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Avatar universal

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.  
259 Responses
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
1 Comments
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!
Avatar universal
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
1 Comments
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.
Avatar universal
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.  
1 Comments
I am righr there with you. Right side & can pinpoint exact area. Did you find help? Please respond.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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
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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