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.

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Avatar universal
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH. . . . . . I, too had this problem.  Will share with you what worked for me.  Sought out a specific type of Chiropractor, and he immediately felt my neck was out of alignment at the C4 vertebra location.  This Chiropractor, who graduated in the 1970s, is specifically trained in individual vertebra manipulation, meaning he can adjust just ONE vertebra of the spine, putting it back into the correct position.  IMMEDIATELY, I felt better.  Don't quite know the intricacies of the correlation between the nose and throat, but I found instant relief!  BE CAREFUL THOUGH, there are several trained, competent Chiropractors, each whom may excel in varied treatment methods.  I SHOULD KNOW, I WENT TO SIX DIFFERENT CHIROPRACTORS BEFORE I FOUND ONE WHOSE SPECIALIZED TRAINING WORKED FOR ME!  And, a little more disclosure, depending on how long one has suffered with this condition, more than one office visit may be required to alleviate the discomfort.  I suffered for approximately six years, a result of an accident, not initially realizing my head and neck were affected.
I sympathize because I know, only too well, how disconcerting and uncomfortable this affliction can render itself.  GOOD LUCK!  Hope my post helps those in need.  One more thing, for future Chiropractor appointments, regardless of what geographical location I might live, I know what Chiropractic School this talented doctor attended, so I will, for here on out, seek a Chiropractor who graduated from this specific school.  Don't know if this post will allow it, but in case of inquiry, I am in the United States.  If you are wondering what Chiropractor College my doctor was trained at . . . .  Here are a few clues.  Know history:  For the Chiropractic College name:  Think Civil War, Union, Generally prominent surname.  For the Chiropractic College state location:  Direction of driving from Union Territory to Confederate Territory.
Helpful - 2
there is a sheath of tissue  that surrounds your joints. if you put pressure on a joint, you hear a popping sound, like your knuckles. same with your back. the pressure forces a bubble of nitro gas to come out of solution. an Md took the course and wrote a book, "chiropractic - benefit or fraud". he considered it a glorified massage that is potentially dangerous.
Avatar universal
The thing to me that is interesting,is the same food types are indicated as being problematic for many. I have issues with rice,ground carrots,cole slaw,ground meat and for me sometimes just liquids. I had a cricopharyngeal  esophageal stricture diagnosed at age 21 when a pill completely obstructed my esophagus and I couldn't swallow my own saliva. I was deemed hysterical ,admitted,spitted for over 24 hrs,despite  barium study showing  inability to swallow(barium through the nose is very unpleasant) and an inability for NG tube to be passed. It took another barium study, with it again forcefully coming back through my nose, on day 2 to convince them to scope me. They discovered the full,partially disintegrating ibuprofen. Of course, it had very much inflamed from pressure and the partial loss of the enteric coating leading to motrin eating away my esophagus. I received multiiple dilations and the area is said to be open but I still feel things get caught there and swallow studies support this.I was diagnosed by biopsy 3 times to have eosinophilic esophagitis,but this spring my biopsy did not show it.
This new problem for me occurs when those culprit foods are eaten. I even experienced an episode when taking a tylenol hard caplet. It seemed as if the it was typical slowing at that previously strictured area and soda came through my nose. It burned and I blew my nose repeatedly to get out the soda. The uncomfortable sensation persisted for almost 2 hours and then finally with another attempt to relieve the burning sensation,I blew my nose and the entire intact pill came out.
I have spinal problems and had a lumbar fusion that was successful until an injury in PT. My cervical spine has degeneration among multiple other remarkable findings. My symptoms on my right arm increased over a six month period and a new C-spine MRI supported worsening changes on the right. My doctor dismisses it. This week I returned for follow up and reported that I felt my symptoms that were initially relieved by surgery had returned. I indicated my right arm,wrist and hand problems were worsening,as well as this swallowing issue.
Two different neurologists attributed my symptoms in my arms and legs to spinal degeneration degeneration,sciatica when in reality my spine was unstable and the surgery was mandatory..
My neurosurgeon is investigating my C-spine and L-spine issues with an MRI of both, and CT of L-spines. He says he doesn't believe any of my symptoms in my right arm are related to the degenerative changes and thinks my L-spines are also fine/sees no problem with the fusion. He thinks that all my problems are neurological and is referring me to neurology again.He actually said he never heard of anyone swallowing and having food come out there nose. He said my symptoms all sound neurological and unrelated to spinal pathology.He acted as if there was never a report of C-spine issues causing difficulty swallowing.I was simply attributing my past esophageal issues to this new phenomenon.
As soon as I left the office,I started to explore neurological causes for difficulty swallowing. I quickly and easily discovered ,although rare, there are degenerative issues in the C-spine area that can cause these swallowing difficulties.Most are related to acute severe trauma to the C-spines,but there were other reported causes of C-spine issues causing this problem. I am seeing top neurosurgeon at a famous Baltimore hospital.I do believe he is fantastic,but it is disconcerting that he has "never' seen this. It only took a few minutes to discover these other anatomical problems being reported.
I honestly also considered neurological causes since these symptoms were a bit different than my past swallowing problems.
I then found this site with all these other people experiencing the exact same issues with the same foods.
I hate seeing that only a rare few are being diagnosed with either an anatomic or neurological cause,while every one else is in the "crazy" category. I have been there with the stuck pill. For 1 1/2 years I suffered with my back and was told when they looked at my back radiology studies,my back didn't look that bad. In reality my spine was unstable  and needed the fusion.
I foresee being frustrated again on this medical,messy merry go round.
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Hi Cooper105!

I got to this site from googling, "acid reflux, going up to back of nose"... Interestingly, I randomly have this issue. But recently I went to this holistic chiropractor, who adjusted my back and neck, even though I wasn't experiencing any back/neck pain... I left feeling a bit off balance, but nothing too painful that I thought to say anything... 5 days later, I woke up with pain by my right shoulder-blade/upper back area, I thought it would go away in 2-3 days, as I never have back pain. Then the pain persisted and traveled down my right arm and some of my fingers. I went back to the chiropractor thinking that for sure, he'll fix whatever he did... but I left back home in only more pain. After 20 + days of pain, the first 3 fingers on my right hand are partially numb. Online I found some exercises for a pinched nerve and when I do them, I feel the blood coming back to my arm and fingers... Then, I suddenly started having acid reflux, WHICH I NEVER HAVE. I didn't connect the dots. I thought that it was probably due to this new diet he put me on. So I stopped with the new diet and stopped with the new vitamins, but it seems like the damage has already begun and difficult to just "go back." The acid reflux got so bad, my throat felt like it was on fire and the food and acid just kept coming up to me and to the back of my nose. Even when I don't eat anything, the liquids will come up to the back of my nose.

So, I've been researching like crazy... And it seems as though several factors have occurred. I'm curious if you have any other co-existing conditions and if there are any other similarities in our stories.

So you mentioned the advil getting stuck, have you been taking a lot of advils?? Because of my back pain I was taking ibuprofens several days in a row, which is known to hurt the lining of the stomach. I also had been taking a lot of vitamins that I had stopped, which can also contribute to this. Vitamin D & Vitamin C & digestive enzymes, were stopped, and all those are beneficial for digestion & now that I had stopped, plus taking the advils, my stomach lining became sensitive which could be part of the cause for my acid reflux.

I've also read that a pinched nerve/vagus nerve can impact digestion and if it's damaged or being pressed on it won't do it's jobs well.

In addition this chiropractor moved some stuff on me, not really sure what he did, but there's something called Hiatal Hernia - A condition in which part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm muscle... So I didn't feel it before, but I do feel it now.

I also feel like I have something called, Gastroparesis - A condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying, so all my food just stays in the stomach rotting away and causes indigestion and acid reflux/food particles to go back up. So in addition to the massive acid reflux, indigestion, I have massive BELCHING, from almost eating nothing. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat either.

I am now also having a more difficult time catching my breath, when I do anything exerting the tiniest bit of energy, picking something or going up some stairs, sounds like a just ran a marathon by how out of breath I am.. Also I've been spitting up phlegm and sometimes just saliva with some particles in it, not sure if it's phlegm or bile or whatever.

In addition to all of this, now that my stomach/digestion area is not working well, that impacts histamines... That's ANOTHER whole topic. I am always slighlty intolerant/allergic to certain foods, but nothing deathly... and now suddenly things that I normally would get a slight reaction to, I am getting a HUGE reaction to. It's difficult to explain and it would be super lengthy, but in short, I've been experiencing massive hives to any direct heat and some other stuff. So I've been taking benadryl to help with that. I also forgot to mention that I've been feeling really nauseous as well as weak and light-headed. The benadryl seems to help with the nausea and I've read from other people that it also has helped with their acid reflux.

Now I don't know if you have any of these things, so far the only connection from my symptoms and yours are the back/arm pain and the food going behind the nose/taking advil... So, do you suffer from acid reflux??? Do you suffer from any of the other stuff I've mentioned??

I also wanted to mention that I take adderall and I feel like that just makes the whole stomach/acid refluc thing worse, but it's not the direct cause, because I've taken it for years before this maladjustment and had no such issues with it.

Would love to hear back from you!

Avatar universal
I've had this happen for a year. I've had tension headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, etc etc. because of it. I went to the ENT doctor. She offered surgery to expand my nose and all that stuff, saying it couldn't be food going up my nose that was causing the problem. I had a modified barium swallow and they couldn't replicate the food going up. My soft palate was shutting off my nasal passage when I swallowed. So what was it??? I had no medical problems that caused it. When my doctor couldn't figure out a solution, I knew I had to find some way to fix my swallowing by myself somehow. That's when I found out the solution. I needed to dip my chin lower a little bit when I swallow. Before, as I was chewing (mostly on rice), small particles would "fall" back into my throat area and slide into my nose since my chin was raised high. Why was it raised high? Several months ago I thought it would be a good idea not to look at the ground, because I thought others would interpret it as weakness/anxiety (silly, I know). So for all that time I lifted my chin up when I ate. Now to stop food going up my nose when chewing, I keep it level or lower my chin down.

That's pretty much it. For those who are going crazy and seem to not have any medical problems yet still have food going up, try lowering your chin a bit. That will stop any new food from going in. As for the old food already in your nose, take some boiled water, add salt, then quickly snort it down. You have to do rapid short bursts. You can't snort down the food like you blow your nose. It has to be a short, quick burst. If you have ever eaten snail, you know what to do. Sucking it hard and for a long time won't do anything. The key is short bursts, while limiting the air flow (pinch one nose close and the other partially shut) so that the pressure can increase. Similar to how when you put your finger in a hose it shoots out faster. I wish everyone luck!
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I had this problem for 6 years ago. And this thing drive me crazy. I lost my weight. I'm so scary when i have to eat.Sorry my bad english, but i can't clearly understand what are you suggest to do. So when i swallow or chewing, just lower my chin? And then for old food, i have to snort down quickly some water? Is it safe or  is it hurts?
This makes sense @foodupnoseRESOLVED. I feel like this has been happening to me from a maladjustment from a chiropractor that left me with a pinched nerve... I figured out from some physical therapy videos that in order to alleviate the pinched nerve I need to tuck my chin down and in and stretch the neck a little bit backwards while sitting straight up... I then feel the feel the blood running back through those parts of my body where the nerve is connected to... So since this acid reflux/up to nasal cavity only began since the pinched nerve and that is alleviated by this chin tuck exercise, it makes sense that it takes care of the reflux aspect as well... Pretty interesting! BOY AM I MAD AT THIS CHIROPRACTOR
Avatar universal
I have had food going up my nose for the past two and a half years. It first happened when I was eating dinner and I coughed at the same time as swallowing. It was quite painful and no matter how much I blew my nose or hacked it would not come out, I just ended up making myself dizzy. Luckily a couple of hours later I managed to bring it down and cough it out. I thought this event was a one off, but little did I know that it would begin to happen more and more often. All the times it happened after this I did not cough when swallowing. I took my time and swallowed normally but food still went up the back of my nose. To make matters worse pills started to
get stuck back there too, and they stayed up there for days until they dissolved. I just have to chew them now. As many of you have said it can be very uncomfortable and prevent you from eating normally, I have lost over a stone and a half because I am finding it so difficult to swallow now.

So after about six months of this I finally went to see my doctor who referred me to my local ENT (ears, nose, throat) department. The first doctor that I saw said it could have started to happen because the adenoids fully shrink in early adulthood, and perhaps it had left a gap that my soft palette can no longer close off when I swallow. He seemed quite positive and was generally interested in helping me. One discussion he had with his consultants was whether filler at the back of the soft palette would help it to fully close off. Unfortunately this doctor left and my case was passed on to someone else. Here are some of the tests and treatment that I have had since.

. Endoscopy - A thin wire camera was inserted into my nose to look for any abnormalities.Nothing abnormal was found. Funny thing is each time I go back to the hospital I see a different doctor so I've had this test 4 or 5 times. :(

. Videofluroscopy (xray) - I was given barium liquid to drink that shows up on the video xray so they could see what is happening when food goes up my nose. I was also given some paste on a biscuit. Unfortunately nothing went up my nose during in the test. As the problem is intermittent its not easy to catch it on video.    

. Speech and language therapist - The therapist examined the way I talked to see if I had nasally sound to my voice. (I did not) I was also given throat muscle exercises to do. These were supposed to strengthen the muscle in my soft palette. This did not improve my swallowing and in the end the doctor said it probably didn't help because it is a structural problem.

. MRI Scan. No abnormalities found.

. Blood Test for Neurological diseases. All clear.

. A physical Examination for Neurological diseases. All clear.

. Barium swallow. I had to swallow two syringes of barium. This test observes your swallow all the way down to the stomach. Again no
abnormalities found.

I am going to have another videofluroscopy as the first one was very brief. This test will be done with SALT (Speech and language team) and I will be able to bring in a variety of foods with different textures. (these will be mixed with barium) They will also let me sit outside the examination room for a while, eat and then do more swallow tests. This will help determine whether its my muscles getting tired that causes the problem.

Sorry for such a long post, I just think it might be helpful to let anyone with this condition know what sort of tests they might have when being referred to a hospital. I find it strange that not many doctors have dealt with this problem before as there appears to be so many of us dealing with it. I wish there was a way to find out if other doctors around the country and the world have better insight on this condition. I have tried to do as much research by myself as possible but it usually leads to dead ends. The latest research is looking at the upper spine. I read in another forum about a guy who had the same problem and he found out his discs were not aligned properly in his cervical vertebrate. He found a chiropractor who specialized in that area of the spine and his swallowing problem went
away after a couple of sessions. Its a long shot but I like to stay positive and think that there is some sort of solution out there.  
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I have had this problem my whole life, getting food particles stuck up the back of my throat into my nasopharynx, which leads to sinus infections and laryngitis.  I used to have at least two episodes a year.  I had my wisdom teeth removed--still happened. I learned I had little pockets in my tonsils (like Swiss cheese) where the particles were getting stuck. (I remember trying to use a toothpick to get the pockets cleaned out.)  I had a tonsillectomy at age 30. This reduced my sinus infections to one or fewer a year.  I have even had acupuncture/pressure treatments for food sensitivities/allergies (which worked like a dream for my never-ending rashes and stomach upset).  

Most importantly, I correlated my infections to eating muffins, cornmeal products,  or corn chips. Hard crackers can also cause the same problem.  I have learned to avoid dry, hard, crumbly foods that can "cut" my throat or get stuck to the roof of my mouth and get pushed upward. Carrots can be a problem, too, so I try to chew them to mush before swallowing.  Drinking hot liquids helps dissolve food in my mouth and decreases the risk of food going up.

I am getting chiropractic adjustments regularly, taking supplements to detox my body, but I still didn't avoid getting sick again. (So, I don't know as the suggestions of chiro treatments and considering  environmental toxins are very helpful.)  I am currently sick (day 11)--after eating a crumbly muffin (stupid me!) and having recently had a stomach flu where I vomited food through my nose-- with the same irritating post nasal drip, cough, chest congestion, and finally laryngitis.
I know I must  be grossing out my coworkers with my horrendous coughing, hacking, and gagging, but I know I am not likely contagious.  Lucky them!  Too bad no one believes I am not a walking germ factory.  As additional proof, my hubby, who gets sick with every cold and flu, never gets sick after one of my food-snorting illnesses.

Misery loves company, and I guess I'm happy to know someone else can relate to my experiences!  Maybe my experiences will help someone "know thyself" better.  Good luck everyone!

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Avatar universal
So I don't know if this will help anyone but a little over 2 years ago I woke up, ate breakfast, and shortly after thought I was having a heart attack. My heart started pounding, my arms went numb, head spinning. So I had my brother rush me to the hospital. The doctors did blood tests and finally came to the conclusion that I had acid reflux. Put me on some pill to manage acid reflux. Sadly I'm an American so I'm not allowed to have a cure for any physical/mental issues that may be cause by our top 1% pumping poison into us. After a month of popping the pills they gave me for the issue I stopped taking them. I too was able to manage it myself by snorting constantly and clearing as much mucus as possible from my throat/nasal passages. So for the next 2 years I ate nothing but yogurt and smoothies.

This sucked, I couldn't eat anything I enjoyed without feeling like I was going to choke to death or have a heart attack. Then about six months ago I randomly heard about this thing called "Diatomaceous Earth" you can read about it here: http://www.earthworkshealth.com/human-use.php. Roughly 2 weeks after taking this 1 time a day in the morning with a tall glass of water, I was again able to eat anything I wanted w/o feeling like I was going to choke to death or have a heart attack. I'm not saying it completely fixed the issue, but it has really helped me get back to a healthy appetite. If this works for you please spread the word. I know what its like to be scared of everything you eat.
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Avatar universal
it's called Velopharyngeal inadequacy. Chewing my food very well helps a lot. many people have mentioned that rice is a problem...so chew the rice into mush and take small bites. Either that or get the prothesis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palatal_lift_prosthesis
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Avatar universal
Wow I am shocked this many people have the same issue. I couldnt understand where the food was going I just knew it was going up instead of down and then it would stay there for a few days and then drop out like a chunk of yellow cottage cheese (sometimes softer than cottage cheese) smelling awful. Some days it doesnt drop out it just stays there. What I started doing was putting Peppermint essential Oil on my sinuses (use a carrier oil so it doesnt sting the skin and make sure to stay away from eyes if it gets near eyes DO NOT USE WATER to dilute instead dilute with a carrier OIL such as coconut oil etc) The Peppermint oil works as an expectorant it doesnt always work for food stuck in the Nasopharynx (lol yeah I looked it up thats what its called) but sometimes it does. I have also used the Peppermint oil for a gargle that works sometimes too and sometimes putting Myrhh Oil and Peppermint Oil on the back of the neck works today I am not using much oil so I am going to be using a neti pot see if that works. Good luck! Hope this helps someone else
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Avatar universal
Has anyone ever suggested that this may be a throat and or nasal palate dysphagia related to exposure to organophosphates?  Organophosphates are known to cause acetylcholine binding (sometimes irreversible) in the nerve cells that control smooth muscle tissue.  Also, when you are exposed to organophosphates it converts into and enzyme that gets stored in your fat, and then it leaches out slowly over a long period of time, sometimes 12 to 15 months or longer).  So when old cells die and new ones replace, they just get nailed with the enzyme too.  Additionally, the gastro tract reabsorbs some of the enzyme and stores it again, like a poisonous loop.  Organophosphates are put on our food as pesticide, and sometimes gardens, and it's actually nerve gas invented by the Nazi's that has been re-engineered.  24 to 36 hours after exposure you can't even prove what you were exposed to and respiratory and then nerve and muscle symptoms come out in delayed processes that haven't even been studied well.  Just a thought.  See if anticholinergics lik Claritin or diphenhydramine help.  If you don't have respiratory symptoms, and they help, you may have been hit with organophosphates.
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Avatar universal
I too have had food stuck in my throat.It started 3 years ago and has been getting worse..



I am sure food was being pushed too far back while chewing with the molars in place that it was getting in to the nasal cavity (Food would sometimes shoot out of my nose while using the nasal irrigation machine) since that first happened I made it my personal conclusion (That food was stuck in nasal passages and not my throat) and got the courage to have the extractions.

Come to think of it,the first time my dentist recommended taking the molars out was 3 years ago...But they hadn't fully come out so I ignored my dentists and decided to wait till they did and the extraction would be easier.

The other problem with food not being swallowed properly is (my opinion again) because of my jaw changes since the molars erupted I wasn't chewing the food enough and swallowing too fast..My bite changed and jaw had become stiff because of Arthritis.

I am not saying go and get your molars removed, but after suffering with this and going through the same troubles most of you have been through I am sure there are many out there who are like me.

Anyone here who is still suffering from food particles still has their molars?

Wish you all the best

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1859776 tn?1319857696
I have had this problem off and on for several years.  It doesn't happen all the time to me, or just with certain food either.  I've had everything from a FULL gummy bear to a 2" spaghetti noodle come out of my nose.  I have choked (seriously, foam...vomit...CHOKED) during a few of these episodes. I recently mentioned it to my family physician who took a look at the back of my throat and was astonished. I had my tonsils and adnoids removed about 16 years ago, but one of my tonsil posts has grown inward. Also, the arches on each side of my uvula are uneven (one hangs really low, one is raised). I have an appointment on November 2nd with an ENT. However, in the meantime...I had a CT scan on my ribs for an unrelated issue.  The tech scanned a little higher than required...which happened to be a good thing.  She scanned my thyroid which showed nodules. I have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Not sure if that may be part of the issue as well. However, after undergoing a VOS on November 2nd and seeing what the ENT has to say, I will come back and post the results if anyone is interested.  Well wishes.
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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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Avatar universal
I've had this problem for over a year now and each time I grow more conviced it has something to do with a malformation of the hyoid bone. The hyoid bone is a a small easily flexible bone that is crucial in the swalling process. It is proven that a malformation can cause a swallowing disorder. Now my theory is that a particular malformation of this bone can cause the feeling of "food going up the nasal cavity" we all complain about.
The problem is that ENTs don't know much about this bone as these malformation are quite rare, so to diagnose any malformation you will have to be the one guiding you doctor/ENT.
I have been reading medical articles and found that traditional MRIs and CT scans are not succesful in dignosing hyoid bone malformations. I would therefore recommend insisting on getting a "spiral CT with 3D reconstructions". I would also recommend saying that you feel a discomfort of slight pain in the hyoid bone area so your doctor takes you more seriously.

I want to underline that this is a theory I have, but I am confident that it is a solid one.
I wish luck to everybody and I would be extremely grateful if you kept me updated with any questions, success, or feedback.
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Hi, thanks for sharing that.  So, have you had a doctor follow up on this with you?  Is there no way to verify?  If there is no way to verify, then there is no way to treat? That's frustrating.  I'm sure.
Avatar universal
I'm a speech therapist, and I'm so sorry nobody has provided a simple answer for you all.  It is called "Velopharyngeal inadequacy".  "Velo" comes from your velum, which is basically that dangling skin at the back of the roof of your mouth.  "Pharyngeal" comes from your pharynx, which is basically the back of your throat area including what you can see when you look in a mirror, and just down past the back of your tongue little ways.  Swallowing includes a complex series of strong, well-timed muscle movements for everything to go as planned.  If the muscles that move your velum (dangling skin at the back of the roof of your mouth) becomes weak or looses its timing during your swallow, it doesn't move up and back in time to make contact with your pharynx (back of your throat) and properly seal off your sinuses.  Thus, food or drink can pop up into your sinuses.  Swallows are very sudden and strong, so it could surprise and frighten you more than it will hurt you.  All sorts of fluids or foods can get up there, and you won't choke.  Choking happens when it goes down wrong, making the turn into your breathing tube that leads into the lungs (trachea) instead of going down your food tube (esophagus).  If food or drink feels like it goes way up into your sinuses, try not to take a big, sudden breath in through your nose, or it might dislodge and be drawn into your lungs.  Instead, open your mouth to take air in slowly, try to not breathe through your nose by pretending you are too stuffed up to use your nose, and exhale or blow your nose with great effort to shoot it out.  If you feel like the food/drink barely went up into your sinuses and might be sitting just right above your uvula, you could try taking in little snorts through your nose to pull it back down.  BUT, beware that too much force might pull it down too fast, and it might go into your lungs, and then you could choke on it.  Believe it or not, some people start experiencing this kind of weakness/incoordination when they are in their 50's and 60's, and it usually continues to slowly get worse as our overall body muscles get weaker.  There is something you can do that will help most people.  By performing a few simple exercises, you can improve your eating/drinking safety:
1) When sitting at a table, push down with your hands on top of the table, or pull up with your hands under the table.  Take a big breath, hold that breath for a couple seconds, then hold the push while you make a loud grunt or cough.  In order to make a loud grunt, your velum and pharynx must close off to hold the air back.  Perform 10 times, 3 times each day.  2) Make exaggerated, strong, and prolonged yawns.  Perform throughout the day.  3)  Gargle, making your throat muscles be extra tight.  4) Whistle throughout the day.  5) Say and prolong the "EEEEE" vowel (i.e., as in the words "Easter", "eat") while tightening your throat muscles.  Say it loud, and strong!  6) Sing!  Sing songs that hold notes a long time, such as church music.  Sing with strength and lots of volume!  7) Hard, effortful swallow exercise- squeeze every muscle you have in your mouth and throat tightly when you swallow.  This makes sure your velum kicks in gear and closes off your sinuses.  You can do this as an exercise, but you should also do this with every swallow of food or drink.  I hope this is helpful to you all!    ~Sondra
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Wow!!!!  I'm so glad you have come to the forum to share this!  Excellent information.  I hope you come back!  There is a speech and language forum too.  

Anyway, this is sincerely very valuable information and I appreciate you sharing it!
Avatar universal
I’ve suffered this problem for over 10 years. I live in Vietnam.
In the first 2 years, ENT doctors don’t know (believe) what I said. They gave me sinus medicines every time my sinus got injections by foods (most of the time by tiny foods and rice). CT scan and x Ray can’t find any abnormal
Years later they told me got used to it, like a disability of body and they don’t allowed me to use medicines anymore, just salty water spray only.
2 years ago I tried a new treatment : physical therapy. It can’t help my swallow problem, but the Japanese doctor found that my right muscle from back of my neck and my right muscle under the lower jaw are weak. Still stuck!!
Last year, 2017. I visited an Acupuncture doctor, he said he can cure my problems. He use a coin 1/ to scratch back neck , 2/ prickle needle,
3/ and bloodsucking (cupping)
I tried the first step but I’m too weak at that time, I were so scared to tried the other steps.
I’m praying God to give me more brave to step over this painful. If I’m cured by this method then I will let you know . Thank you for reading and I hope this help someone.
You can reach me at trongduy 980 @ Gmail com
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It work for me. He pumps out the stuck blood inside me (black and red colors) and I can swallow fine now. I hope this help you too. Thank you God!
It works! Thank you God!
Avatar universal
Hi I just looked this up because I has been happening to me for some time now. However I have noticed it more since I had cervical fusion done a few years back. They cut through the front of the neck to do this. I believe that it may have weakened the muscles somewhat. I know that for me if I am eating crumbly foods I must practice focused swallowing in order to avoid the problem, and occasionally it still happens. I it a good measure to use a (Neil Med Sinus Rinse) a few times a week. I suggest this for everyone on this topic. It cleans out all foreign crap from the nasal cavity as well as let it run down the back of the through to wash out old food. I use this every time I sing in public, it really helps with mucus,  colds, allergies etc. Just google this product.
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What is the point of this web site. 106 answers to this question? These aren't answers, just other people commenting of having the same problem. I don't want to flush my naval cavity after every meal. I want to know how to stop this from happening to begin with.
No edit function. I meant nasal not naval.
Avatar universal
Can you please help me and let me know what to do , I was eating breakfast (yes I do have acid reflux)  and when I swallowed I coughed think I chock on my food and some went in my nose , I don't know what to do I was eating eggs and bacon , at that time I was eating eggs , I'm only 15, I'm scared of doctors , and my mom doesn't know what to do please , do I blow out my nose ? Can big things get unlodged from the nose ?? I'm scared of doctors
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Avatar universal
I hope some of you may have figured out by now what is causing the problem with food going up your sinuses- I have been having this problem for over 2 years now..I knew that I have problem with Acid reflux as I sometimes cough at night when I laid down, or feel like choking.
then I started having frequent sinus infections that took a long time to improve so I went to ENT, he then recommended sinus surgery- which I unfortunately went for..my problem got worse, i had sinus infection the week after surgery!..then I started having problem with feeling like something stuck in the back of my throat, when I tried to rinse it with sinus wash, it didn't feel like whatever stuck was coming out, I started using a lot of water and spent hours trying to rinse it..then start having excessive saliva especially after I eat but not all the times, it was unpredictable. It was really disgusting and embarrassing..I can't even function well at work, because I had to spend time in the bathroom trying to rinse my nose and mouth, so strange..I can spit out saliva for an hour, I don't know where it came from..
After seeing ENT, sinus surgery, a few GI doctors, back to ENT- and a few other tests..
I am pretty sure now..that my problem is what called
Non-acid reflux or Laryngopharyngeal reflux which is different from GERD..that's why PPI doesn't help that much, I'm still struggling because I'm afraid to eat and lay down..I don't know what kind of food would make me start having all these saliva again..but at least it helps to understand what the heck is going on because it was driving me crazy for two years..
Now, I am trying to adapt to Fast Tract Diet..which is supposed to help reduce the reflux symptoms..and not eat too much in one meal, chew food well, not eat before laying down (which is so hard)..
Hope it helps..
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Hi Emmy,  I too have had sinus surgery and even though it helped breathe more deeply I too am suffering from this strange feeling of something stuck/irritating my throat.  I fit pretty much all the LPR symptoms too but when I mention this to doctors they look at blankly.  Anyhow, have you recovered???  Hope you have!  Please reply.   - Steve
Avatar universal
I want to put this out there and see if it helps anyone.
I have had food going in my soft palate area for several years. I have great insurance and had a swallow work up and saw a Specialist.
Well basically I felt I was stamped crazy and went home to deal with this issue myself. Try 2 more years!
Just this week I was dx with a condition called DISH.
Diffuse  (all over)
Idiopathic  (they don't know what causes it)
Hyperostosis  (calcium turns tendon to bone on spine, heels)
Anyways I just found out via x-ray I have large bone spurs on c3-6 causing swallowing problems.
Whether you have DISH or not these bone spurs can form causing swallowing problems.
I am seeing a Neurologist this week.
Hoping for help. The back if my throat feels "full" and every swallow is
registered in my brain.
Of course this diagnosis explains why I have severe spasm when twisting my trunk as well because bone spurs are there as well.
I will know the results of the Thoracic CT soon and find out if there is nerve impingement there.
Btw a Nettie Pot filled with saline in the shower works well to flush food particles and pills out.
I've twice gotten a bite of steak there.
That is a truly panic situation.
Partials of food drive a person crazy.
I will add one more thing.
CPAP over the last 2 years has helped some. Keeping the soft palette firm, not sloppy from snoring can help.
Best of luck to all, Robin

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Avatar universal
I have had this problem for about 30 years, and I also have my wisdom teeth.  Don't know if there is a correlation
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Avatar universal
I also have this problem when I have sinus infections associated with asthmatic Bronchitis. This happened to me the past two days. I was attempting to eat hamburger meat. The experience was weird although I assumed that is the acid reflux and throat being swollen. Any ideas out there?
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Avatar universal
I too had started having this problem feeling of foods going up my nasal cavity and difficulties swallowing in the past few months and not only that I also feel like it's cntrolling my life now that there's another issue I had a barium swallow test done last week and it's showing my foods is taking a little longer than it should to travel in my stomach ,but I also have GERD reflux to begin with in years now,and a very low immune system my lungs are both weak due to my bronchiactesis since I was young , I had Ultrasound done in my thyroid and getting result in 2 days I have started losing weights in the last 6 months also I cannot explain it why I loss some weights as I was eating ok if not I was always eating good meals size ,and in the last 2weeks I have lost more than 2 kilos again because I'm scared to eat in case I choke unless my husband is nearby so basically for now I'm just in mostly baby foods and softer textures foods  like bananas porridge mash potatoes soup mouse or whips foods untill I get my result ,because yesterday my doctor wrote a letter for ED hospital to admit me if I loss anymore weights
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Avatar universal
thank you for updating! I will seek one too. But I always feel like I have a lump in my throat as well.
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Avatar universal
I am so relieved to see that others are having the same issue. Every time I eat I feel like food is stuck in the upper part of my throat. When I talk, I can feel air going out my tear duct. It's literally driving me crazy. I've had two sinus surgeries and multiple attempts to fix my deviated septum. I keep complaining about the food going up my sinus issue to the ENT and they say it's acid reflux. I don't know what to do.
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