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Avatar universal

Food going up nasal cavity

The other week I was eating some cake and somehow some of it went up my nose.  I eventually got it down after snorting and blowing my nose.  I didnt think too much of it until this week when the same thing happened again except I couldnt get the food down.   The problem is now whenever I eat all my food keeps getting caught in my nasal cavity.  My left nostril feels rather weird where it joins the bak of my throught, it feels like there is   some sort of gap which wont close.  Does anyone have any ideas why this is happening or what can be causing it?  It's quite distressing and making it very awkward to eat solids.

109 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi mich,

I have the same thing, except it's been going on for over a year for me!  When I swallow (especially when I'm eating things like rice) I seem to force the food up the back of my nose as well as down my throat.  It can stay there for weeks, sometimes months at a time, and (this is gross) I can smell it, it smells like halitosis.  Yuck.  Every now and then I will manage to suck it out, it ends up popping back into my mouth (still gross), and viola!  I can spit it out and show the rotten piece of food to people such as my sceptical husband who didn't believe that I had something up my nose all that time.

I am in the UK at the moment, and just got a NHS number, so will visit the doctor next week and see what he says.

Let me know how you got on :)

This has happened to me most of my life. However, it only happens when I eat rice or ground beef. A little snorting and blowing and its gone. Hope this helps. By the way I never had any problems from it. I guess its just because there are a lot of openings back there, and stuff just happens. I dont think its anything to be alarmed by.
Avatar universal
Did you have any recent surgery?  Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy?  If not, this could be a sign of an anatomic or neurological problem.  I would see an Otolaryngologist (you will need a fiberoptic nasal scope exam).  Nasal regurgitation can be seen after surgery or could be from a muscle or nerve weakness.  Does this happen when you drink liquids also?  You will also likely need some blood work and possibly an MRI depending on the other results.  
Avatar universal
Also, does your voice sound different?  Does it seem like more air is flowing through your nose when you use your voice?
Avatar universal
I have had this since I was young. My dad and my sister also have it. It is worse for me for foods such most raw veges - carrots, capsicums, lettuce, and apple skin. It causes a minor infection, gets goopy and i go down with a cold until it decides to come out in a lump of goo. I have tried to improve my immune system so that it doesn't affect me as much when it happens.

I have also discovered that it is stopping me from fully playing the didgeridoo as the pressure going down the didg is reduced by a slip of air coming out my nose!!

I have a referral to an ear nose throat specialist so will see what can be done, but i hadn't heard of a otolaryngologist ! so thanks for that.. in the past most doctors just looked at my like i was weird when i explained it..
Avatar universal
heh guys,

as suggested by OTOHNS_MD i got it checked out by fibreoptic nasal scope exam and there is nothing physiologically wrong, it may be just a lazy palette, so i will try speech pathology for exercises and let you know how i go..
Avatar universal
I have the exact same thing!! Food goes up my nasal cavity when I swallow.  Then I lost my sense of smell shortly after the first episode then recently I feel like I "smell" the same odor all the time when no one in my family can smell what I think I smell. I feel like I always have something in the back of my nasal cavity--and can actually "snort" thick mucus--sounds yucky but that's what it is).  I saw an ENT twice who scoped my nose twice but he didn't do anything except give me some antibiotics because the back of my throat was red (but didn't help the relux into my nose).  The suggestion by OTOHNS_MD is something I'm willing to try regarding the neurological problem as I have problems with my neck that affect the strength in my arms so maybe it affects my swallowing too.  I'll let you know.

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