Tickle in throat makes me cough and choke
by krotag, Feb 27, 2006
At least once or twice a week the smallest thing, like drinking water, or soda, or even taking in a breath, will trigger a tickle in my throat which sends me into a coughing fit until my eyes water and usually end with sneezing.  It's very embarrasing at a restaurant and out in public. What's causing it?
by National JewishBlank, Mar 03, 2006
It is difficult to say what is causing this hypersensitivity in your throat.  Since this is not present all of the time, making the diagnosis becomes even more difficult.  It is possible that you have irritated the lining of the throat, but this does not usually come and go, as you have described.  I would suggest speaking with an ENT specialist about this problem.
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Member Comments (41)
by myproblem, Feb 28, 2006
I wish I knew. The same thing happens to me. Spicy food, and some kinds of candy bars are the worst. And things that are really dry like crackers set it off too. It scares everyone around me. Sometimes it scares me too when I can't stop. Most of all it's humiliating. Water doesn't help. It's like I just have to keep coughing till I'm all coughed out. I get very hot from the intense coughing, and I get so exhaused from it that I feel like I'm might pass out by the time it slows down. If you figure it out please post.
by marie50, Mar 01, 2006
I have had the same problem all my life. I was finally diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction. Basically I have a "twitchy" larynx. Drinking, eating, and post nasal drainage are things that most commonly trigger my attacks. Often it starts as a tickle in the throat and progresses to the point where I can't breathe or speak at all. Very scary. Anything that causes irritation to the larynx (allergies, respiratory infections, GERD) can make the larynx even more twitchy and prone to attacks. Fortunately I have a relative who is a speech
pathologist. She taught me techniques to help me through these episodes. If I feel one of these episodes coming on, I try very hard not to cough at all or clear my throat because it just makes it worse. Steady slow breathing and concentrating on relaxing the throat can sometimes abort an episode. Also it helps to purse your lips and exhale like you are trying to blow out a candle. Of course this is of little use once you are in a full blown coughing fit! I can relate to the humiliating part - I had one of these episodes at dinner while meeting my future in-laws for the first time. I coughed, choked and was barely breathing after swallowing a bit of water the wrong way! Made quite an impression - they were ready to call 911 and do the Heimlich Maneuver on me!
by daisy91, Mar 04, 2006
i just had to write when i read this post!!! i too have the same exact problem for years now and it comes and goes when it feels like! i have no idea what triggers it except that when i'm sick i notice it tends to happen a lot, sometimes even up to 5 times a day! i am so relieved to know i am not the only who suffers from this unusual "event". it is very embarassing b/c no one has any idea what you are going through! i will try the suggestions offered here: to breath slowly and purse your lips...hopefully it helps b/c nothing else seems to!

by hogfan22, Mar 05, 2006
I too have the tickle in the throat.  I am on the phone a lot with my job and the coughing will start when I have been talking a lot.  Thank goodness for my mute button.  It is driving me nuts.  For a while I thought it was my vitamins, then maybe the advair inhaler.  It does happen a lot when I eat something too.  I do have asthma and just had sinus surgery for pansinusitis.  I was hoping the surgery would stop the cough, but it didn't.  If anyone knows more about what the cause might be, I sure would like to hear it.
by myproblem, Mar 05, 2006
Do you make sure to rinse your mouth after you use Advair? It can really dry you out, especially if you don't rinse your mouth and have a drink afterward.
by jqs, Mar 08, 2006
I'm just at the tail end of acute bronchitis. I'm still coughing and still have the tickle in my throat, but everything is running much clearer now and I feel much better (after 3 weeks!) However, for the past 3 days, sometimes when I cough, I end up choking and gasping for air. It feels like the violence of all the coughing I've done has somehow damaged or inflamed my trachea and when I cough up anything thick, it tends to completely block my windpipe. This happened in the middle of the night 2 nights ago and seemed to go on for about 20 seconds. Very frightening! I can't find a doctor who will see my right away, so I'm really frustrated too. I will try to supress the cough and relax as was suggested. Anything else?
by hogfan22, Mar 09, 2006
Breathing slowly and pursing my lips did not help at all.  When this 'tickle' hits my throat nothing helps but coughing until some phlegm comes up.  Sometimes it takes up to a minute.  It can hit any time.  It gets quite embarrassing in a restaurant.
by radicalfaith, Mar 12, 2006
This is exactly what I am experiencing right now.  I have a deep tickle in my throat as a result of a sinus infection.  It has been with me for three days.  My eyes are bloodshot....I have not slept at all.  It is 3:19 am now and I am up because of my coughing.  I am "sleeping' on the couch because my coughing prevents my wife from sleeping.

I have tried everything....tea with honey/lemon, cough drops, cough syrup, gargling with salt water...nothing helps.  The coughing becomes so violent that I see stars and come close to passing out.    My hope is that the symptoms will end once the post nasal drip (from the sinus infection) stops.