Aa
A
A
A
Close
Ear, Nose & Throat Community
13.5k Members
Avatar universal

excessive thick mucus in vocal chords

I have tried everything it seems for several years to get rid of this thick mucus that comes and goes in my vocal chords. I went to an ENT again and they went down my throat with a camera and were able to show me on film the thick stringy mucus in my vocal chords. Both ENT's said they thought it was acid reflux and so I have been on Prilosec for 3 weeks now(also called omeprazole-20 mg) and yet no change yet(I have had  hardly any symptoms of acid reflux, but just recently have had little burps of gas come up from time to time but very infrequent).
    Is there anything you can take just to get the thick mucus in your vocal chords  dissolved so you can speak.  I am a professional actor and am desperate. Anybody have any luck with solving the basic problem of the mucus in the vocal chords or have any idea once it is in the vocal chords how to get immediate relief from it.  It is so discouraging that I cannot to date find a doctor who can help this problem. It seems someone should have an answer. Thanks for any help you can give me. PS  I cannot sing anymore with this problem which is devastating to me and of course has hindered my acting career(musical theatre).
36 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,

Though this is years after you originally posted, perhaps this can help someone else.  What you are suffering from is most likely a chronic sinus infection, especially if you can feel that there's always a little mucus coming from your throat.  ENT's can only see so much themselves without the use of a CT scan of your sinuses, so I feel they commonly misdiagnose or just think it's an 'allergic reaction' or a bacterial infection.  So they'll prescribe you some antibiotics, which won't do anything as the infection is most likely viral or fungal if it's a chronic infection.  And they'll give you allergy medication which won't do anything because it's not an allergic reaction.  They may also give you asthma or, like you said, acid reflux, medication which also doesn't do squat.

Sinusitis is an inflammatory condition, so you need to take anti-inflammatory medication.  Luckily, the 3rd ENT I saw after I had the same symptoms as you knew how to treat it, and after my CT scan, gave me 70mg of a shot of Kenalog-40.  This shot was simply miraculous.  After so much crap I had tried and medications I had taken, this shot (an anti-inflammatory shot) allowed my sinuses to drain properly and allowed me to finally talk without hoarseness as the mucus was no longer sliding down my throat, getting caught on my vocal chords.

If you want to go the natural route (which I had looked up before getting cured by my 3rd ENT), take fatty acid pills, filled with Omega 3's & 6's oils, and a Bromelain supplement.  Both have natural anti-inflammatory properties.  For Omega fatty acids, take 2-7 grams (2000-7000mg) a day during meals.  For Bromelain, take 500 mg 3/day in between meals (absorbs better if not consumed w/ food).  Try to cut out eating meat and dairy for awhile as they can cause inflammation.

I've also heard from people that have had chronic sinusitis, that the Neti Pot/Squeeze bottle works.  But, instead of the using the packets that they come with (which are just salt and baking soda), you should use Xlear as that contains xylitol in addition to the salt and baking soda.  What xylitol does is help kill off fungi, viruses, and bacteria in your nose.

You can also take some homeopathy medication.  The ones that might apply to this situation are Antimonium Tartaricum (a master of coughs and stubborn mucus, can help when the sinuses, or any part of the respiratory system, are full), Hyrastis (best known for yellow ropy mucus following colds that clog sinuses and when draining, can get stuck in the throat passage), or Kali Bichromicum (applies when thick, yellow-green, stringy mucus clogs the sinuses, blocks nasal passages, lines the throat and lungs, and may fill the ears as well).

I've learned a lot from the guy in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDZGk6IThfY

The lecture is long but he goes on to explain all sorts of other treatments of sinusitis that are helpful for different people.  Hope this helps someone!
2 Comments
Awesome advice....Thank you... I'm going to try your solution. I've been dealing with this for 3 months...and I tried all of the other remedies, natural and non...and none of them will take it away..
Thanks again. ;)
Awesome advice....Thank you... I'm going to try your solution. I've been dealing with this for 3 months...and I tried all of the other remedies, natural and non...and none of them will take it away..
Thanks again. ;)
Avatar universal
I too am a singer & had a cold over a month ago with a lot of congestion. I took Nyquil often which seemed to help a lot, but I ended up with laryngitis for a couple of weeks, which for a singer, not being able to sing or talk for that matter is pretty devastating! I finally am able to speak again, but my voice still cracks when I get to a certain level & my singing is still not happening for the most part! I can't even hum without difficulty & forget about hitting the high notes! My sister is a voice teacher & said I must have acid reflux, but I've never had a problem with that before. I've been waking up with a sore throat, our weather here in the San Diego area has been unusually hot & dry lately, and I don't drink enough water. I do drink milk often though & apparently have a problem with phlegm on my vocal chords. I may try Mucinex, I actually bought some recently & was going to try & see if it helps my problem. Help! I need to sing!
2 Comments
Old Amish Formula (whose main ingredient is apple cider vinegar) helps for awhile but not permanently or completely.  Best to mix with something like tea unless you really love drinking vinegar.
So true! Mixing it with tea, I mean.  It doesn't seem to help though.  But it's great for my acid reflux!
Avatar universal
My throat mucus problem started with bronchitis 3 months ago, and I still have a choking, coughing fit problem a few times a day from a "tickle" still in my chest. I also have vocal cord mucus almost constantly, along with voice hoarseness after coughing or clearing my throat. It feels like the mucus is made right in the vocal cords because my nose is clear front and back and no mucus is being produced in my chest. Lemon juice in hot water is the only thing that helps temporarily, but nothing has worked to solve the problem for good.

As with everyone else it seems, my ENT first scripted steroids, then acid reflux pills(omeprazole). Neither helped solve the problem. I truly hope that time is not the only healer for this, as it has already gone on for 3 months and interferes greatly with life enjoyment. It is great we have this forum, as what cures for one may also help others.
Avatar universal
Hi

I had a thick mucusy feeling in my vocal chords for some time, making me sound hoarse and breathy and a constant feeling of needing to clear my throat. A camera showed nothing significant, just some reddening.  

I had had this condition some years ago and hunted up the recommended treatment.

Sip small amounts of water over the day, perhaps amounting to a half to one litre in total and hum - mmmmmm about medium pitch - and yawn as often as you can manage when you are on you own.

It took a few weeks but it has seemed to work for me, for now!

Best of luck, I hope it works for you.

Richard
3 Comments
Thank you. exactly my problem.. As  project Manger, it is  quite embarrassing , i am in a meeting talking at an octave and the my voice changes all of a sudden and i have to clear my throat to get it back to normal .. Sometime worse in the morning
Thank you. exactly my problem.. As  project Manger, it is  quite embarrassing , i am in a meeting talking at an octave and the my voice changes all of a sudden and i have to clear my throat to get it back to normal .. Sometime worse in the morning
I have had this problem, and I really believe a lot of it has to do with digestive problems (which I know I have).  Doctors will try to give you acid reflux medication, but it never helped me, and I finally read a book by a holistic doctor who said the problem is not too much acid as you get older but too little.  Your food is not getting digested, and it comes back up into your throat & creates problems.  I almost never have heartburn or even realize the acid reflux is there.  I also tend to have sinus issues & get sinus migraines.  This is the solution for me.  Somebody mentioned--stop drinking milk. Also, when you eat, try taking HCL Betaine combined with a Digestive Enzyme (tons of both of these on Amazon & both fairly cheap).  If your stomach is not creating the digestive enzymes it needs, HCL will correct it.  You usually don't take these long-term, just long enough to notice the problem is getting better.  Take them especially if you are eating protein.  After age 40, the digestive enzymes should always be taken.  Everyone has less acid at that point, & it gets less with each year.  Everyone can benefit by adding digestive enzymes.  You can also use Vocalzone (also on Amazon) which a lot of singers use to keep their throats clear.  Also, I use a neti pot twice a day.  I can feel almost immediate relief in my throat after I use it.  If you're new to using one, go very slowly & get used to it.  If you have a cold or blockage in your sinuses, it will put too much pressure on your sinuses & be painful.  It's best to start using it when you are well.  If your sinuses are fairly clear, it should go quickly.  These are the 4 things I do, and I rarely have mucus problems anymore.  
Avatar universal
Hi, i have same problem with thick mucus blocking my vocal cord always and makes very difficult to talk clearly. I cough alves to clear the mucus from throat before i talk and this has become an habit and i been experiencing this nearly an year now if i am correct :(

Though i consulted couple of ENTs, the first doctor suggested for tonsillitis treatment and the second doctor said it's coz of allergy and prescribed some allergy medicine.

I reduced intake of dairy products and tried some natural ways (lemon, honey) but din't help much.

After going thru this forum and your suggestions above, i feel some hope to come out from this problem. Can you please suggest the mucinex dosage that i need take (any particular quantity i.e., mg?, how many tablets in a day and for how long) or any other anti-inflamatory tablets which can cure this without any side effects.

It's really great we have this forum, where people can share their problems and solutions.

Thanks all and hope to find some permanent solution...
Avatar universal
Hi Sululu, did Mucinex help you in clearing your throat?
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
Discover the common causes of and treatments for a sore throat.
Learn about what actually causes your temperature to spike.
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
Family medicine doctor Enoch Choi, MD helps differentiate between the common cold and more threatening (bacterial) infections
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life