Ear, Nose & Throat Community
Swollen throat - waking up not breathing - feeling like I'm going ...
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to ear, nose and throat issues, ear infections, nasal polyps, sore throats, and swollen glands.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Swollen throat - waking up not breathing - feeling like I'm going to gag!

Hi,
This all started with me waking up once every few days not breathing - it would happen the INSTANT I fell asleep and never during the night after that.. After 3 weeks or so I also started feeling like my throat was so swollen during the day I would feel like I was going to gag, and occasionally like I would just stop breathing all the sudden.  It actually did happen one time during the day, as I was driving, as I ate a fig newton. It was almost as if it was too thick and made the already small throat opening that much smaller?  My tongue also feels kind of swollen, like that feeling after eating a bowl of ice cream like it's kind of numb or something because I am tripping over words some when I talk...
The interesting thing about this waking up not breathing is that it only happens if I take a nap during the day or when I go to bed. It's not during the night after I nurse my baby or early in the morning if I wake and decide to sleep in longer.  This has been going on for almost 4 months.  When it happens it feels as if the back of my throat has closed off and my whole body rushes with a tingling sensation and my head starts spinning.  This is the same sort of spinning sensation that you would feel if you were bent over for a long time and stood up quickly.  Which is another symptom I'm having: Every time I bend over and stand up I get that awful dizzy/disoriented feeling!!  Every time!!  It's almost as if my body doesn't quite have enough oxygen and is easily set off -also my whole body feels sort of numb on and off and all my limbs fall asleep very easily. If I cross my legs or rest my arm on a shelf or something, in only a couple minutes it starts falling asleep. Even my cheek if I lean against my fist for a couple minutes!
One other thing is that I get SO tired all the sudden when I'm eating.  I haven't actually fallen asleep but I do everything in my power to stay awake. It's a miserable feeling!!
I also have this little pain just under my rib cage, kind of where the two sides come together in the middle. I'll get it in the right and left side at different times. It just gets kind of sore. Sometimes it happens if I breathe deep (and my whole chest can be sore then) or if I bend over.  I wondered if I had acid reflux but I don't have a sour taste in my mouth when I wake up not breathing and also it only happens the SECOND I'm dozing off and it seems like acid reflux would cause it to occur at any time when you're lying down or sleeping and even throughout the night. ?
For some reason, sitting at the computer always makes me feel like I'm going to choke too.  Must be holding my head in a certain position?
I'm also soooo tired all the time, I just can't seem to feel refreshed even after a good long night of sleep.

I also have an allergy problem that causes mild post-nasal drip and the feeling of needing to yawn a hundred times a day. This has just started about a month ago and I'm sure is contributing to the problem but isn't causing it.  Zyrtec worked last year so that's what I'm taking (in addition to Nasonex & just started Singulair & Zantac too).

I saw an allergist who did not think allergies were to blame for my throat condition and also verified no swollen glands or thyroid.

Can anyone please help me? I am just having the hardest time even making it through the day always feeling like I'm going to choke.
Thank you.
Related Discussions
18 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Heaven's to betsy I finally found someone who is experiencing what I am going through!  For me it started a month ago...so far no one can tell me what's causing all of this to happen.  I'm going to see if I can see a pulmonologist to put my mind at ease because it really is miserable not being to catch a good night of sleep or function through the day.  I often feel like I'm not breathing properly ALL the time.  Like you, even sitting up poses a problem.  I am not comfortable in any position..even laying down.  I was diagnosed with having acid reflux and having possible anxiety.  I say possible because it was a "let's wait and see" diagnosis. If I'm "anxious" about anything, it's certainly that.  I don't know if its because I'm trying to stop taking Lorazepam(without success thus far), but I have terrible pain at night as well-joint pain.  Well hang in there and let the board know what you find out so far..because it's driving me up the wall as well.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Well, last sunday i pulled a muscle in my chest and now, 3-5 days later, im experienceing the same problems that you guys are. i am also experiencing wicked head aches and at some points feeling like im going to faint and die at the same time. and now my throat is swollen and really sore. if any of you have any ideas on whats causing any of this please inform me!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Im having the same problem I feel like  Im not breathing sometimes and get scared, I think its anxiety and fear and worrisome. I dont know wat to do
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
wow! finally found ppl that are experiencing the same or almost the same problems im haven. i have been haveing pain in my chest like im not breathing rite and i have acid reflux and anxiety.i have pain in my joints and well my whole body it hurts so bad im in tears.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
you may have LPR.  (Larynogpharyngeal Reflux Disease)  While it's absolutely silly to diagnose you over the internet (not to mention i'm not a doctor), i've gone through almost a year of Hell before it was finally diagnosed in me...and diagnosed BY ME.  the doctors could never figure it out for some reason.  anyway, common symptoms are: tightness in the throat, hoarseness, frequent throat clearing and coughing, Asthma-like symptoms, a feeling of swelling in the throat, and post nasal drip.  It's a type of reflux but it goes up to the back of your throat.  People don't experience heartburn with this.  The treatment includes things like Prilosec and/or Protonix, coupled with Zantac or the equivalent and a change in diet.  The process involved higher doses of meds than regular reflux (GERD) and there is a surgical option if you aren't getting much better in a year or so.  here's an article from Columbia University: www.entcolumbia.org/lprd.htm   - Bottom line, i'm not sure this is what you have but think about the symptoms and, if they fit, let your doctors know this possibility right away so you don't spend months bouncing around from doctor to doctor like I had to...good luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Every few days or so after I have been sleeping an hour or two I sit strait up out of a dead sleep (I sleep like a rock!) with my heart racing and It feels I haven't been breathing. I am usually so tired I just breath it out and go back to sleep. It can't be sleep apnea becasue I'm 28, 115 pounds, 5 6, excersize adn eat great.

I have had panic attacks in the past but refuse to take medicine and just try to breath them out and drink water. I have eliminated a lot of stressors in hopes of redusing this including demotiing myself, cutting down sweets and caffeine.

I also have asthma and as a child had severe attaks but as an adult just fine with one flovent inhaler. I get winded when excersizing but never wheeze. It's almost like someone is choking me and my heart speeds up and my throat "feels" as though it closes.

I went to the emergency room last night becasue it was so bad and my oxygen levels read fine but I still felt as though I couldn't breath.

I don't think it's anxietey or asthma, I feel all the doctors are missing something. Any thoughts???
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
When I wake up and also when I begin to get sleepy, I feel like there are huge concrete bricks on my chest.... add joint pain, particularly in my legs. i'm 32 and my hip clicks like i'm somebody's granny.  For several weeks I have been all but unable to move about at all without feeling like I was being tossed about in a plastic ball in the ocean or something.  Not exactly nauseous/dizzy, but bad and I have all but stopped going to work or anything else. I have a frightening number of the other symptoms many of you experience, esp. related to coughing/breathing and my heart racing, and am trying to figure out how to talk to a doctor without them thinking I'm nuts.   Any advice?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Everything fredc has written above describes me to a tee, so i just talk to me ENT about LRD and I am going to talk with my Asthma doctors too.  I hope he's right since i have been looking for a straight answer for about 3 years now, all the same misdiagnosises by various doctors.

Also, you may want to google something called Angioedema.  i just had a blood test the other day and I am waiting for the results.  basically its something in you that is triggered by a negative and can cause swelling of the throat, trouble breathing, etc., sometimes allergies trigger it, but there is also a different kind called hereditary angioedema which can be triggered by anxiety, stress, some medications, dental work and more.  Hereditary Angioedema can be life threatening so make sure you get the blood test done for it so you can rule it out, it isnt covered in a regular blood test, you have to test specifically for it.  good luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've been waking up without breathing and I've had that feeling like the tingling in my back going to my head. Sometimes it feels like I'm gonna die. I also don't breathe right. A yet and a half ago, I had 5 monsters in two hours. Yeah I know not good. But I int know amy better. I'm 19 and I've gone to the doctor three times and they just at it's anxiety. Okay, I am single, work about 10 hours a week as a cashier, and I live with my patents. I have NO stress or anything to be worried about, really. So I really doubt it's that. One of those doctors told me that the caffeine left a prolonged effect that's gonna bring back uncomfort at random times. But it's been MORE than a year. And I don't take things with caffine anymore. EVERYDAY I feel like this and it's getting me tired. I don't consider suicide, but MAN! this is sooo... it gives me anxiety to havethis. Lol. Especially since I don't know what it is. And I wake up at night sometimes with a HUGE pain in my heart area and breathing like, gasping for air. Nobody had asthma in my family. So I really doubt it can be that at all. Please someone help!!!!!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
did everyone get this problem solved?

I am going through swollen throat at the voice box along with other things and I can only eat six things. I know that anxiety etc....but the truth is to stay calm comes through patience. Yes even when u feel like u want to panic. I was told if I can still breathe, still drink water I will be fine and don't need to go to emergency and this has helped. If I panic and have an attack, it makes me tired after and calm and then I can sleep.

So did everyone get their problem solved?

I am about to see specialists within a week, because I have been told I need to se someone straight away. And I finally found a hospital that can see me straight away with the right specialists that I need.

Peaceful Co.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Since around Christmas time i have been waking up like I'm not breathing at all. It's now February and it hasn't gone away. I have no anxiety at all or any worries about anything...swear! Occasionally it feels as though I've not been breathing and feel like there is a brick on my chest or like I'm falling through the bed, it's hard to explain. It is kind of freaking me out. It's just a relief to know that other people are experiencing almost the same thing I am!! I have absolutely NO IDEA why this keeps happening. It usually starts 10-20 min. after I have fallen asleep. When it gets extremely bad it can go on ALL night to where I only get half an hour's worth of sleep. I find it VERY exhausting because i am constantly active during the day with sports and school every day of the week. I REALLY need help on what this may be and what it may be caused by. It's starting to scare me now......HELP PLEASE!!!!!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
So here's my story. I have for several years suffered sinus infections.Normally a round of Antibiotics (Z pack) Takes care of it and i go on my merry way. Well this past January i got me a doozy. Off i went to the Docs, got my Z pack...didnt feel any better at the end of the 6 days. Went back, she told me to wait a few days as this Med actually keeps working for 10 days... Waited...noting, still feeling bad. Woke up one night with the worst spinning sensation of my life..Ive had many but this beat all ... Heart palpitations, clammy, severe spinning. I sat on the edge of the bed waiting for it to subside... Hubby ended up taking me to the ER. So Doc told me my ears where full and prescribed another Antibiotic.I have to tell you i,m not good with Meds..and will have reactions to almost anything (except the said Z pack). So this one (Vantin) just made my throat slightly tight..but i took it for 10 days. Dizzyness thank goodness went away..but not the whole sinus infection thing. Then i guess about Mid Febuary i had the oddest sensation one night.. A feeling like i wasnt breathing.I knew i was breathing but i had no sensation of doing it. It was an odd feeling in the back of my nose and throat and not a good feeling.I panicked. The closest ive come to finding out what this sensation was is something called Empty nose syndrome..it describes it almost exactly. The only thing is id never had surgery and still have the Turbinates in my nose so how could it be? Was they somehow malfunctioning. So anyways.. back and forth to Docs and ER when things got really bad..even spent a night on the cardiac ward.Heart is great by the way..lol. Also had lung Xrays..didnt show anything.Ive been through multiple Antibiotics and only ever managed a day or two of any one of the, Avalox, Biaxin, Levaquin (seriously thought my time was up on that one). Finally got to see a Doc who refered me to CT scan and ENT..thank god for him. Had to wait an unimaginable amount of time to see ENT. Finally got in and they told me that looking at the CT scan the right sphenoid sinus was completly blocked and would need surgery..the Left was half filled and could possible clear with ..yea you got it..more Antibiotics and Prednisone. So drug of choise here was Clindamycin (beware) and the said Prednisone.Managed the pred for 3 days. and my blood sugar hit the roof, cramping legs, numbness in legs...total weak feeling. I had to stop cold turkey...your not supposed to. The Clindamycin i managed for 5 days..Diarreaha day 1 and day 3 (really bad). then nothing..ended up in the ER because no BM for days on end and no inckling to even go..not like me at all. A laxative was given and told to make sure i was next to a toilet...nothing happened for 2 days then never ending Diarreah (diarrhea) again..(6 days) So moving forward we are now in may..surgery for right sinus was done on the 3rd...was told it was actually a fungal ball...all those Antibiotics for nothing. The left side they said did actually clear (tis a good thing). So did everything resolve...nope.I still have this wierd breathing thing..going on 5 months now..Is it that i,m to in tune now with my breathing..Am i thinking about it to much.. I still get the feeling of breathing cold air sometimes but mostly now its the sensation of not breathing at all....throat gets tight, i get lightheaded..dont sleep worth a darn anymore because its worse at night.I have to sleep propped up. Now i do have to say Menopause hit me in January to so its been hard knowing what symptoms are what..is it sinus..is it Meno.

I mentioned to the  ENT Doc about the feeling of Empty nose syndrom (syndrome). Just so i could have him know what i meant because i felt like he thought i meant i was blocked or stuffed up when i said i felt like  i couldnt breath He said it cant be because thats only associated with turbinate reduction or removal...but the  body is a funny thing...never say never. I dont seem to make mucas in my nose anymore..its always dry. I have to use saline rinses and sprays. Ive also had the feeling of my lungs being constricted like some of you...like someone is sitting on me.
5 months of this has worn me down..ive lost 18 pounds in weight from being so anxious all the time.It just sometimes makes my whole body feel bad..shaky, clammy, nauseaus.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I want to say something to all those that are suffering from Sleep Apnea type problems. I'm not a doctor but I learned a lot from both my parents who use CPAP machines because they have Sleep Apnea.

They're many different reasons why you may have Sleep Apnea type symptoms. Most happen to people who are older and overweight and it is actually Sleep Apnea. If you don't fit or might not fit that description, you should ask a doctor to find out what the problem is as soon as you can because when you wake up feeling like you're not breathing, it is because you are actually not breathing and your body does everything possible to wake you up, to prevent you from dying. As scary as that sounds. That system that makes you go through a Panic, Gives you nightmares, or feels like you got shocked while sleeping and are exhausted but wide awake from mid sleep. Is a very effect system your body has to making sure you wake up to conscientiously breath. I never heard of this being permanent but sometimes it's really hard to fix the problem that's causing it. Such as loosing weight.

I may have found my problem from Fredc, (thx btw) having LPR. I'll still need to get the diagnostic from a doctor but whatever it is, it's causing my Anxiety and Panic Attacks. I fit LPR description and it can promote Panic Attacks judging by a couple google searches. I've had Sleep Apnea type symptoms because of breathing problems I get from Panic Attacks and/or possibly now known LPR. I am 6' 300pounds 26 years old. I've ruled out Sleep Apnea as my problem however. This set of forums was great. But seriously you guys' Sleep Apnea type symptoms sound scary to me and I had to say this. "Go see a doctor." I'm a private payer because of no health insurance and I pretty sure I don't have a major problem but I've never experienced anything worse than a Panic Attack but some of you guys sound like you have serious problems with that "Breathing" and shouldn't depend on the internet (if you're) instead of an actual doctor.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
im 35,  i usually get bronchitis once a year. have gotten it since i was 16. it all started 9 months ago. i work hard labor in the elements and never had a breathing problem besides the bronchitis.  i was working and i was having a hard time breathing. where i felt like i was suffocating.  i went to the hospital and got no diagnosis. i have been to seven hospitals with the diagnosis ranging from pneumonia ,bronchitis,to they dont know. i have had work ups on my chest, heart ,lungs,and multiple blood works and have been all clear. i have trouble eating certain things,cant drink anything with caffiene or sugar. i constantly have trouble breathing like im sucking through a straw. i wake up many times at night cause i stop breathing. and when i get acid reflux it actually helps me breath a little easier. i dont know what i have cause i dont have money for an ent.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'M in the same situation ... I can't breath it feels like someone is choking.me and like I have something stopping my throut and it feels like its closing I can't sleep can't do anything fun I'm scared I just want to find out what's wrong with me the drs have no idea and my tongue feels numb AMD swollen to and my hole body aches ugh idk what to anymore someone pls help me and explaine it to me
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
i have hereditary angiodema and alot of this could be atributited to angiodema i have had my throat swell almost shut while sleeping and my tongue swell so much it couldnt fit into my mouth and myt lips swell and my face and parts of my body i also have had my intestines swell shut to where i almost had to have surgery i hope you dont have angiodema but if you do you need to ask your doctor to get u tested for it because it is a life threatening disease i have woke up in the morning with my throat swelled and couldnt breath there isnt a cure only treatments so please ask your doctor about it it only effects 1 in 50,000 people so he might not know about it but have him check into it
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Me too. I have suffered from this almost like burning sensation in the back of my throat and its all tingly. IT feels like im going to swallow my tongue or tonsils, and was so so scared- so went to the doctors and they said it is globus hystericus. Which I am aware of that people talk about on the internet here. I do suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, but when i look in the mirror, the hole in my mouth at the back ( where the food goes down) almost feels like its getting smaller, or at least im just thinking it? Is that all just in my head and its not happening, the doctor said its nothing bad but just dont want my throat to close up.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
It's frustrating I'm having similar problems feels like I can't breathe properly through my nose and it's not stuffed. Breathing through my mouth at night I think and most of the day. My throat and mouth feel so dry and numb. Any ideas? I can't sleep more than a few hours each night as a result
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Ear, Nose & Throat Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Top Ear, Nose, Throat Answerers
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
209987_tn?1334790318
Blank
tschock
AB
6423135_tn?1381947504
Blank
zombie_pikacha