection. Throat clearing may be seasonal (caused by allergies) or simply the side effects of a sore throat or sinus infection. However, chronic and repetitive throat clearing can become behavioral and habitual, which can lead to serious long term damage.
Chronic Throat Clearing
If your constant throat clearing lasts several months, you may be suffering from a chronic, yet treatable, condition.
So what causes constant throat clearing?
The most common causes of frequent throat clearing are laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), stomach acid, seasonal allergies, chronic sinus infections, anatomical issues, or in some cases, intricate neuropathies.
Reflux from the stomach travels upwards via the esophagus and into the back of the throat, which can irritate the voice box and cause the need to clear your throat. Another symptom of LPR is post-nasal drip, an excess of throat mucus, or the feeling like something is stuck in the throat.
The urge to clear your throat is a reflex used by your body to rid your airways of phlegm and other irritants. Although this may cause immediate relief, the constant clearing does more harm than good, causing inflammation and nerve damage which fuel the constant urge to clear your throat.
Allergies, the other most common cause of throat clearing, are an environmental trigger caused by a variety of allergens from pollen, to ragweed, that can irritate or cause inflammation in the nose and throat.
Chronic or constant throat-clearing can also be a result of vocal hyperfunction. Friction from straining to speak or explosive coughing, can form small ulcers or masses on your vocal chords.
If you think you are a chronic throat clearer, call your doctor. Medications to ease reflux, allergies, and asthma are readily available and vocal therapy can help break the throat-clearing cycle of vocal hyperfunction.
Seeking treatment will not only help prevent the immediate pain and discomfort you may be experience, but long-term damage to your vocal chords. Getting treatment to help calm your urge to clear your throat will also ease the insanity you may be inflicting upon those around you.
Contact us at the Colorado Voice Clinic if you think you are a chronic throat clearer.