Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Tingling in throat/can't breathe
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Tingling in throat/can't breathe

I feel like I am going crazy! I am a 34 yr old female, who has been dealing with this "problem" since I was 12. I notice this happens more frequent when I have a cold. I get this tingling sensation in the back of my throat. Then I feel like I can't breathe. I have to cough like crazy just to breathe again. My eyes are blood shot, bc they feel like they are going to pop out bc im struggling to breathe. Tears are running down my face, and sometimes throwing up bc of gag reflexes. I do not have acid reflux. I eat pretty healthy and work out. Someone please help me. No doctors seem to know what causes this!!!
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What you describe suggests that you may have what is called Gastroesophageal reflux Disease (GERD) where stomach acid backs-up into your throat (the “tingling” sensation) and then drops into your larynx (voice box) and causes spasm of the vocal cords.  I make this statement despite your statement that, “I do not have acid reflux.”, because reflux can be quite severe with symptoms, specifically without any symptom of heartburn.  Another possibility, given that this problem “happens more frequent when I have a cold” is that you have recurrent, sudden large amounts of post-nasal (mucous) drip and that this is what drops on your vocal cords, causing the cords to go into spasm.

I suggest that you see an ENT doctor for evaluation of your sinuses and for him/her to perform direct examination of your throat and larynx (voice-box) to see if there is evidence of acid inflammation of the vocal cords, excessive post-nasal drip mucous on or near the cords and whether there is any indication of vocal cord spasm with or without obvious cause.  It would then be appropriate for you to have what is called esophageal pH monitoring for 24-48 hours to see if reflux is occurring.  It is important to note with your doctors that while reflux from the stomach is usually acid, there are instances when the secretions are alkaline (with the pH of what is called a base rather than an acid pH).

Good luck
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