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violent coughing...is it laryngeal spasms?
Hello. Yesterday my doctor suggested I might have Laryngeal Spasms, and while I wait 2 months for the Throat specialist to get my appointment, she suggested I look online.  But my symptoms don't seem to match all of yours...no voice problems or 'breathing' problems.  I just get these violent coughing attacks that literally feel and behave as if I inhaled a bread crumb, and my body suddenly and violently is trying to cough it up.  And just like when we are choking, I have a hard time catching my breath during these violent choking fits.   By the time I'm done 4-8 minutes later, I'm shaking, tears streaming down my face, and I've probably wet myself.  Its horrible!  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  Oh, and this happens at all hours of the day and night, and usually, its not when I'm eating.   Its frightening to wake up from a deep sleep choking like this. She suggested curbing any reflux I might be having, but I rarely ever have heartburn (but I'll try anything now!)  I do note that it happens more often when my respiratory system is weakened by a cold, or allergy season, or even a little cough.  I'm thinking she might be in the right ballpark, but not the right diagnosis.  Thanks for your help.  
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614210 tn?1220963172
I HAVE THE SAME THING..  IT FEELS LIKE DUST OR CRUMBS  IN MY THROAT, USUALLY RIGHT SIDE. I WILL COUGH  CANT TALK  OR BREATH, CORDS ARE ACTUALLY CLOSING.  I CARRY A EPPI  PEN  AND HAVE HAD TO CALL EMS, I USE MY INHALER AND NEBULIZER, BUT DONT HELP MUCH, AND I NEVER KNOW WHEN ONE WILL COME ON EITHER
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My symptoms include uncontrollable coughing, incontinence, tickle in throat, dry throat, wheezing after long coughing spell, gagging, vomitting mucus only even after I eat, constant throat clearing. I have been tested for asthma, bronchitis, been told I have SILENT REFLUX. Have been to an ENT...all she did was stick a camera thru my nose and down my throat to see if my voice box was damaged. My PCP was useless. Gastrointestinal doc wants me to stop eating almost everything!
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Wow!  Thank you!!  Its so nice to know I'm not alone!  

I was sent to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who found nothing wrong, and concluded I must have acid reflux.  (???)  While I do find this hard to believe, I'm still taking their anti heartburn medication nightly.  Unfortunately, I'm at my worst when I'm weakened by allergies (spring) or a cold, so I have to 'wait' for one or the other to trigger a wave of episodes to convince this doctor (or myself) the accuracy of his diagnosis.  

Meanwhile, does your epi pen work? I thought epi pens were for severe allergic reactions?  What have your doctors suggested causes your episodes and what was their solution? (If you don't mind my asking...I'm not feeling very confident in my doctors right now.)

If this helps you, I've learned that when I feel it coming, pose myself and try to relax.  It most certainly causes an instinctual panic (almost for my very survival!) when it happens, and the more I can remain calm, inhale deeply initially while I still can, I can help myself to lessen the severity and the duration of these attacks.  My initial instinct is to run for a glass of water, although I have to remember I can choke on that for real!  But, while I can, it seems to calm me a bit.  (And then as soon as I'm done, keep the bladder empty in case it happens again soon, which I often have repeats)

Have you found any tricks that help you?

Thanks again for writing!

Deba
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Wow! I am going through the same exact thing! I feel like I almost died last night. It is an extremely scary situation when this happens. Extremely! Wake up from a deep sleep without the ability to breathe and coughing so violently I tear up and yes pee myself as well. What is this???? Help please......
I also have this issue where I feel the need to clear my throat very frequently every day and night. I'm sure the two issues are linked but I don't know how and I certainly don't trust Dr.'s like AT ALL. I have spent over $500 on those quacks and I get "I don't know"! Unbelievable, our medical system can only figure things out for the right price, not the right reasons anymore. So I want to figure how to fix this naturally at home.
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Hi Deba,

I can relate to you as well.  My cough has been going on for almost three years and occurs every two months or so.  Like you I was originally told that I had acid reflux which was crazy.  My cough is a strong itch more under my right ear than in my chest; the cough is never in my chest, just in this location.  I can press my finger on the area and cause myself to cough.  If I am eating something (especially salty foods) and swallow, if a grain of food gets on the area I start to cough.  If I lay on my right side and have sinus drainage, I cough.  I have an appointment with another ENT tomorrow and plan on crying, kicking and screaming to get something done because at this point everyone wants me to just keep using Nasonex and Allegra D which only makes the cough drier rather than helping.  
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I am righr there with you. Right side & can pinpoint exact area. Did you find help? Please respond.
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Hello to all of you who suffer from this horrible cough.  I too am inflicted with this.  This violent cough will come on for no reason at all. I have acid reflux but that is under control.  Have been to pulmonary doctors, had several lung tests done and told they could not find anything.  There must be something to cause the coughing spells.  PLEASE if any of you find a doctor who can cure this please e-mail me.  I will travel anywhere.  My e-mail address is cynthia.***@****  

Thanks
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I haven't had much luck with doctors either, it does seem to be related to allergies, colds etc.
On thing that does help is to purse your lips almost like you are going to whistle and breath slowing in / out. That usually keeps me from closing up completely. Try not to breath in hard, that always seems to make it close up tighter, hard not to do when you feel like you can't breath tho.

lbr
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635603 tn?1251992684
OMG!  Finally, I am so excited to have finally found people with the same thing I am suffering!  I too have had this damn cough for at least 5 years now. Also have been to  lung doctors, ent doctors, also a cardio doctor.  Nothing is EVER Wrong...except of course "probable" acid reflux and allergies to dust bunnies...I remember when it first came on was a really bad flu virus and I had laryngitis.  It has now come to the point where I am having fainting spells as well as a seizure. I'm also going through pre menapause and when it's "supposed" to be that time, and I have a lot of water retention, it gets bad then too as well as a cold and allergy symptoms.  

I really hate that we are all suffering from this weird problem...And I also pray that someone can find something to  make them stop.

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OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THIS IS ME TOO, IT JUST STARTED AFTER I WAS TOLD I HAD BRONCITIS. I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE THE ADVAIR ENHALER HE GAVE ME SO I STOPPED IT BUT THIS HAD HAPPENED 5 TIMES IN THE PAST 2 WEEKS RECENT WAS LAST NIGHT.  MY THROAT FEELS DRY AND IT ALWAYS HAPPENS AT NIGHT DURING SLEEP, THAT TICKLE AND THE COUGH STARTS ALL BY ITSELF AND I FEEL LIKE I MAY BE FOUND DEAD ON THE FLOOR.  IT TAKES ALL I HAVE TO START TRYING TO BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE, I GET RED FACED, FACE WET WITH TEARS, IT IS THE MOST AWFUL FEELING. GOING TO DOCTOR ON MONDAY, SEE IF THAT HELPS.  I COUGH ALL THE TIME BUT THESE EVENTS AT NIGHT ARE SO VERY SCARY. I JUST CAN'T GET AIR, LAST NIGHT I HAD A HARD TIME EVEN GETTING AIR INTO MY NOSE.   I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE SOME ONE TO SHARE WITH, I  JUST WANT IT TO STOP
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hi everone! i'm a newbie diagnosed after 31/2 yrs, 4 respitory failures with paradoxical vocal fold movement. i was diagnosed by a ent critical care specialist from mayo. a wonderful dr. who preformed a videostrobolaryngoscopy. (so i got to see it for myself!) i was referred after a pulmologist i was going to could not figure out what was going on. i had been to two other ent's, another pulmologist and an asthma dr. whom none of them diagnosed the problem short of acid reflux. taking in or blowing out air fast causes them to spasm shut. i now can only breath thru my nose. they never did say what to do if i catch a cold.....nose spray i guess. inhalers, breathing tests, hurrying, walking up a long flight of stairs, wind and many things set it off. i too have awakened at nite with a choking sensation. or not being able to swallow. panic city!! hope some of this helps.
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Hi, I have finaly been diagnosed with Laryngeal spasms, i too had had these choaking fits which always happened when i was fast asleep, very frightening. I was tested for sleep Apneoa anthis is how they found out what I had.Apparently fluid can seep from the back of the nose  and go down the throat the brain reacts to stop the fluid going into the lungs which closes the voice box, this then stops you breathing, the brain then realises that the lungs arent working so wakes you up and that is why you wake up coughing and trying to get your breath, this is how it was explained to me. I have been told that it is not dangerous and that I will always wake up, it is just very stressfull. I notice one of the ladies that has commented on here say that she retains a lot of fluid,  I also do and have noticed that these choaking fits occur around my menstrual cycle, the consultant said that a build up of fluid or heartburn will and can set off these choaking fits. Hope this has helped.
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Hi, I had an episode at work yesterday-went straight for a glass of water
which didn't help but calmed me down a bit.Previous episodes have been accompanied by a violent cough(last year my vasovagal nerve kicked in and I fainted). I had pulmonary tests and was diagnosed with reactive lungs.My GP prescribed a daily puff of Flixotide which has helped with both my lungs and larynx.
I am 46, healthy, surf and swim a lot, and have only experienced this the last few years in cold dry weather or when I have a touch of the flu- usually when talking on the phone or when sleeping,but never when eating.
My mum has had some scary episodes over the past 20 years and prompted me to google this forum.There must be an easier solution than steroids to alleviate the problem.
.
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I have been having these coughing fits for over 10 years. Started when I went in to the ER with abdominal pain in which they did a CT scan and a IVP with contrast. My throat felt like it was closed off during the test which they said was normal. But I am still having problems.
Starts with a tickle like a pin *****, then like a crumb in my throat and the coughing starts to the point where I can only get a small breath in thru my nose.The tears, snot,red face and sometimes throw up. It feels like a spasm in my throat. Temp changes, quick breaths like if you get startled, deep breaths, smells, food and salt,  even if my hair tickles my face,you name it. DH thinks it's all in my head, nope it is all in my throat. Of you place you finger outside in the dip of your neck where it goes to the chest and go up 1-2 inches, this is where it all goes on. So is it vocal cords or laryngeal spasms? Or are they the same? The coughing fits happen over 10 times a day.Everyday!
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hi there, i cannot believe i have just found some people with the same affliction as myself, i am now 41 soon to be 42 and i have suffered this since i was a 15 yr old boy at school. i used to have to walk part way to school in mornings and mostly for the five years of secondary school i arrived into school soaked due to the rain, i had to then wear wet clothes all day and dry them on me. I always thought this was the cause.when i left school at 16 i started work in a garage where the onset of heartburn set in, and i have suffered ever since.18 mnths ago after a series of tests i was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and some of the worst acid reflux the consultant had ever experienced.. He informed me that i was a prime candidate for surgery.i used to be an out going young man who had a strong stomach for hunting , cleaning and preparing animals for cooking etc strong smells never bothered me in the slightest. it was after a while as a married man i noticed in my early 20's i nolonger could stomach strong smells, dirty napies/ hairspray/de-oderant etc as they brought on a choking sensation and then violent coughing which always resulted in vomiting..this vomiting had its moments  and came without warning, driving the car? you can imagine how dangerous this was wit me then vomiting all over the dash board of the car, out for a nice meal and a certain smell of certain food would have me threwing up all over the resturaunt table..my coughing is as exactly as is described in other comments in this tpoic to the letter . one other thing is my voice goes hoarse and last year i had to have vocal cord nodules removed, i fear these are back again.. could all these things be linked, could i have a hyper allergic reaction to something which triggers of the coughing, hte violent coughing inturn has weakend the pshinter muscle in my chest and produced the hernia?
could the acid reflux or the gas given off by the extra acid be now triggering the violent coughing fits?
and inturn then damaging my vocal cords?. i do not know, i was in casualty 2 nights ago and had my bloods done, chest xray, and heart trace, all fine, but i have this very real condition, made even more real by yourselves ..ive been told its not life threatening , beleive me it doesnt feel that way when your gasping for air and about to pass out
especially when trying to slow down and stop safely in the car.  one other thing that has progressed is the fact that sometimes i will also take a little chill feeling when getting undressed for bed, this is followed by violent shaking threw cold feeling my teeth chatter and i cannot get heat into me no matter what, i will be sweating profusly and cannot get up because of the cold, in the norning i will have to change everything on the bed and also dry the matress, this is not the normal though this only happens sometimes.some of you people are real lucky that you have only had this condition for a few years, i feel as i get older i will not be able to cope with the panic adn stress it causes.
one more thing, dont you just hate the busting headaces you get after every coughing fit?
                                                                    regards neil
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excuse my haste and spelling mistakes, i actually got excited writing this as  no longer think this is all IN MY HEAD!!!! thank you forum
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I too have this violent coughing, it is a tickling/itching sensation in  a small spot below my right jaw and ear, it goes away after I cough so hard it rattles that spot, my eyes water, nose runs and it gives almost no
warning. It all started a few years ago when I developed what seems like bronchitis. It was at its worst when I took lisinipril for hypertension, sometimes if I feel it coming I can rub that spot with my finger and stop it, or put pressure on that spot when I am coughing, it is pretty scary.

Thanks,
Ron
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My mother also suffers from this rare case. She has been to just about every specialist... and they keep putting her on different medications. And they never seem to work for her. She literally wakes up in the middle of the night not able to breathe, its the most scariest thing. They say she has sarcoi (excuse my spelling) but the medications they gave her actually just seem to make her worse, they had put her on this certain medication and it ended up makin her blood pressure go up, and she started to have blurry vision and see light streaks, and she was disoriented she went to the hospital her bp was 205 over 105 , she was pretty much on her way to having a heart attack. Its crazy1 I just want them to find  a cure for this, im afraid to find her one morning, that is how bad this has gotten!
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welcome to my life! it's been 19years of my coughing and clearing my throat.
i've been to so many "specialists" - the last one at womens college hospital in toronto, who's exact words were "f*** if i know" what it is.
lovely
i dont know where else to turn. my doctor has referred me back to him. i see people have gone to the cleveland clinic  and may clinics and still nothing.
what do we do
it's hard to meet people when you cough throughout every sentence. people do look at you as if you have some form of tuberculosis.
and how annoying is it that you have to explain to everybody that you do not have a cold.and that you live with this daily?
i've cracked a rib, because of this constant cough. sometimes my coughing fits are soo bad that i vomit.
i cannot carry on a normal conversation.
my friends are totally fed up with this. too hard to keep a relationship, actually too embarassed to start one . cannot go out in public and not get nasty looks!
what the heck do we have? i feel like an alien...
surely there must me a cure somewhere. do doctors not read these blogs? you would think that some doctor must know something. somewhere???
please please,if you have found any sort of solution, post it!
i am soo very tired of this
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thank GOD I found this forum.  I had this happen for about the 4th time in 4 years, just the other day and it seemed to last forever.  I just knew I way dying, cause I couldn't get air from anywhere.  I started to say something and a little
saliva hit my throat and immediately my throat closed.  I tried getting air from everywhere to no avail.  I was gasping so hard I thought I would have a heart attack. My chest has been sore for 3 days since. My husband was with me
and didn't know whether to hit my back, call 911 or what.  I don't know wha to do when it happens cause I immediately
panic and I have asthma and it starts my asthma.  I am petrified of having any tests or surgeries because I'm afraid I will have one of these spasms and die trying to get my breath.  There has got to be something they can do for this.;
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By the way, it seemed to be happening more often before the doctor put me on prozac. Now sometimes I can catch myself getting ready to do this and relax.  I have also had a lot of stress in my life and it's ongoing.  When I am more stressed is when it happens.
I do have the coughing at night and feel like the soft spot in back of throat touches
the back of my tongue when I sleep.  
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714311 tn?1229657307
my problem started about 2 months ago after a bout of bronchitis.  I thought at first i must have adult onset asthma but my breathing seems more labored with inspiration than expiration and i know with asthma u have trouble doing both.  my symptoms  are very simuliar to all of u above....but does anyone hear/feel a click in the throat after "an attack"...like theres some swellling of the throat that has not yet resolved.  my husband has told me he can hear me swallow after a violent attack or even a mild one...and of course i can feel it.
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I too, like you all, have the same symptoms.  My throat also feels swollen.  It seems like is shouldn't even bother going to the doctor since none of them have helped any of you.  Right now I'm thinking of having my husband take me to the hospital emergency room since it is so bad.
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