Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
gasping for air
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gasping for air

Very occasionaly, and while awake and sitting quietly, I will inadvertantly swallow a seemingly small amount of accumulated liquid in the mouth.  Suddenly thereafter I'll start loudly gasping for air.  This will continue for perhaps 30-40 seconds before more normal breathing returns.  Very scary moments and VERY uncomfortable.  What is happening and how can one prevent it?  I am male,72, and wear dentures.  Appreciate your help in solving this.
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It is hard to fully understand what is happening from what you are describing.  It is normal to swallow 'fluid'  The gasping for air is not normal, however.  If this is causing you discomfort, you may want to see you family physician or an ENT to see if there is any obstruction that is occurring periodically that is causing this sensation.
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Hi, you said you start to gasp for air after a small amount of liquid goes down?
I have to wonder if it is going into your lungs which would certainly explain why you are gasping for air. I know of people who "silently" aspirate, or have fluids or food go down the windpipe versus the esophagus and have breathing problems because of that. Maybe you should talk to your doc about it, he or she might order tests to see if indeed fluids are going down into your lungs instead of your stomache. I hope that this is resolved soon for you. Good luck...Sunny
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I have the same problem and sometimes I'm sleeping and I wake suddenly gasping for air.  It's like I can't get air in but can exhale.  I found the following diagnosis on the internet recently.  It's called "laryngospasm" which is a spasm in your vocal cords.Your vocal cords squeeze shut and you are unable to get air through them.  The symptoms are abrupt, sudden onset.  After 30 - 60 seconds it goes away.  I learned that breathing through my nose relaxes my throat and I'm able to breath.  
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