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Problem with throat closing over when spasm coughing.

Jan 01, 2008 - 356 comments




It began in 1976 and re occurs every 5 to 6 years. I get a sore throat (not tonsils but when you swallow) I now go straight on antibiotics and use Bricanyl inhaler although it doesnt seem to have much effect except to cause alot of mucus coughed up from the lungs. It causes me to have spasm coughing and if I cannot control this to 3 or 4 coughs my windpipe closes over making it hard to breath in or out. The last one about 2 years ago stopped me breathing in and out completely for 10 to 15 seconds and I thought I had bought it. The spasm cough causes it all and when it goes away (usually 4 to 5 days) things are relatively normal although a normal cough stays with me for weeks after. I notice if I catch it early (which means I carry antibiotics with me all the time) it is not as nearly as bad. Doctors have diagnosed this as Asthma, chronic bronchitis, bronchial  asthma etc etc. All different specialists seem to have a different prognosis and the recommended pills over the years have not really done any good. None of them seem to relate to the closure of the windpipe and cant give me a straight answer when I ask them. Has anyone an answer or better still has anyone else had this problem. Barry

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Avatar universal
by Midgely, May 08, 2008
Over the past three months I have been suffering with these symptoms which can start at any time of the day or night,I suddenly start coughing and my windpipe goes into spasm and I cannot breathe in or out.The noise of me struggling to breathe frightens everyone in the house and I get terrified. Some of the attacks can last for almost a minute and when I finally start breathing again my throat is irritating for sometimes  for up to two or three hours. I am almost afraid to sleep because of this.The worst attacks would wake me up just before starting ; this would be at about 2am. Latterly it has been starting at about 3am which I now realise is the same time as the clocks have been put forward by one hour to summer time. While my windpipe is in spasm there is a watery fluid coming up into the throat wehich I have to allow to run out to prevent the spasm from getting worse. I have left my doctors unable to offer me an explanation .These attacks happen on a daily or nightly basis and still occur at least once in a twentyfour period. Kenneth at ***@****

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by aiko390, May 21, 2008
I'm wondering if you go see an acupuncturist for this, if you haven't tried. When something happens at a specific time, acupuncturists can look at their charts to see what organ correspons to which specific time. I was looking at this site because I had a windpipe spasm last night. But when I saw your comment, I thought of my other problem which is a large intestine. I had a pain every morning at the same time on my upper left abdomen, but no doctors could tell which organ it was, till I mentioned this to my acupuncturist. She said between 6-7am corresponded to large intestines. I went to see two doctors since then, and they said that it was a large intestine where it was hurting. Sometimes, a illness or a symptom is related to things that you never thought of. May be an acupuncturist could tell you something you didn't know. Besides he/she may be able to help you directly with your windpipe spasm.

Avatar universal
by mrnet007, Jun 02, 2008
To Midgely,

I have had this attack a few times.  I think your problem is acid reflux.  I know that is what I have.  When I lay down at night the acid goes to up my windpipe and It hits the voice box area.  And I cant breathe in or out.   I go into a panic.   About every twenty seconds a get a little air by gasping, alot weird noises.  Cant talk.  Ask doctor about getting acid reducing medicine, also sleep with two to three pillows so acid can not climb into throat area.  Acid reflux during the day also can start your windpipe going into spasms.  You should go to a GI doctor.  And get your throat and stomach looked at.  The extra pillow took time to get use to.  But I dont get the acid going up anymore.  Hope everything goes well for you.

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by robbieray, Sep 01, 2008
Hi Barry,  I have just had the very same for almost 2 weeks and i can confirm this is very frightening. My air supply would be cut off for about 30 to 40 seconds at a time when coughing. I dont think it is anything to do with Acid reflux because i have suffered  with this for many years with no choking. I am just getting over the throat problem now and the choking is getting less but i want to get to the bottom of the problem because i dont want to have this again. If i come up with anything i will let you know or if you or anyone else can throw some light on this my email is ***@****
Many thanks Ray

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by bl2468, Sep 04, 2008
This is Barry again. Thank you all for your comments. I too can rule out anything to do with acid and like so many of you people the doctors cannot help as they are way off the mark. I just wait until I get that sore throat and straight into the antibiotics which I have on me all times. Will continue to keep everyone posted on this debilitating problem.

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by VPMM, Sep 16, 2008
II have had this problem since about the 4th grade.  That is about how far back I can remember.  I am not sure if it is related to whopping cough.  When I get the sinus/cough type cold it last a month it seems.  My spasm cough starts with a tickle in the throat.  I have to cough.  When this happens I try to excuse myself from whatever scene I am in.  I go somewhere so nobody sees me look rediculous.   Nothing helps.  I raise my arms to try to breathe and/or I have pushed really hard on my chest, trying to push the air bubble out.  It feels like a hug air bubble in there blocking the ability to breathe.  Yesterday, when it was over I burped!  Hmm, I never noticed that before.  I aim to check into this problem because I am now 47.  I do not know if my body can handle this when I am in my 70s or 80s.  It is scary.
Look forward to finding more info, so I am going to continue to google this.

Avatar universal
by karen87, Oct 02, 2008
I have had a cough for about two weeks, when i cough my throat and chest feel sore. i went to the doctors who reluctantly gave me anti bi otics, the sore ness went but the cough continues, I notice i have a lot of catarh which wont dry up. today after a coughing spell, i found i was unable to breath in, i was making some scarry noises which frieghtend my son and I, this lasted about 40 to 60 seconds. I also noticed that I had a lot of water coming into my mouth, I was trying to swollow this as well. I was realy scared, but after reading your comments, and some other web entries I feel calmer, I think I will go to the doctor to put my mind at rest, mean while no coughing. karen

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by terikilas, Oct 19, 2008
I have suffer with acid reflux and asthma. My reflux has me coughing all night long. I also take a blood pressure pill that list one of the side effects is coughing. my asthma sumptoms Ihave mucous come up with small beads  that are thick. I have a dry cough with acid reflux and have heart burn and a Burning stomach.

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by old_fat_guy, Nov 08, 2008
I have the same thing and this is the first time it has manifested two weeks ago. I am a retired paramedic and when this first happened, I went into a coughing fit just after waking up. I had a CPAP on. My throat closed completely for about 30 seconds. I ended up swallowing the air that was coming through. I looked around the night stand for a pair of scissors or something to do a cricothirotomy. I couldn't find any, so I tried to stop panicking. The spasm dissipates if I stay calm, but I have very labored and stridorous breaths (still can't really breathe when this happens). It comes on with a ticklish feeling in the back of my throat. Sputum or nasal mucous makes it worse and also triggers my gag reflex as this is happening, which makes it all the more distressing.

Onset of symptoms were deep chest congestion, low fever, and productive cough which became more violent as I needed to cough up mucous. Whatever this is ate azithromycin like it was candy. Next antibiotic was a course of levafloxacin. The levafloxacin seems to have slowed the deep respiratory infection. Doctor also wanted me on OTC Mucinex q 12h. Also OTC Zyrtec OD. I had a codiene cough syrup which I changed to DM, which works better for me (non-narcotic), but none of these things is really effective.

I also had to fight with my HMO and doctor's staff to get back in to see the doctor and get some face time with her for the second visit. It was downplayed as 'bronchitis.' Third time I got in because I "stopped breathing." I was presecribed 4mg methylprednisolone to relieve the swelling in my throat. This is a seven day course of pre-packaged pills. The first day, the swelling went down substantially and I was able to survive a coughing fit without closure and stridor. Now I'm on my fourth day and the dosage is going down. I find I'm okay up to a few hours after taking one, but it wears off too soon. I was bolt upright at 4 AM today with stridor. A Proventil inhaler does nothing for this at all.

On my second visit, I suggested to my doctor that she do a sputum culture to see what specifically this was. She did not like the idea (what would a culture have cost the HMO?) and just said to try the levafloxacin, which worked, but did nothing for the swelling. Close as I can tell, this is epiglottitis that may be caused by fatigue in the anatomical structures of the throat and not of HIB or other common causes of epiglottitis. She concurred. My next course of treatment would likely be to see an ear-nose-throat specialist and be 'scoped' under anesthesia to see the extent of irritation.

Couple of things - I do not have acid reflux. I have no history of asthma. I have been sleeping upright with pillows and I still get laryngeospasms. I can be breathing normally, then it feels like a mucous plug has freed up or I moved and it feels like there's congestion I need to get out and I get an urge to cough it out. Like others have said, when I do, everything gets irritated and swells up. When I am in laryngeospasm, I tear up, salavate, and get a lot of nasal mucus. Like you guys, if I stop after two coughs, I can stop from spasming. I can't do that at night, so I, too, am afraid to fall asleep as I can kinda do something about it if I'm awake.

Now my daughter has started coughing. She knows about what I've gone through and I taught her to be calm and not panick if she does get a throat spasm. We also bought her something to make noise with to get help if she gets to the level of what I have.

I'm more alarmed that doctors tend to downplay this and write it off as asthma or bronchitis. Seems the only thing these diagnoses do is tie people to thousands of dollars a year in recurring perscriptions, but deliver no results. I'm alarmed that this seems to recur in you guys and nothing seems to help it.

I am going to get through the weekend without going to the ER (hopefully) and then ask her to up-dose the methylprednisolone (this does work for me) and continue it for a longer period. The 21 pack at 4mg is too light-duty and for a guy who is 125 kg, probably being metabolized very quickly.

I'm going to bookmark this page and check back frequently. GOOD LUCK everyone!

Avatar universal
by bl2468, Nov 11, 2008
Barry again, The "fat guy" has it much worse than me. I would like him to keep us informed of his progress in relation to methylprednisolone as it may well be the help I need. Although I dont think it is something you can take for any length of time as I know prednisolone is powerful stuff and you need to wean off it.

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by The1MrMojo, Nov 12, 2008
I came across this thread while Googling after similar symptoms I've experienced recently. I had a bit of a cold recently, and still have lingering congestion symptoms, often clearing mucus from the throat, light coughing, etc.

First time was last weekend.  Was coughing up some phlegm in the shower, and the coughs were getting pretty deep. I think the coughing triggered a swallow, and once I swallowed, my throat closed up and I couldn't breathe (although technically am I breathing if there is a loud heaving/wheezing in and out but it doesn't feel like I'm getting any air?). I had never been so frightened in my life; was trying to draw a breath for probably about 30 seconds or so before my throat finally opened up and I was ok again.

Nothing for a few days.  Then last night, twice I woke up coughing, which again triggered a swallow and the throat closing up.  I think because I didn't panic this time and knew it would probably pass shortly, I was only unable to draw air for 10-15 seconds, but still obviously fairly scary.

I'm fairly young and have yet to need to use my health insurance, so I'm scrambling to find a PCP in New York City, to at begin the process of figuring out what is going.

I too will be checking back here often, as well as giving my own updates.

Avatar universal
by old_fat_guy, Nov 17, 2008
Hi All,

I think I've figured out what's going on in my situation. About a day after I wrote this, my kids' school district sent an email telling us they were experiencing an ongoing problem with a pertussis "outbreak." As school emails go, this one was very vague. With a little digging, it seems that the elementary school my younger kids go to was one of two sites that had students with "whooping cough." After some more digging, the pertussis vaccine lasts for about 5 years and is 85% effective. Most kids don't get it, but can become carriers. The problem is in older teens and adults whose immunity has worn down. My symptoms were characteristic of whooping cough. The first several times I had what's called paroxysmal cough, it was a dire emergency. My throat closed off and I could not take in a breath for at least 30 seconds, sometimes more. When I could, it was very slow to come back and I had very loud stridor (the whoop noise) that indicated an upper airway blockage.

In retrospect, the azithromycin was the drug of choice for pertussis, but I may have had a secondary infection that did respond to the levafloxacin. Nine days later, I no longer have the stridorous spasms, although I still have paroxysmal coughing that is triggered by post nasal drip, stress, and exposure to cold air. Sipping on some liquid helps, as does having something handy to receive the discharge I cough up (otherwise I cough even more). This discharge is a very viscous, clear discharge. I cough until I run out of air in my lungs. Then I try to relax, count to ten, and take in a breath. I can usually breathe at that point. No more whoop. The danger I perceive is if this happens to me with a mouthful of food. It can go down the wrong way and I can actually choke, or the food in the wrong place may cause an infection.

My daughter was taken from school immediately when she began to feel sick. Today is day 5 of her azithromycin treatment. She has not "whooped" at all. I've read in literature that early treatment may possibly arrest the disease. Hope that's so. My wife has not experienced any of this, nor have my younger children.

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by dingaling2005, Nov 18, 2008
Scared breathless,
My husband had the flu and then a cough for over 3 weeks and coughs until he passes out almost every day.  They have done some tests now and I think he will be seeing a specialist, but when he coughs and becomes unconcious it is very scary and it must be harmful to his body and dangerous.

When he coughs really hard and cannot stop, his throat closes off and he just cannot get a breath of air. He has tried: Cough medicine, antibiotics, steroids and an inhaler. Keeping a thermos of hot tea by the bed helps him in the night more than anything else so far. He doesn't have his usual energy and is getting depressed by this ordeal. I don't think it is whooping cough because he doesn't whoop at all.  None of the rest of the family have got his bug.

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by old_fat_guy, Nov 29, 2008
Dingaling2005 - I no longer have the whoop (I've only had a "whoop" for about a week). It has gone to coughing fits. I get a ticklish feeling in the back of my throat/ upper chest which feels like I *HAVE TO* cough, then, it if I cough, I will cough 10 - 15 times rapidly in a row until I completely run out of air. Sometimes I vomit in the end because of my gag reflex. Running out of air is like a crushing feeling and sometimes I have to brace myself because I feel like I'm going to pass out. Not all the time, but sometimes, like this morning. That coughing fit (paroxysmal coughing) happens about 10 - 20 times a day for me, but each day it seems to be less and less severe compared to when it happened. I can stop some of my coughing episodes after two or three coughs now, but I am completely exhausted after a long fit, and the ticklish feeling is still there most of the time. No whoop anymore. Some of the literature I've read shows some people never manifesting with inspiratory stridor. My doctor's office took a nasal swab one week after I had undergone antibiotic treatment and I recently received a letter from them that it was negative for pertussis. Still, what I went through and my wife observed from me initially was unmistakable. I too was given like $160 worth of non-formulary medications as a shotgun treatment. Most of them were for asthmatics. Virtually none of them worked. Well, only one did. The methylprednisolone reduced swelling in my throat after all the coughing started, but those were only 21 pills. I remember nearly emptying my puffer during my first spasm and throwing it at the wall because it was completely ineffective and my throat was completely closed. I thought I was going to die right there. Then my doctor was amazed. "Why, I can't understand why it didn't work!" When I get over this, I'll be looking for a new physician who can give me more face time and doesn't have a pool of 10,000 patients to deal with. I feel like a write-off because I wasn't "simple."

And, I'm angry at my children's school district for not telling parents that there had been a pertussis outbreak specifically at my children's elementary school. I received a non-descript mollifying email the day before my daughter started coughing. I only learned it was my younger children's school because of a chatty school nurse in my older daughter's high school. I'm also angry at myself for not knowing that pertussis vaccines do not build life-long immunity and that they're only good for about 5 years. My last tetanus shot was only a tetanus shot, nothing more. There are vaccines that include pertussis.

Good luck to your husband. Try a humidifier in the room. I breathe easier in a steamy shower. I hope his specialist will spend some time with him and take the time to actually diagnose what he has. Even though we may not have the same thing, I can completely empathize with him! Please advise!

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by josh73, Nov 30, 2008
I have a coughing fit like 10 times a day depending if its a good day, when i am finished my coughing fit my airway closes off for about 5-10 seconds then it eases off its pretty scary and its really embarrassing at work i freak everyone out cause i gasp for air afterwords, my doctors don't have a clue what it is either they called it a "post viral infection" that was supposed to clear up in a week but its going on two months now and its just as bad as it ever was.
One of my "fits" was at a friends house it was the worst, I passed out for a full minute on the floor I was coughing so much that i couldn't get any air especially because my throat closes off afterwords so i guess my body couldn't take it, that was a close call, I hope someone finds out what this is I'm only 16 years old i don't want to die of suffocation because of a stupid cough...

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by Kreesus, Dec 05, 2008
I am presently going through the very similar problem. I've been prescribed antibiotics at the moment. One thing that has been very handy for me is a drinking straw. I always carry it in my pocket. When wheezing, it sends a jet of air directionally to the trhought.I hope this advise might get helpful to someone in trouble...

Avatar universal
by frances999, Dec 31, 2008
I have the same problem as barry, I get a bit of a sore throat and then a dry cough, then when I  cough my throat closes over completely and I cant breathe at all for quite a few seconds, then when finally my breath is able to get through it feels as though it is through a pin hole, it is the most terrifying thing and I have had it three times now, I would love any advice or help in dealing with this.  It is most definately not a panic attack, luckily when it has happened my husband has been with me and called an ambulance, they gave me adreniline and it seemed to help, my doctor wont prescibe me an adrenilin pen, but I think having one to hand would help to give me a bit of piece of mind, has any one else found adrenline helped.  does anyone know what causes it and how to handle it.
I am a 48 year old female who is normal very healthy, mild asthma in the hayfever season.
I cant seem to get a lot of joy from my doctor.
any help would be much appreciated, I was so scared and feel quite traumatised by it.

Avatar universal
by chrisjackson248, Jan 04, 2009
Hi, it's good to know that I'm not alone with this problem. I have had this condition for over 10 years now. My throat closes in response to excessive mucous or food "going down the wrong way". I had very bad attacks initially where I nearly passed out and have learned to avoid swimming pools and crumbly foods. My Doctor (I live in England) sent me for investigations luckily it's free here and I had all sorts of tests done. They concluded that I had a hysterical reaction.... not very helpful when you are having near death experiences.
I was diagnosed with asthma a couple of years later but asthma attacks are much different to the throat closing episodes.
I have learned to cope over the years first off...DON'T PANIC try to tell yourself that you are getting a little air in. Also tell yourself that if you do pass out you'll probably relax enough to breathe. Do not run away from people or lock yourself in the loo as I once did with embarrassment.When you learn not to panic and avoid coughing too much you will learn to deal with this. It's interesting to read about the Pertussis (whooping cough) thing because I have had whooping cough twice even though I was injected against it. I can remember panicking and trying to shout for my mother when I was vomiting and choking as a child. I don't know if this made me over sensitive? I do find my Ventolin inhaler helps but this could be because I am doing something constructive/diversional. I am generally allergic to insect bites etc.I think an epipen would be useful to carry round if you can get one.
Hang on in there and good luck,

Avatar universal
by Lovie1025, Jan 04, 2009
Hi, my husband is 44 yrs old he first thought he had a fresh cold because of the coughing.  Then he started the coughing like 7-9 times in a row all of a sudden passes out and all this clear fluid is running from his mouth.  At this point he is not aware of anything for the next 40-60 secs or so.  The first time he passes out I called the ems they did all kinda test and checks and said he was fine but if it happens again take him to er.  Well it has continued to happen after getting cough syrup w/codine and antibiotics too an inhaler also.  My problem no one knows what the real cause of the problem comes from I don't understand that because they are the doctors not us that's why we go to them.  I just don't want him to fall out and hurt himself when no one is at home.  He seemed like he was getting a little better fewer coughs but all of a sudden its like we are back to the beginning all over again.  I cant seem to get any sleep nor can our sons we have three now they are affraid to leave their dad alone cause they think he might pass out and not wake up.  Hopefully everyone will get answers to their questions soon and everyone will get well too.  

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by dkole, Jan 04, 2009
I just experienced this anomally on Dec. 23rd. I like many of you have been suffering with this sinus/cough/cold. I cough all the time. The other night was bad. I had a coughing fit that started with that tickle. At the same time I took a large breath and at once my windpipe closed shut. I couldn't speak or breath. I mouthed to my husband that I couldn't breath and he called 911. They told him to have me sit down and try to remain calm. Thank God for Lamaze training.That did help It was like breathing through one of those coffee stirrers. Within about a minute my windpipe had started to open up enough for me to talk. I told my husband to call the EMTs back and let them know they didn't have to come, but they wanted to make sure I was alright. This is the first time I have ever experienced this and am scared that if I am alonge I could die. It has made me very paranoid. It would help if I could get rid of this cough. I have been taking Mucinex which is what my doctor told me to do. It is nice to know I am not alone in this.

Avatar universal
by Kimber2501, Jan 12, 2009
Wow...I thought I was having some freak episode only known to me. I experienced this in October with a sinus type issue and dry cough. My throat would get that little tickle and then I knew what was coming next. My throat would close up with a tiny passage way for air to get through. Id pretty much drop to the floor with tears and mucous running down my face and drooling. Very very scary experience!! I thought I was dying and my friend called 911. When they got here I was breathing normally but lost my voice from it. All vitals checked out fine. I went to teh Dr the following day because it occurred 2 more times. They gave me a Zpack to help if there was an infection.

The thing with me is I had my thyroid removed in June of 08 due to thyroid cancer so I thought that maybe it was something brought on by the surgery. I do have asthma and allergies that I think my cat is exacerbating. Ive had a cold for a few weeks now with a wheeze and dry cough runny nose and I had a small episode of the throat closing yet again tonight. This dry cough is seriously irritating my throat. Now that I read that everyone else on here has experienced the same thing I feel semi normal about it but the fact that no one has had it figured out...that is a whole other story. I guess its back to the Dr for me.

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by tracy322, Jan 13, 2009
I have had this same problem probably for about 15 or so years.  My situation always begins the same with a little cold, then stuffy nose then the cough starts up and lasts for quite a few days.  When I go into these coughing spells and breathe in when coughing my windpipe closes up it is the most PETRIFYING thing in the world.  Alot of people say maybe it is asthma but it is not my chest closing up it is my throat/windpipe I don't understand how doctors cannot seem to actually find what this is and how to prevent it.  This is another reason I am so scared of getting a cold or make a  big thing out of being around someone with a cold because it turns into this horrible situation for me.  please write back if you know any doctors who can find out what causes this and anything that can help.  I use to feel that I was the only one with this problem.  It makes me feel a little better that I am not the only one in the world with this.

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by silverbackpeter, Jan 14, 2009
Same here folks.  I've had a bad chesty cough since Christmas, and during the past week have begun suffering this frightening closure of the windpipe with a coughing spasm.  I'm on "amoxicillin" from my GP (I'm in the UK by the way), which I've had now for a week.  It's clearing the mucous a little, in that it has now turned a paler shade, but the cough is the same.  

My worst time is in the mornings, and it seems that shortly after waking I'll cough involuntarily and the windpipe just shuts completely.  I find I can force a bit of air out, but can't get anything in, and become a burping, salivating, grunting imbecile!  It's the most scary thing I've ever experienced.  I'm in my fifties, and pretty healthy normally, this is the first cold/chest infection I've had in years.  

Although the spasm lasts only for a few seconds, maybe 15-20, it feels like I'm never going to be able to breathe again.  My doctor says it's due to the collapse of the windpipe around the voicebox after expellation of all the air in the lungs due to the severe cough.  The only advice I'm given is to try to reduce the amount of air expelled, and to try to keep the throat lining moist...neither of which is something I can actually do when struck by this awful invountary coughing spasm!  I guess the good thing at least is that we're all still here, so it's clearly not going to kill us, eventhough it feels like it might at the time!  I'm just praying that it'll stop soon, hopefully when the current ches infection abates.

Really good to find this site, and to at least understand that others have exactly the same thing happening to them, and that it's going to be OK, eventually...


Avatar universal
by OldsoldierREME, Jan 17, 2009
Glad to hear that I'm not the only one to experience all of the above. Two nights ago it happened again, at 1.00am. The first time was about 4 years ago. My wife has had laryngitus for about a week and a half, now I have it. Anyway, we saw our doctor yesterday, he asked me if I was hyperventilating, I said no. Did I have an acid reflux attack, I said no. Well, he said, next time it happens breathe in and out of a paper bag. You need carbon dioxide to help you breathe properly. So, I have a paper bag by the bed now, trouble is, how do do I breathe in and out of the bag if I can't breathe at all? I told the doctor that I was afraid of brain damage, He said you might faint, and you would relax, even your throat will relax and you will then breathe normally and you will wake up. I want that in writing!!

Like silverbackpeter I was born in the UK but have lived in the USA for over 50 years, I'm glad he said it's going to be OK, and just in case, like Peter, I pray too....

In addition to the paper bag I will have a straw to suck on like Kreesus suggested.

Any thoughts from MD's out there?

Avatar universal
by healthybaby639, Jan 26, 2009
Hai everyone! after reading all the posts here i suspect do i have the same problem or different?  Pls do help me.  I have tried all natural and home remedies along with medication but no use.  I had sorethroat in september and a week aft had cough then wheezing with cough and then severe cough.  I have been given all the medications like codral, amoxyllin, panafcort, clarithromycin etc but no use.  It's been like more than 3 months now.  I am scared to SLEEP and my ribs pain a lot and cannot move to otherside when sleeping.  I have not had a good sleep since september till now - starving to sleep.  My symptoms are fluctuating.  I also feel itching in throat and can feel air passing through which irritates and also wheezing and flem stuck somewhere.  So i really have to bend and cough to get rid of flem then automatically my wheezing goes and cough goes and i become normal.  I had all tests done the results are normal.  I don't have whooping cough or asthma or T.B or pneumonia - nothing related to lungs.  My doctor went on holidays so i waited till he came for 20 days without taking any medicine after clarithromycin but one day all of a sudden intensity of cough is decreased(why did this happen? Is it due to antibiotics that i used 20 days before which made my flem came off and resulted in less cough) but still went to my doctor.  But doctor gave me tablets to remove my flem (chesty tablets) and also asked me to use asthma puffs.  He told me i had bad congestion.  I started taking them from the beginning of jan but still feel my throat is not normal - occassionally i am having flem stucked and a bit of cough which is not a problem but not able to cough openly something is stopping me(consticted).  Why is this happening to me?  Does anyone have these symptoms?  What is it?  Do i get cough back again or do i get better to use my throat normal without any problem?  

Avatar universal
by healthybaby639, Jan 26, 2009
Sorry to interrupt u all - i have been very HEALTHY till now.  Never used sick holidays as i was not really that sick anytime.  But the only problem i have is COUGH which normally goes by strong dose of antibiotics.  that's all.  This is the first time in my life since i am sick for so long which is stopping me from JOBHUNT as i cannot attend any calls or cannot go to any interviews.  I request u all to help me to get rid of this little problem so that i can continue to reach my goals. Thank you all.  I appreciate your patience

Avatar universal
by MrC1956, Jan 30, 2009
Hi Eveyone - I have the same symptoms as many of you - a tickly cough that provoces a coughing attack which sometimes results in me being unable to breathe in - my doctor says its the windpipe going into spasm - a suffocating feeling that's really scary.  It always seems to happen after a cold or throat infection of some kind and it can last several weeks.  In between each cough I struggle to get my breath and its really difficult to control the coughs - they just get stronger and stronger until the spasm occurs.  My doctor has just prescribed some medicine to relieve the sore throat which she says will then reduce the involuntary coughing and [hopefully] stop the spasms.  

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by frances999, Feb 06, 2009
I have seen two ENT specialist now and they say what I experienced was a laryngeospasm, but they dont know why, but they have both assured me that should I become unconcious due to lack of air the throat would relax and I would start to breath.  I have been given an epi pen (adrenaline) which has given me a bit of piece of mind.  I believe that what happens is the larynx gets inflamed with the infection and the cough causes it to spasm, when the medics came and put me on a nebuliser, every time I coughed my throat still kept going into spasm, even though it was for a shorter period of time, and my throat still felt as if it was just a pinprick open so it was still a struggle for the air to get in and out, but once I had the adreneline injection in the ambulance I didnt get any more throat spasms and my airway seemed to clear within about 15 minutes.  So if I were you I would ask my doctor for a epi pen, just in case and also for peace of mind.  I hope this information has helped also there are so many of us suffering from these "episodes" and we are all still here so that is positive.  Stay well.

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by frannef, Feb 24, 2009
For 3 years in a row I have come down with something (about this time jan/feb).  It starts with a mild fever, slight sore throat, and a thick mucus draining down the back of my throat.  Within hours the mucus becomes extremely thick and if I cough, it plugs my air passage and I can NOT breath for about 30 seconds - 45 seconds, then when I can breath it is very very difficult for a few minutes, I have to stay very calm and just try to stay conscious on what I can manage to gasp through my constricted air passage.  My nose is clear, I am not congested.  Drinking hot tea helps immensely, BUT once I go to sleep (usually propped up on pillows, I am terrified to lay down), one cough and I can't breath again.  These breathing attacks will occurs 1-2/hour until I get antibiotics in my system.  My 12yo son (I am a single Mom) has seen me having these attacks, and now he is more scared than me.  He will not leave my side and has become an expert at making hot herbal tea with honey, just the right temperature so I can drink it right away.  The only thing that seems to make it go away is to get on a z-pack asap.  This time the minute i felt the tickle in my throat and the mucus start to slide I called the Dr.  I had no breathing attacks this time, (last time an ambulance was called it got so bad) but, I know they were just hours away if I had not started taking an antibiotic.  I am scared.  How long can this cycle repeat before antibiotics don't work.  I am not comfortable with Dr's telling me that it is a spasm and not to worry... worst case I will just pass out and wake up/come to once my throat relaxes.  Wow, so we can't prevent this???  Just pass out... The mucus is so thick! and it seems to come on so very fast.  One minute I am fine, within an hour I can feel thick heavy mucus sliding down the back of my throat.  I can't cough it out.  I don't know what to do, I have read everything I can on the internet and talked to Drs and specialists.  They all agree that it's a spasm and I am panicking.  Actually, I stay very calm considering I can't breath :(  I am so worried about how this is impacting my son.  I want to know what is causing this, and what impact taking antibiotics every time will have over time.  
Desperate for answers,

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by thyphoidmary, Feb 25, 2009

I am pleased to have stumbled across this site from googling about coughing spasms.  I am experiencing many of the same symptoms described, and welcome advise from those who have also "been there."  

Here is my story:  since about the time I was in middle school (am in mid 30s), I have always had problems with coughing --- from thanksgiving to Easter I was basically referred to as Typhoid Mary (no joke; talk about a fun nickname!).  I have just lived with the problem for years, esp. since my grandmother (paternal) had huge issues with phlegm and had to "pump" it regularly when she was old (eighties) (I don't remember what the machine was called, but she had to place this tube in her mouth that sucked up stuff from her throat and lungs - everyday).  My entire family suffers from the congestion probs, so I figured it was just a way of life - a miserable life, but it was "normal" for me.  In college, I even popped a blood vessel in my eye from coughing and also ended up in the ER after "brusing" the muscles/ribs from coughing.  

A few years ago I had had enough and went to an ENT doctor, and was diagnosed with "chronic sinusitis" and was given a nasal spray and directions for nasal cleaning.  I'll be honest and say that I have not kept a regular regime with these things - but mostly because I have been experiencing less symptoms.  I guessed I had grown out of it - I'm not hacking away from Nov - March anymore, but my situation is that whenever I get sick I have a cough that lingers on.

Which brings me to now --- last week I had the flu.  I actually was not so congested during that time, but as I came out of hte fever symptoms the cold/sinus problems set in.  For the past 4 days, I have been feeling totally fine but cannot kick the cough -- I have a scratchy throat and you can hear the congestion when I talk.  What worries me, though, is the coughing --- I start coughing and I cannot get control.  It is sometimes triggered by drinking something, from cold air, or it just comes on from nowhere.  My chest feels a little tight (was worse earlier in the week), like there is a "knot" in the center of my chest. It is worse in the afternoons and evenings, and of course when I lay down at night.  I cannot stop coughing (loud, body-shaking/convulsing coughs) generally for a minute, sometimes longer.  And, I sometimes break, and then start again, with a coughing period that lasts 5-10 minutes.  There are times when my windpipe must close because I start gasping for air.  I also tear up in the eyes, and am embarrassed to admit that I sometimes have minor "incontinence" problems during a fit - my whole body seems to give in to the cough.  

I haven't gone to the doctor because I don't know what they can do for me; they have done little for me in the past and I think they just don't get it (and of course, whenever I am at the doctor my cough seems to disappear).  But, I can't continue with these body-wrenching coughs.  When I'm done with a fit, my whole body is fatigued and my chest is tight.  My co-workers have started again with the typhoid mary name (only because I mentioned it to them, but they feel it is appropro).  The only way I can sleep at night is to pile 4-5 pillows behind me, take a Mucinex and a double dose of Robitussin - I get about 3 hours of sleep and then wake up, have to readjust on the pillows, drink some water, and try to sleep again.  I'm usually up another 2 to 3 hours and then have a fit, and start again.  When i wake up and sit up in the AM, I usually start coughing again - to the point where I have to gasp and stand over the toilet afraid something is going to come up (all that comes up are small pieces of phlegm).  

I recognize the symptoms are probably from post-nasal drip, but my cough is severe that it can't be something I simply live with ---- suggestions anyone????  Should I go to see a particular kind of doc???  Help --- I need my sleep and control of my body back!

Avatar universal
by frances999, Mar 02, 2009
Hi Mary and all,
Sorry to hear you are suffering so much from this horrendous cough, Mary, with regard to the mucus, I have friends who have suffered with the same sort of thing and they cut out all dairy products and they found the mucous problem dissapeared. Maybe it is worth a try, if you do try it give it a go for at least a month.

I know how you feel It is truly terrifying and I have had the same answers from Doctors, they just dont know what these throat spasms (laryngeospasms)  are caused by and they think I am panicking, or that I must be able to get some air in, but I am Not panicking and it is as if a trap door has closed my throat completely and absolutely no air is going in or out.

I have a sore throat at the moment and I am scared I will have one of these "episodes"  my doctor won't prescribe antibiotics as he says they dont work on this type of thing.  I got my epi pen out last night and reread the instructions just in case and it did give me a little bit of piece of mind, alhough I was still scared and every time I nearly fell asleep I kept waking up with a jolt as it felt as if my throat was closing up.  I think the worst thing is the cough as that is when I get the spasm, I think the violence of the cough causes the larynx to spasm and close the throat.  

I hope this helps,

Take care,


Avatar universal
by lilred949, Mar 22, 2009
OMG   im not the only one. i have a cough only! had it for 3 months been on z pack twice, levq, and had steriod shot, still have coughing fits that go on till i vomit. laughing in paticular really triggers it, once i sater i cough about 10 to 15 times in a row and gasp for air only to cough one last time that always brings up something with it(vomit) then im fine till next episode. my family freaks and now i wonder if its something serious. i have no allergies no asthma. did just have a small bowel resection in dec. for crohns disease, anyone think that has anything to do with it? need help im stumped, and docs are not helping . had chest x ray and tested for whooping cough , it was all negative.   thanks a bunch

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by RHSphd, Mar 23, 2009
I just had a similar episode -- frightening. Check out Here are the first paragraphs from this website:
Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) is a hidden, yet common, usually unsuspected condition of throat closure &/or choking sensation that can strike any age, can cause sudden, severe episodes (attacks) of breathing difficulty, sometimes with wheezing (whistling or sighing sounds) &/or stridor (harsh, high pitched, ‘windy’ gasping sounds). In the Emergency Room (ER), VCD is usually misdiagnosed as being difficult (refractory, or brittle) asthma, anaphylaxis (severe, life threatening allergic reaction), or hysteria (all in one’s head).
VCD can feel like straining to breathe through a straw. Some cannot get any air in (or out) at all. Panic and fear of dying from feeling that one isn’t getting in enough air, often causes repeated ER visits or hospitalizations.  

The "throat" closure actually occurs inside the voice box (larynx), (behind the "Adam's apple") when the vocal cords go into a "closing-up" spasm.  (See drawing on web-page 1).

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by bl2468, Mar 25, 2009
bl2468, You may have hit the button RHSphd on at least my problem. Checked your site but to implement the breathing etc at the time of an attack is impossible. The spasm cough comes too quick and it takes all my time to control it so that it doesn't end up closing my throat off.

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by aastee, Apr 06, 2009
Been suffering this for 50 years. Often with a cold, but can happen anytime. My best friends got used to me flailing my arms in panic. Could always struggle to get a tiny bit of air between coughs. would break out in a sweat from the strain and it would slowly ease up in 10-20 minutes. At night I believe it was caused by post nasal drip. But often happened with things like vinegar or sweets, or like others said, just saliva. A bit of anything, even just the tickle mentioned above causes the cough which causes a spasm in what I assume is an overly sensitive larynx. The PANIC causes the continued spasm, I bet. But for the first time ever, I was eating a candy bar and, no big bites, but too sweet, started to cough and my throat closed completely. There could not have been anything big enough to literally choke on, but I did the Heimlich to myself as hard as I could. Nothing popped out but I did start to breath. I think maybe the forced air interrupted the spasm.  

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by RAJ888, Apr 07, 2009
Even yawning will start it ... cough, can't inhale or exhale, nose runs, eyes tear, water running out of my mouth, sometimes my voice won't come on for till after a few silent words. Very upsetting, scary, and embarrassing when not at home. After reading your posts, I started reading up on vocal cord damage which can be caused by hard coughing, which is my case. Also, a few months ago, I had a major upset which had me screaming ... my throat and voice have not recovered yet. Some kind of bug going around caught me after that and voila, I have this mysterious unexpected thing, just like you all. I started wearing a comfy scarf the last few days, keeping my throat cozy and it is soothing. When the closing in my throat happens, I breath through my NOSE, when I am able to stay focused (learned when doing yoga) and that seems to put a stop to the spasms.

Thanks to the one who started this post, I am no longer alone and will have an explanation when I go to work tomorrow.  

It would be interesting to find out if there is a psychological trend we all have in common. Or a life situation which is tough and puts a strain on our throat. I certainly have been battling to heard, desperately VOICING in order to be validated. Are any of you in the same sinking boat?

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by aastee, Apr 08, 2009
hey RAJ888, I'm with you on this, My last and worst 'fit' was shortly after I talked too much in a certain situation, and thought-- how interesting that I have literally shut myself up. But this is probably too psychoanalytical for most people. Too put it simply, this is our common stress issue.

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by tomayo, Apr 20, 2009

Hello all. I just joined this board. I want to say that I am comforted to know that this is not some weird thing that has been happening to me. THe scariest thing is when my airway is blocked after coughing or just clearing my throat. It does last for about 30 seconds and my panic is what is the scariest part. My wife and kids freak out when they see me grasping my neck. The important thing I have learned after having these "choke attacks" is to stay calm and look upward to open your air-passage all the way. Then breathe as best as you can THROUGH YOUR NOSE!. If you have to, try to cough real hard to "blow it out", but STAY CALM!!!! That was my hardest part, (I went to the Emergency room 3 times, 1 via a 911 call).  Docs 1st said GERD, reflux, now are saying Viral related (which means antibiotics won't help). I believe the chest/sinus cold I have, created this CLEAR very sticky film of mucous and it just comes down from the nasal areas. I have tried a Sinus rinse which seems to help. They also gave me albuterol inhaler for any seasonal allergies (this time of year is bad).... PLEASE REMEMBER to STAY CALM, breathe through your nose. !!!!! If you feel the flem coming to your throat, try to get it out in small increments so it wont completely block the airway. I hope I helped anyone out there with this. It is truly the most scariest thing I have ever encountered! Godbless you.


Avatar universal
by aastee, Apr 22, 2009
Just found out my sister suffers the gasping cough part, too. She had a cold, was having a fit, and some woman on the street gave her a piece of 'Cough gum', she was in Iceland. It was a Wrigleys product from Scandanavia with XYLITOL. It's a sugar substitute you can Google. It immediately stoped her cough, I have yet to need it. We should all check it out and report back!

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by amitrus, May 01, 2009
I'm suffering from this too guys. I'm 32 - I go to the gym 4 times a week.... last week Friday, I developed a cough... then Tuesday morning 6am, I woke up, and tried to cough up some phlegm - next thing I knew, I was choking. I couldn't breathe in.. when I did, it sounded as like some sort of distorted howl... I was panicing, thinking I was going to pass out, but managed to scream at the top of my lungs and suck in a bit of air whilst still howling 5-6 times before finally clearing the throat and managing to breathe.

This is a nightmare. It happened again the Wednesday morning (i.e. the day after), and again on Friday(yesterday morning).

I'm now scared to sleep in bed.

The doc didn't seem to know what was going on, and just prescribed me antibiotics which I have yet to get.

This is scary as hell.  I don't want to live with this for the rest of my life. I can't believe I'm going through this :(

I hope there is an end in sight...  I will post back if there ever is :(

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by bjh1953, May 04, 2009
Hi All,

Glad I found this site - the same problem is happening to me too.  Spent Friday in teh ER at a local hospital, diagnososo was bronchitis with asthma components.  Got some prescriptions and have been taking them, but they don't seem to help much.  Have already passed out three times today (only 12:30pm now), no passing out yesterday, three times on Saturday.  Am seeing my PCP today, so will hopefully learn more.  Will pass on anything useful that I learn...

Avatar universal
by amitrus, May 04, 2009
Guys, can you all also check out...

Because I actually think some of us could be suffering from this including myself - even though the two doctors I've seen did not reach this conclusion. The coughing sound I make is very similar to the sound sample of the 40 year old male on the audio section of this site. Let me know what you think....

Avatar universal
by bjh1953, May 04, 2009

Found out from my PCP that a CAT scan Friday showed a possible nodule on my thyroid.  Could be that is causing my cough, and not necessarily bronchitis.  Any thoughts, ever happen to anybody else?

Avatar universal
by daisy152, May 06, 2009
I am older woman  very ill for over a week with the throat spasms ,cough  no voice ,temperature and full upper respiratory tract  infection.I get an attack every three years which is so frightening and debilitating as I live alone but anyway there is nothing to be done but hope attack will pass and try to relax.I have passed out twice.
I have been on two anti biotics  and a high dose of steroids this week. I was also prescribed a steroid inhaler which makes me worse for hours after using it so I stopped using it. Previous occasions,I also had the nebulizer but again I was doubtful of its effectiveness.
What no doctor ever told me and I did not see it posted in any anybody else's comments was the use of anti histamines.I had some Neo Clarityn from holidays and was so desperate I tried them and I definitely think they work as there is a definite link with the allergic  response and they should reduce the re-action .
I have huge tiredness and lethargy which is not my normal life as I am a swimmer ,golfer, and walker,but I am getting better and when  do , I forget how ill I have been.
If anyone has thoughts on use of histamines with this condition, I would be glad to know.

Avatar universal
by ALLDER_BLOB, May 08, 2009
Taking a day away from work after two separate episodes that had me gasping for air yesterday, Thursday.

I am 50, otherwise in good health. Active cyclist, commuting to work (total 1-hr daily) until recent job relocation puts cycling out of reach (for past 2 mos I take transit, 1.5 hr each way).  No asthma or serious allergies that I know of although I do not eat much dairy and sometimes get leg cramps (lactose-intolerant) when I have some milk. Have mild psoriasis, and have always been asked when I see doctors for it if I have asthma too, but no. For the past 2 years I've controlled the psoriasis (on my face only) with calipotriol (aka Dovonex)--less-than a pea-sized amount 4x per week. Otherwise (after 35 years) I leave psoriasis alone, after many ultimately fruitless attempts to control it including coal-tar/light therapy (Goeckerman) treatment. Several years ago I was riding my bike past a railroad yard on a warm day, and the stench of creosote (like coal-tar) from the yard suddenly overwhelmed me--my windpipe seized up and I coughed, then felt the symptoms as follows--felt like I was breathing through a water-clogged pin-hole and had to get off my bike and try to suck in some air, finally able to breathe in enough (after 30-50 seconds?) cough up some phelgm, and more tortured breathing and coughing until I finally felt close to normal (10 mins later), but with a frightening thought that I was finally being stricken with asthma. But until last March, no repeat episodes.

I am a design teacher at a college (post-secondary) and rely on my voice as a main tool of my work. The other tool is the board--until the end of March, a "whiteboard" with (toxic-smelling) markers but since job relocation a chalkboard with so-called "dustless chalk" that leaves my fingers covered with residue.

Last March (before the move, and before the chalk) it was the end of a final presentation for my students, and much stress was over. I stood to deliver some final parting words (these students were graduating and would be entering the workforce with their diplomas--I have to say I felt the weight of their expectations on me to say something profound) when suddenly the same thing occurred as had by the trainyard those years previous--a tickle in my throat and sudden closing of my windpipe. Unable to speak, I thumped my chest with no result--my students thought I was "choked up" with emotion or else joking--all eyes on me. I waved my hands and wheezed in some air, then croaked an excuse and left for the washroom. After a difficult coughing-up of phlegm and a few sips of water I felt able to return. While my throat was still rough, I was able to speak my words, and explain that I had no idea why my throat had seized up.

Had a highly stressful 2-hr architect's exam on Monday and felt bleary after--too much caffeine and sugar on top of the mental exertion. Cold symptoms that evening included stuffy nose. Woke myself up in the night with snores--uvula swollen--changed position on pillow (two pillows). Drank some water. Felt fairly nauseated. Went to work on Tuesday and felt somewhat worse by end of day--it is study week so no classes to teach except Thursday a make-up class. Wednesday the same, but coughing and ticklish throat on top of runny nose. Phlegm pale yellow/creamy.

Wednesday night I felt sick enough to consider staying home--no fever though and a makeup class to conduct so bad form to miss it--jokes about "swine flu" notwithstanding I went in to work Thursday morning. I got through most of my students, although with a hoarse throat and inability to speak very loudly. At one point during my introductory lecture I felt my windpipe closing up, but not so badly that I had to leave the room--I gasped a bit for air and coughed into my sleeve and continued. Desk reviews followed, and at my last student I was suddenly stricken again--I had to leave the room, just like the other episodes, wheezing for air, I made it to the john where I managed to cough up phlegm and spit it out, I drank some water which calmed my throat, blew my nose repeatedly (creamy snot) and eventually was able to return to teaching...

Now waiting to go to the doctor tomorrow; I had a conversation with the nurse on the phone who asked if I had numbness in my chest or arm or chin (no), asked about history of asthma (none), did not have an answer but said to call 911 if the symptoms return while I am alone. She took it seriously enough. Looking over the sight mentioned above I am intrigued by and will ask my dr. about "vocal cord dysfunction." Sounds like it could be me--especially the fact that the recent episodes were all triggered when trying to speak. It may be that fear of embarrassing oneself by just "coughing it up" makes matters worse. The website is lengthy--much to absorb--but it looks like the "dysfunction" may not have a simple cure...what else is new.

Forgive my wordiness. I will bookmark and return with any news.

Avatar universal
by tomayo, May 09, 2009
Hello all,
I posted last month and wanted to share what I believe caused my airway to close for 30 seconds or so after coughing. The first time it happened, I drank a "virgin Mary". It was spicy and caused a lot of flem in my throat. After 3 weeks of doctor visits, antibiotics, nexium (thought I had reflux), I know it wasnt that because I had an operation for that 10 years ago and havent had heartburn since. I then tried the same mix (Maj Peters) and guess what, again that night almost 60 seconds my windpipe was closed. I was gasping for my life. Doc said stay away from it. Prescribed me a lot of antihistamines, deconomine and allegra helped with the nasal drip which seemed to get rid of the "tickle" in ky throat. One last time a few weeks later, I tried the same thing. Yes, it happened again a few hours later. Same chocking session. So now I am looking at the ingredients, it has anchovies, and alot of tomato sauce. I will never try it again,  and so far, no attacks. MUCINEX does not help! Get sudafed and some kind of allergy med to dry up the nasal drip. Drink alot of water and watch what you eat. I could have a mild tomato allergy. I wanted to share this with you all because the trauma I went through of not breathing was the scariest thing in my life. If docs cant help, try some kind of allergy medicines. It could be that!!!!!

Avatar universal
by tomayo, May 12, 2009

Just came from ENT specialists. He knew right away what I had was a Laryngeal spasm. This is caused by your vocal cords constriciting due to some irritation caused by fluid (Post nasal drip, Acid reflux,..etc).... He said usually Acid reflux is the culprit (Silent acid reflux?).... Anyway, good news is that if you pass out, your body naturally will relax. He said breathing out (exhaling) fast and inhale very very slow will calm down the spasm. Anyone can get them because this is your vocal cords natural reaction to substance irritating it (sends messages to your brain to avoid drowning).... There are breathing techniques as I mentioned, also I read that Calcium/Magnesium deficiency can increase the chance of getting these. Basically keep your throat moist, avoid reflux by medication and diet (no spicy food), and if you have post nasal drip, (sinuses causing you an itchy throat), take sudafed and allergy medecine. I finally feel relieved after almost 2 months of this. Panic makes it worse. Inhaling rapidly will close it shut! You need to first exhale rapidly, then inhale very very slowly to calm down the spasm. Hope this helps everyone! Take care!

Avatar universal
by sweetvivor, May 12, 2009
May 12, 2009 SweetVivor

I have had this congestion, worsening, for over two months. Doc said, not flu (rolled his eyeballs, but
didn't test). Gave me Nasonex (sprays drown me) and amoxicillin didn't work a month ago, either.

I have a slightly differnet problem--the mucous comes up and it isnt necessarily thick or copious.
Instead, it is so "sticky" like a plastic net, that it won't come out, and falls over my trachea
(windpipe). I cannot breathe! It's different than laryngeal spasm--I have that too, like my dad did.
I actually dreamt I was choking one night, drivng over the mountaintops with Keifer sutherland (hey--not my first choice. Ha) and I looked up to see a marker for 7900 feet. That, in real life would be a death sentence for me. I woke up becasue I really was choking from the mucous net.

It is very important not to panic. Easy to say. It's like the time I was almost drowned, and my clothes were dragging me down. I realized much later, that if I only had flotaed on my back. . . Anyway,
I "bark" or shout out loud, kinda like a self-heimlick maneuver without the punching in the tummy.

It gives me a pretty good airway. 95% effective. As I am among the world's oldest living insulin-
dependent Juvenile diabetics (48 years) I live every minute of every day, with managing risk and
trying not to panic during emergencies. And it still ain't easy--nor fun. Good Luck. .

Avatar universal
by CF326, May 16, 2009
Sounds like I've found the right place.  I've had this "tickle" problem since I was a child and I'm 63 now and have been experiencing these spasms for the past 3 weeks.  I'm still looking for a cause and cure, but this is what I my experience has shown me.  As soon as I feel it coming on, I tense up, making my throat dry, and making the spasm worse. You must try to relax.  Drinking/sipping warm liquids helps tremendously.  Be careful which cough drops/lozengers you choose - some make it worse.  I've found that "Fisherman's Friend" cough drops are great.

Avatar universal
by kingy33, May 22, 2009
I have been experiencing all of the above and looked at member RHSphd  's suggested link.
Have a look at
I have found i have managed to control the blocking of the wind pipe and can now 'pull myself back from the edge' by using the breathing out method that i have pasted below.
Now that i know i can control my breathing when an episode occurs, this has made me less anxious which also helps.
Try this method, i hope it works for you all since i know how scarry this is. Even at the hint of the 'tickley cough' which then leads to the episode, if i do the breathing out, then i can stop the attack happening. It's also free! I know this doesn't cure the cause but it has calmed me down and i am no longer frightened of coughing cos i know i can control it now.
Thank you so much RHSphd for the link.

4) On the way to the Emergency Room (ER), or while waiting for an ambulance, the VCD patient can try EXHALING (breathing out) through slightly pursed lips, (like gently blowing out a candle), whispering a gentle "fffffffffff". This may sound like a gentle wind or breeze, or it may be silent. Do this, using breath & lips, without vibrating the vocal cords. Keep lips in a position that is not quite as puckered, as for whistling. Keep lips SYMMETRICAL around teeth. Do NOT have lower lip touching upper teeth. It's like gently blowing out a candle, but with lips not pushed out. Some prefer whispering "ssssssss", or, "shhhhhhh". This breathing/speech therapy exercise has helped stop VCD attacks in many patients. (Ref.17)

Some people prefer to whisper an exhaled "ffff", "ffff", "ffff", against a little resistance, in somewhat short, quick bursts, all in the same exhalation.  This is like blowing out a slightly stubborn "trick" candle, and you can hear the windy sound of the "ffff", "ffff", "ffff".

5) If any of this helps, try SLOWING DOWN the EXHALATIONS a bit, (gently whispering "fffffffffffffffff") through slightly pursed lips. (similar to gently blowing out a candle). Some Doctors and Speech Pathologists know about the theories of how this Speech Therapy can get the vocal cord muscles to relax and come out of spasm, stopping the VCD attack.

Avatar universal
by abcOz, May 22, 2009
Some of these experiences sound like what my husband is experiencing.  I went to the whoooping cough site mentioned earlier - and the sound file is very close to the noise he produces mid-spasm.

Coincidentally a friends young children have been diagnosed with whooping cough.  She was told to blow in her child's mouth to stop the spasm, telling me it helped her children.  That night I tried that method on my husband.  After two weeks + of  days / nights of not being able to "catch his breath" .... and the situation becoming worse (two visits to dr & no assistance in how to deal with an accute phase - and the same old story about it reverting if he faints) I thought I'd try the technique.

It was incredibly successful - instantly it stopped!  He looked at me & asked "What did  you do to me?".  I can laugh now, because we now apparently have a simple solution.

I just instructed him to open his mouth.  He struggled a bit to do this - but when his mouth was open, I blew a short, sharp blast of air into it.  (Like blowing out a candle.)  The result was amazing - I think it is some sort of reflex - but for what ever reason, it helped- both it dealing with the actual situation, but also just knowing there is a simple way to control it.

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by bl2468, May 24, 2009
Until recently no one in this post has mentioned a dr. who recognises a spasm for what it is; throat closure not from asthma, bronchitis etc but from irritation to the throat especially in the area of the voice box. In my case this appears to be where my spasm initiates itself either from a sore throat or irritation from dust of any kind. I was cutting some panels for cupboards the other day and inhaled some of the dust which started my cough off which kept on tickling my throat causing another cough bout. I felt my throat starting to close over simply by coughing too much. I took a suck of Bricanyl and a drink of alot of water until it subsided. I started this column off so my history is at the top. I can only say that ANY irritation can start this off and Rhsphd has hit the nail on the head. It is near or at the voice box and is caused by anything that can irritate the throat. I also noticed after any attack that my voice changes its pitch completely which reinforces what Rhsphd has said. As to cure, well there isn't one that covers ALL these people in this column. Just read all the comments and be your own judge. Barry

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by ladybug008, Jun 02, 2009
I can't tell you how better I feel knowing other people have gone through this. The ER and the Doctors made me feel like they had no idea what I was going through. It started November 2008 as a cold and turned into the worst cough I have ever had. Then out of the blue I coughed one time and my throat closed shut. I could not breathe in or out. This is the most scarest thing that had ever had happened to me. It put so much fear in me.  Then  every time I coughed it would happen again. I was on vacation in FL for 2 weeks. This was the longest 2 weeks of my life. I went to the ER and they just give you meds. I was given an inhaler which I think helped.(how do you use an inhaler when you can't breathe)  I really can't explain everything I went through. I would be here all night.  This condition stayed with me for a good while. ( 3 Weeks)  It than got to a point where I would start to fall alsleep and I would wake up and I was breathing like I had Asthma. I would run to get my inhaler. I still carry my inhaler with me. The fear stays with you for a long long time. Now I live with the fear that this will happen again. I am so scared. I guess we have to tell ourselves that we lived through it . It did not kill us. That is what I am afraid of. I feel the pain for all of you. It is so scarey that you can't even cry. I just would stay as calm as I could . ( wasn't that hard)    Krista

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by debleneal, Jun 05, 2009
Mucus Suction worked for me...

My husband and I both got a terrible virus a several weeks ago. My doctor told me I had Bronchitis and i started the zpac. My coughing continued to get worse and i was having trouble breathing. I have an  inhaler that i used but it seems to irritate the throat. The mucus is very thick and i know i was struggling to get it up. it felt like it was covering my airways so i could not breath in or out. After several days of these throat attacks i went into the hospital to see if they could give me some answers. I was put a strong antacid and Claritin. I had very bad breathing attacks during the night and a doctor finally got to see one when i took a shower. he quickly made apt with a speech therapist and a ENT. They thought it was vocal cord dysfunction along with the Bronchitis that was giving me such bad attacks. The results showed that i had some bruised vocal cords from the severe coughing but no other problems. The speech therapist thought I was dealing with a bit more than VCD. The Claritin was a bad idea. it made the mucus thicker and harder to get out of my throat. I told them that it felt like a hard sheet of mucus covering my throat so we stopped the claritin and they gave me an humidifier in my room.

I have botox injections in my neck for spasm torticollis. The Botox relaxes the neck muscles around my throat so my shoulders will relax. I think i am not strong enough to get the mucus out because of the Botox so when I try and try to cough the mucus out my throat spasms and i can't breath. They kept telling me to calm down and work on my breathing methods. I feel like they didn't understand the fact that when the spasm happens i have already exhaled and there is no air to work with.  

My saving grace- I finally asked for a suction yoonker to remove the mucus stuck in my throat. I did this myself by sticking it down the throat and sucking the stuff out. My mucus was white/cream and thick, very sticky. i removed a huge hunk about the size of my fist.
Once i had the thick sticky mucus removed i could control the neck spasms by grunting and breath!!!

My doctor is sending me home with a suction device. I feel much better knowing I can suck it out when I am having a neck spasm attack. For all of you with the thick mucus try the suction. I thought i was going through hell and I had lost all hope until we tried this. I am coughing much less now and i am feeling confident for the first time in many weeks.

Be positive and keep searching for answers.

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by wilt, Jun 12, 2009
Sounds like I have what the rest of you are dealing with.  I was recently sick with Bronchitis and while dealing with that I developed these sudden respiratory attacks.  My airway completely closes after a short coughing spell.  It usually starts with a sever and sudden tickling sensation low in the throat which triggers my cough response.  After I cough out all the air in my lungs my throat closes and I cant get any air back in my lungs for 30 to 40 seconds.  This happens 10 times a day now, and it scares the hell out of me.  Will this ever subside?  I don't want to live this way for the rest of my life.    Wilt

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by bl2468, Jun 12, 2009
You have read all the comments in this column Wilt and they do vary a bit but the bottom line is throat closure is common to all. Rhsphd, as I have previously mentioned, has identified the area where this blockage occurs and it does seem likely that most of the cases listed here might have the same area to contend with, as well as yourself. Armed with that info I went to a Dr who I had never seen before (my Dr doesn't seem to want to know probably because he has no ides himself) and when I put it to him my case hstory he agreed that the area around the voice box is very sensitve and has been involved with what we call VCD (vocal chord disfunction). As to a cure he has not got one except just avoidance of what might bring it on. It wont kill you but it can make you go out to it (I imagine just like drowing) . A nice thought and one I havent faced as yet and don't want to. Some people in this column have experienced this as you have probably read and it is not nice to look forward to. It occupies my everyday thinking and am on the lookout for any sign that may bring an attack on. Good luck Wilt and everybody else. Barry

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by markv6, Jun 15, 2009
OMG!  Thought I was gonna die.  I am on antibiotics for a bronchial infection and cough medicine with codine for the cough.  For the past two mornings I was awoken to a coughing fit which then led to a throat spasm causing my throat to close up.  With every cough, precious air was leaving my lungs and inbetween I would gasp for every molecule of air I could get.  Very quickly I completely ran out of air.  I was slowly able to breath again by calming my self with Zen like thoughts.  .  .  (Breath light, relax, relax, breath.)  I will keep you informed if these spells increase in number and severity.  I don't know how much worse they can get short of my passing out, then and only then I should be relaxed and breathing should go back to normal.  (If the fall doesn't kill me)

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by Dee4806, Jun 21, 2009
I read your blog and the same thing happened to me 10 yrs ago.  I ended up in the hospital because the spasm was called lorengo spasm.  This can be deadly!!  They diagnosed me with a bad case of acid reflux.  It took 6 months of treatment before the spasm went completely away.  Hope this helps.:)

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by Sanz1820, Jun 25, 2009
Thank you for all of the above. Just knowing that I am not alone in this has been a big help. My first episode came completely out of the blue two weeks ago - at 3.00am. Then ten days went by before my next attack. Since then, five days ago, it has happened at least once every day - twice so far today. I've seen three docs so far - none with any experience of this. The GP I saw today (I'm in the UK) gave me both an epipen (which is reasuring) and a prescription for an acid reflux drug - Omeprazole. I took one of these about four hours ago, but it didn't prevent me having an attack half an hour back. I'm going to hospital for a chest x-ray tomorrow, but my GP doesn't really expect this to tell us much.
I would hate to think that this is going to be a recurring feature of my life from here on in.

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by LDU, Jun 27, 2009
It's 6:20 a.m. I"ve been up since my throat closure after a coughing spell at 3:00 a.m. I was too scared to go back to bed. Desperate to find out what was happening to me I got on the internet. Thank God I found this site.   THANK YOU so much for the breathing tips. If my throat closes up again after coughing I will try not to panic. I'm going to try breathing out slowly with the short puffs of air before I try to breathe in.

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by oxygenlubber, Jul 05, 2009
Thanks to everyone for their posts. I have the same symptoms as you. I got them after a week of strong coughing associated with the flu (H1N1?). I also panicked at first and went to the emergency room, where they were baffled and just told me to go back home. The interesting thing is that my girlfriend, who visited from Brazil and gave me the flu, has the same throat-closing symptoms now! So it's clear that we both were infected by the same agent that has produced these VCD symptoms. I am having about 15 breathing crises per day now. Occasional incontinence, which I only notice after the attack has passed. I haven't found anything that works - forget antibiotics and asthma meds, they're irrelevant or even harmful. My larynx feels exquisitely oversensitive and is on a knife-edge.

It was strange to be arriving in Brazil yesterday, from Canada, with so many airport staff wearing masks, and then having an uncontrollable coughing attack while peeing my pants, turning beet red and then gasping desperately for breath when my throat did not open up naturally, despite forcing my self to wait, wait, wait with the patience of the Dalai Lama. Stranger still that none of the other passengers even blinked or raised a finger to help.

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by Teressa74, Jul 09, 2009
Wow! I am not nearly as bad off as the rest of you seem to be, but it does scare me. Unlike the majority of you, I am not sick. no cold, flu ect. I was diagnosed with asthma years ago, and occasionally do need my inhalers, but I only use them if I really need to. What happens with me is I start to laugh, it then turns to a cough, and then I can not inhale, only exhale. like a choking exhale. It is the worst feeling imaginable, and one day I am afraid that I will not be able to inhale again. To be honest with you, I do not know how long I lose the ability to inhale, I only know I do, I feel my face going red, it feels like i am blowing up like a baloon. I cant explain to anyone what is happening. It scares my daughter and bf as well as myself. nothing seems to help, the doc has no idea what it is. When I do regain the ability to breath in again, its like coming up from under water, i take huge gasping breaths and I am still coughing, but at least I can get the air in and out now.


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by oxygenlubber, Jul 15, 2009
I'm just going to do a followup post. My last comment was 10 days ago, July 5th. From 15 breathing crises per day, I'm now down to 1 or 2. I still don't know what causes these reactions. It seems to be a combination of several reflexes: the coughing reflex is in high gear - I don't know what is stimulating it, but it seems to be something stuck on my vocal cords, like mucus; the swallowing reflex, which doesn't seem to be able to clear that gunk out; and the breathing reflex, naturally. I find I can prevent a gasping, throat-spasming episode almost every time now by the following strategy. Whenever I start to cough, I cough aaaalllll the way, until there is absolutely nothing left to cough out - and here's the critical part - I take the trouble, before starting to draw any breath in at all, to expel any and all secretions from my throat into my mouth. If I succeed - and I do take the trouble to succeed every time, even if it takes 2 or even 3 tries - then my throat will quite happily open of its own accord and I can breathe again quite naturally without any dramatics. You must expel all mucus before your throat will allow you to take any air in.

Now, to get to this point, I had to do some very serious work on getting rid of all that mucus. My throat is at times an inexhaustible fount of gooey mucus. To dry that up, my first defence was Tylenol Night-time Flu pills - the blue ones (in Canada at least). There are 4 ingredients - only one of them is useful for this affliction, and it is the antihistamine that they put in the night-time pills (chlorpheniramine maleate). This antihistamine makes you sleepy but also dries up your throat secretions. What relief.

Next, I washed my nasal passages twice per day with saline solution, and especially the nose-clearing spray that cuts mucus thickness (let me look that up for you - here it is, nasal moisturizing spray with antifreeze :) polyethylene glycol). On top of that, I used a nasal corticosteroid spray twice per day. This nasal cleaning help to dry my throat and cut down on mucus. I suspect that an important part of the throat mucus comes from the sinuses, because when saline nasal spray is used, all the mucus coming from my throat is very salty.

Next, what is the cause, the trigger? Either some sort of extreme reaction to the flu I had, with severe coughing, or else a severe reaction to dental composite, or a combination of the two. My symptoms started at the same time that I began to get a bridge replaced in my mouth. I had a temporary bridge for several weeks, which was a horrible tasting thing that had a clove taste and burned my cheeks. Now that the new bridge has been in place for almost two weeks, and the dental composite cement that holds it in place is slowly dissolving away, so are my throat problems - I hope.

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by oxygenlubber, Jul 15, 2009
Note, the Tylenol night-time pill was taken only at night, and I took nothing during the day.

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by KESH45, Jul 15, 2009

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by crocus6, Jul 25, 2009
Add me to the list.  I've been dealing with this since late May.  I have asthma and chronic sinus issues.  My family physician tried Advair, steroid nasal sprays, and heavy duty antibiotics... nothing.  He sent me to an ENT who thinks it has to do with reflux and started me on me on a medication regime for this about 2 weeks ago... again, nothing.  It's very scary when I can't breathe after coughing due to a tickle in my throat.  I try to calm myself, as I go into panic attack mode.  This helps.  After the attack, my voice is gone for maybe 10 minutes.  I'm 59 and this is the 1st time anything like this has ever happened before.  It has helped to find this site and learn I'm not the only one.

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by tapia76, Jul 27, 2009
yea i seem to have that same problem. it didnt start that way though.  i first just had simply dry couph that turned in to more active couphing where it made my chest sore and loss of voice breefly i seen my dr and she recomeded over the counter meds..three days later i went to e.r. the coup seem to get worse they checked airways and did x ray and everything was clear..but they cheated me as if i had respritory infection...gave me breathing treatment and RX for inhaler, antibiotic and couph syrup with pain meds in it. i did not take inhaler bcause i did not have trouble breathing and took coup syrup for like 3 days but did not do anygood..i did take antiboitic and it did seem to clear up the couph..but about 2wks later i started couphing so hard that i could not catch my breath.  i would couph back to back like four times and try to breath inbetween and but cant because i keep couphing..and like you i thought i was not going to make it at one time...but one day i drank like teo bottle of water and had couph and it was a small dry couph almost i continue to try to keep throught wet and it seems to do the trick.  although i still seem to have trouble] at nite and when i get up...keep in touch and let me know how you do

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by di4cats, Jul 28, 2009
My husband has been suffering from the exact same scary throat closure after coughing fits for a month now. We initially thought it was a bacterial infection, and later we were thinking it was a reaction to inhaling some flea powder that was put down in his office. He is a surfer and I worry about this happening to him when in the ocean. After reading all these posts for an hour, I believe the larnyx spasm seems to make the most sense, and it is REALLY discomfiting that doctors don't know how to fix this problem. I am also kind of wondering whether this might not be some sort of contagious virus since these posts began last November and so many people seem to have had this since. I will also mention that two other people in my husband's office are now having the same symptoms which leads me to think it's a virus whose hallmark symptom is the cough followed by throat closure. My husband has been on two Z-packs, two courses of week-long oral steroids, Advair with steroids, and Mucinex. He commutes to work and after reading that people pass out from this I am very worried about this happening while he's driving, although he has never passed out. Now I have been having post nasal drip for several days now and starting to cough and sure hope I'm not getting this. From reading this, it sounds like an ENT is the best choice of doctor for this problem and the epipen sounds like a good idea, if only for peace of mind. I also like the idea of breathing into the person's mouth. Perhaps I will try that with him to see if it works.

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by Shazzer1970, Aug 01, 2009
About a month ago I started a cough which was just annoying but not much else. A week or so later I started coughing until I couldn't breath and would gag or vomit. My husband was out of the country at the time so my kids were left petrified each time it happened. When he returned he made me go to the Dr. I felt kind of stupid explaining the symptoms but thankfully he did take me seriously. He said I was having laryngeal spasms and prescribed prednisone and an acid reflux pill. For a day or two it seemed to help but as I am being weaned off the 6 day dose of prednisone it is starting to come back. It is really scary when it happens and I think I may make it worse when it happens at work ( I work with teens ) because I am embarrassed and scared. I also end up wetting myself, adding to the embarrasment. I am so glad to read that I am not alone in this but sad that you are also experiencing it. I had emergency gall bladder surgery a few months ago followed by gastritis. I am wondering if this could have started something in me. It is all very frghtening and I feel ridiculous because I can be fine for a day or two and then have it happen several times in a row. Why aren't the Drs trying to figure this out?  

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by bell0987654321, Aug 02, 2009
yes, i believe what the other posted... it is all over the states and what is it.,,,  I know a friend that got a bad cough, coughing alot, for 3 months,  she took all the meds. everyone else on the postings took, she still has it, and I got the cough, but not a cough all day and night, just a cough every now and then, but led to this throat closer thing. now for pass couple days got sinus drainage too along with my ear equal lib.( the ear equal lib. I have had in pass years off and on)  so took a claritin for sinus/ ear thing . ear thing gone  after one day, but not drainage.. nor cough.. very scary, last night had one spell of cough, cough only 3 times in one setting and throat close up, .. i will try the breathing tech. . and continue to take some antihismine... but what in the world is this stuff...??? my brother up north has it too, i have not been around him for

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by LDU, Aug 03, 2009
Since my last blog on June 27 I have been to the family doctor twice and the ENT three times. As of now they have diagnosed LRPD (laryngopharyngeal reflux disease). This is different than GERD. I didn't feel any pain or burning from acid reflux at all. It is very common to misdiagnose as Asthma, Sinusitis, etc. Finally after pleading with my ENT and telling him for the third time that the drainage in my throat didn't feel like the typical seasonal allergy related sinus drainage and reminding him that I have had a cough for two months along with panic in the middle of the night with my throat closing and not being able to breathe for a few seconds, he finally decided to do an endoscopy. Previously I had been put on steroids, antihistimines, decongestants, nasal sprays, etc. My condition only got worse. Now that he could also see that I was hoarse, he obliged to my pleading. The endoscopy showed my larynx was red and very swollen. He said I was past stage one with larynx damage. I was diagnosed with LPRD. He put me on 30mg of Prevacid and explained that it may take 8 weeks for me to start feeling better. I only pray that the diagnosis is correct this time. I am tired of feeling bad and being afraid to go to bed at night for fear of my larynx closing up.

He also gave me some literature to read on LPRD from the Methodist Hospital in Houston which has its own Reflux Center. LRPD most often doesn't have the typical acid burning like GERD. So, one doesn't even know he has it until the hoarseness and lump in the throat feeling comes into play. You can get info by going to:

Quick tips from what I have learned: Eliminate ALL caffeine, peppermint and chocolate. Even an ounce of chocolate will cause a mighty flair-up. Cut way back on salt. Movie theater popcorn nearly did me in. I thought I was drowning in the fluid pooling around my vocal cords. Eat a red delicious apple daily along with a tablespoon of honey. Make sure you take the Prevacid or Nexium. Don't wear tight clothing around your mid-section and try not to sit for long periods.

I'll blog again to let you know if all this is working.

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by desertrat2901, Aug 10, 2009
About 5 weeks ago I developed a tickle in my throat - it then went into what felt like the flu 3 days later.  The coughing attacks started about a week later and unless I can control how hard I cough, my throat will close for a few seconds...scares the daylights out of me.  I have been on 2 antis, predisone, some sort of cough (pres) , many OTC cough, acid reflux - nothing seems to stop it....and I will feel like I am getting the flu towards the latter part of the day.  I have been diag in the past with acid reflux but this felt like a viral bug that somehow has attached itself to my chest and refuses to budge!  Like everyone else, I have burning, I throw up afterwards which hurts even more and my children are scared to death and my back even hurts from the spasms.

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by chalan32, Aug 14, 2009
I have the same general symptoms as many of you. This has only been happening to me for a few weeks. it began after a bout with "bronchitis". But now the problem is almost certainly in or around my larynx. For me the proof of this came the other day when I was experiencing the tickling sensation that usually precedes the coughing, gagging, vomitting, and throat spasming and closing, and what brought it on was me trying to hit a "high" note while singing. Really I was just humming, but I noticed that the higher pitch my humming was the more my throat tickled and when it got to high, the reaction came and I started coughing, seems like it must be my larynx no?
This seems to happen more frequently when my throat is dry, like at night when my mouth probably falls open and i begin breathing through it instead of my nose. During the day I mostly get the tickling in cold places or where there is a fan or AC blowing on my face. I am interested in LDU's LPRD diagnosis. Going back to the doctor in a few days, fortunately this doc hasn't just dismissed my symptoms as asthma or viral infection I think with what I have learned on this forum i can possibly get his feedback on a few of them. thank you all for sharing. glad I am not alone. D

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by Chokey223, Aug 14, 2009
by chokey, August 14, 2009 9:15pm

I am experiencing the cough that closes my throat.  My doctor did blood gases which all came back normal.  He gave me an inhaler which does not help much.  Prednisone 20mg twice a day for 4 days.  I am on the second round of those.

It is so good to know that there are so many others who are experiencing what I have.  The LRPD sounds like the diagnosis  to my strange  symptons.  In the past, I was diagnosed with reflux, but this feels different.  However, once I get my air back, I burp.  

Today, I started slowly drinking a coke, which of course, makes me burp.  I also take a generic Tums.  I'm also taking omeprazole (generic prilosec) at night, along with codeine cough medicine and two diphenhydramine 25mg (Benadryl) at bedtime.  I still awake unable to catch my breath at first.  I walk around the kitchen until I can breath again.  Tonight I'll be thinking of my fellow sufferers and praying for you.

Not a good way to do it, but I've lost almost 10 lbs. in a week because I'm afraid to eat certain things.
May the Lord be with us all.  

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by pxm, Aug 15, 2009
If antibiotics sorta work, this suggests a bacterial origin. Bacteria don't do well with spicy foods. Start with some jalapeno peppers with your dinner, and work your way up to habanero, thai peppers, or an equivalently hot pepper. The odds are good that you will kick this bug. If your problem does not respond somewhat to antibiotics, however, this method will not work. For reflux conditions, I have no idea if it would help, but my guess is probably not.

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by Anna59, Aug 21, 2009
I found this blog very interesting.  I thought I was experiencing something unique but after reading all the comments realize I'm just one of many.  My symptoms started in mid July. After feeling lousy for a week, with a mild fever, and having had two bouts with bronchitis the previous month, I saw my family doctor. He said I had bronchitis again, gave me a 5 day course of Avelox and another inhaler to add to my collection. I went back a week later feeling worse than before and with a rib that hurt badly from the violent coughing.  This time he gave me Nexium, saying I had acid reflux, and gave me instructions such as sleeping on 3 pillows, avoiding spicy foods, etc. Two days later I began having difficulty getting air after a coughing spell. Then suddenly every time I coughed it ended with my larynx closing completely for several seconds before relaxing, gradually allowing me to take in air.  This terrified me! I googled my symptoms which led me to Whooping Cough sites.  I showed my husband and he said,"That sounds just like what you're going through!" Back to the doctor I went.  I told the doctor this was unlike any cough I had ever experienced.  My husband suggested I had Whooping Cough.  The doctor said he still thought it was acid reflux and said sometimes it can make you "think" that you can't breathe.  My husband insisted I be tested for Whooping Cough. (my daughter-in-law who lives with us is pregnant and due in 3 weeks and we read Whooping Cough is deadly to infants.) He reluctantly drew blood for the test.

A few days later I had an appt. with my GYN, and though this wasn't her field, I explained what I was experiencing and she too suggested I had asthma and/or acid reflux. She sent me to an ENT 2 days later.  Again, I went through my list of symptoms (the tickling in the back of the throat, difficulty swallowing, the coughing spells, throat closing completely, and the urge to cough constantly) He said I had laryngeal spasms and scoped me to see what was going on and found my larynx was red and swollen. He doubled my dosage of Nexium and told me to come back in 4 weeks.

I called my Neurologist @ IU Medical Center (I have MS) to see if maybe he could help me and he actually said he was stumped and that I should go back to my family doctor. That was 9 days ago.

My husband had a routine appt. with our family doctor this past Monday and while there, the doctor said, "By the way, your wife's test came back POSITIVE for Pertussis (Whooping Cough). HELLO!!!! He put all of us except my daughter-in-law on Azithromycin and we're on our 3rd day's dose. My son and husband are both showing symptoms and guess what? My daughter-in-law went into labor just hours ago!!!  My question - if Whooping Cough is making a comeback, shouldn't doctors be aware of the symptoms and be able to diagnosis it??? God knows how many people I've exposed to "acid reflux".

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by Nancydah, Aug 28, 2009
What test did they do for whooping cough?  Do you know if it can be done after the antibiotic treatment?   I think that is what my daughter might have had.  She is still having vocal cord spams and it is so frustrating.  I do not think I can send her to school as they will have no clue what to do with her if it happens.

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by Nancydah, Aug 28, 2009
I thought I'd add what I have learned to cope with this monster, in case others haven't seen this info.  This docs web site has two techniques that nip the spasms in the bud:  We use the most simple one, which is closing your mouth and breathing in through the nose and puffing out through the mouth.  That works effectively for the ones that aren't violent.  For the others I press behind my daughter's ear lobes moving her jaw forward...that stops things really quickly.  Sometimes she doesn't want me to do it if she feels she is getting things under control.  

My daughter is 11.  All of this started for us after she had a typhoid shot...she had malaise for a couple of days and then started with a dry little hack that after a week went to full blown bronchitis (which now I am thinking was pertusis...mayabe)  I thought it was odd that I did not get it nor my husband, but we both have had tetnus shots in the last couple of years and now I think they are all pretty much DPT...P being pertusis.  She was due for one now.  Anyway, when she was sick they put her on zithromax and two inhalers and nexium. The zithromax definitely cleared up the bronchitis/fever/productive cough.  But after the inahlers and nexium is when the laryngospasm started...and though it has quited down it has never gone away.  She was scoped my a ped. ent and he said her vocal cords looked fine...and to see GI.  We changed her to prilosec twice a day, but don't see that that has done anything to help.  I have done all the GERD stuff...elevated the head of her bead, no food after 6:30 (7 the latest,) avoiding all GERD foods...citrus, chocolate, spice, acidy, high fat etc...she doesn't really complain of acid, so I am not sure that is even the problem.

I am next scheduled for pulmonology...don't think that will show much.  My big problem is that school starts in 10 days and I don't even know how to begin to deal with that.  I feel I need to be able to get to her if she has a spasm.  It is taking its toll on me because waking up in the middle of the night to a choking child is a real shock to the system...and this has been going on for almost a month.

I hope we can all figure this out!!

Avatar universal
by desertrat2901, Sep 09, 2009
I am going on 10 weeks of a constant tickle/mucus in my throat/chest area.  I went to a 4th doctor and made them run lab work to test for whooping cough and valley fever (I live in AZ).  All tests came back negative.  The coughing attacks are not as severe as they were a couple of weeks ago so I am hoping this is on it's way out.  I just feel drained and I cannot talk fast or have cold liquids as that will set it off.  The cough is more present at night and first thing in the morning!  The one thing that has given me some relief is the Childrens Mucinex for cough...but I am 10 weeks into taking OTC drugs and my blood pressure has risen as a result.  I try to only take something at night so I can sleep.  The doctor now wants to do lung tests thinking it may be asthma...I think they just don't have a clue and they just try to keep you coming back so they can soak the insurance company.  The throat doctor actually billed my insurance for "surgery" just to stick a scope down my throat.  I am so tired and frustrated!

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by cygnusjen, Sep 16, 2009
We have been dealing with this in our household since mid-August.  My daughter (11) has asthma, so she has been on preventative meds and allergy meds and has an inhaler which she uses as needed.  She started with this persistent cough, bad enough that I took her to the pediatrician for it about 1 week before school started, and the doc said he thought it might be asthma related, and to try starting up her steroid inhaler to see if that didn't help.  He also said if it didn't make a difference in a couple days to get her tested for whooping cough.  I did notice a slight improvement, so I didn't mess with the test.  She still has a cough a month later, though not nearly as bad, and she hasn't had any throat closures.

Now, my 20 month old son and I both started coughing a couple weeks after she started, but it was just a persistent cough, not anything too crazy, then it started getting worse.  The coughs became quite violent and much more frequent, so up to the doctor with him I went.  They checked him and his lungs were clear, and the doc had us try zyrtec thinking it might be from post-nasal drip.  2 days later we went back to the doctor because he started wheezing, too.  Doc started him on an oral steroid, and albuterol nebulizer treatments until the wheezing stopped, and also has us doing a daily nebulizer steroid breathing treatment until "this is way over" - like 30 days!  My son is still coughing violently, and sounds like he might be having throat spasms, but I can't be sure.

The kicker is me!  I, too, am coughing, and it has been very annoying, up until last week.  I'm pregnant and due in a few weeks, so I haven’t been able to take much for this, and the coughing has become more and more violent.  Last week I was so tired of peeing myself every time I coughed I wanted to scream!  Then things got worse - I had a bout of bad diarrhea last Tuesday and got dehydrated.  Later that day, after that finally stopped, my coughing became very violent and I started pulling muscles in my abdomen and back.

My OB had me try cough syrup with codeine which didn’t help.  The only things that seem to really help is steam, lots of sips of water to keep everything wet, and when it was very bad I was using cough drops.

It took several days, but I have re-hydrated and things have improved.  I am still coughing violently, just not nearly as frequently, and now instead of just regular pains from coughing, I have excruciating pain in my right side from pulled/strained muscles or cracked ribs or something.  

My first time with the throat closure happened 2 days ago.  I was finally able to sleep most of the night (only got up twice – pregnant p- it happens) after days and days of getting very little, very broken sleep from coughing and pain.  My throat was extra dry because I was not sipping water all night for a change, and I woke needing to cough, so I went and sat on the toilet as I usually do, to cough, because I always lose my bladder because of the pressure from the baby, and I started into this fit, and my throat closed.  It scared the heck out of my husband as I was gasping for air and nothing was getting through this pinhole that was left.  He said it sounded like an asthma attack to him.

I’ve been to the doctor twice myself for this coughing thing, and my lungs are clear, and there’s no sign of infection or anything – it just is very dry!  Doc said he was surprised I wasn’t gagging it was so dry.  As long as I keep it moist, it’s not so bad, but again, last night, slept most of the night through, woke up with a dry throat, and had several very bad fits with throat spasms.  Now I’m midway through the day, have been sipping ice water all day, and things have really settled down.  I haven't had a chance to bring up the spasm to a doc yet, and I'm not sure there is a point after reading all of this.  I'll just do my best to keep everything nice and hydrated.

I think this is from some sort of virus or something, and the hope coughing and spasms are being exacerbated by the dryness.  Being pregnant, I have no choice but to hope this goes away soon, but reading all of these posts has really got me worried that I may be dealing with this for much longer than I care to.  With a new baby coming, and such horrible pain in my midsection that I can’t even lay down – how am I supposed to heal if this coughing doesn’t stop?  Especially after my c-section next month?

Avatar universal
by desertrat2901, Sep 17, 2009
I finally went to a Pulminologist (my 5th doc) thinking maybe I have adult asthma.  He feels I have Valley Fever!  If you live in the Southwest it is pretty common.  He prescribed Diflucan and I am now going on my 4th day and my cough is not as severe.  I haven't had an spasm at all.  The throat is not normal yet and if I laugh or breathe in the air will tickle and I will feel like I am about to go into a spasm but have been able to control that.  Really hate that I can't just do a belly laugh!  Today, some of my old energy is back and I feel pretty hopeful that this may be what is wrong.  BTW - had a blood test for Valley Fever and that tested negative.  The Specialist said that is common - only true way is to do a blood and a CT scan.  Gosh I hope this goes away!

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by Rori123, Sep 19, 2009
To everyone.  I have all these symptoms, saw acupuncturist today, really, really helped...and just now, after eating watermelon, had an attack.  Looked it up.  Total possible allergic reaction - throat swelling.  Anyone else notice what they eat anytime before attacks?  Cucumber is in that family...and all kinds of foods I'd imagine.

Avatar universal
by Rodney100, Sep 29, 2009
I cannot explain to you all how relieved I am to find this site.  I was beginning to think I was alone with this horrible feeling of suffocation.  I first experienced it several years ago after developing a cold. It was absolutely terrifying and I thought I was going to die. I was rushed to A&E and the Doctor looked at me as if I was a penny short of the full ticket. He said I must have had a Panic Attack and was obviously suffering from Anxiety and must go and see my own GP. He prescribed diazapam 2mg. for 1 week.  Over the passing 5 years or so, I have become terrified of getting a cold just in case it happened again.  Fortunately it never happened again, until last night.  All day I was feeling short of breath, I had a scratchy throat and found it very difficult to talk.  I began to start coughing, it was very dry and I tried hard to suppress it. I kept drinking hot tea and this seemed to help a little, but then all of a sudden I coughed and that was it. It was as if my windpipe was suddenly shut, I could not breathe in or out. I remember making these horrendous noises, rasping uncontrolably. My husband started to panic and said he was going to ring 999. The fear I felt inside was tremendous and I really thought this was it.  The whole process must have gone on for at least 45 seconds but it felt like forever.  Gradually I felt the air coming back into my lungs and I began shaking and was unable to speak.  When the ambulance arrived they took me to the A&E and again they had no idea what could have caused it, although the Doctor did state that the lymph nodes in my throat were raised and thought that I may have a throat infection and that I must go to my own GP and he would more than likely prescribe antibiotics.  I must say they made me feel as if I was wasting their time. Today I am feeling very nervous and again trying to suppress my cough, but reading through all the information given by other sufferers I at least feel secure in the knowledge that the worst that can happen is that I will pass out.  It doesn't stop the fear though.....................!!!! God Bless You All and Thank you for all the information given above.

Avatar universal
by charlotte603, Oct 10, 2009
umm welll, i have a sore throat and when ever i cough , okay so i worry to much and when i cough it just wont come up so my heart starts racing and im just so nervous and i dont know what to do i just wont it to go away, can someone help.?

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by Jenny198326, Oct 15, 2009
I just spent the night in the hospital, experiencing the exact same thing as Barry. A cough that results in my throat closing up and yes, struggling to breathe, no air coming back in for a good minute or two...panic sets in, as you feel like you're going to die. When the muscles in my throat finally loosen back up and i get a bit of air in, everything is really sensitive, and my chest cavity is in so much pain.  The docs kept saying asthma, tho, i know it is something worse...the just told me not to drive because i may black out from it. They sent me home with 3 prescriptions and a ventalin matter how much i tried to expain, they didnt seem to understand how serious and scared I was. It's hard to relax when YOU CAN'T BREATHE. Nothing else matters....

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by jp69, Oct 20, 2009
I too also get the same thing. It started about a month ago. At first, I started to have a lot of phlegm and it would hover in my throat & make me cough. This cough is unlike any other that I have ever experienced! It is a deep, in the body type of cough. The coughs were not that long but would make me feel faint & almost pass out. That lasted about 2 weeks. Now for the last 2-3 weeks, If the cough is enough for the spasm, my wind pipe closes and I make that horse sound, gasping for air like everybody else. I also get the gag reflex thing going from the cough and it makes me vomit. I feel totally normal before & about 10 minutes after an episode. I don't have insurance, but as soon as I do I am going to get a endoscopy.

Prior to all this, I believe I had, and still have a GERD issue for about the past year. I would get major hick-ups, feel like food is right at my throat, and just a bad feeling overall. I had many sleepless nights due to this. I have been on Prilosec for about 6 weeks and it seems to have helped a lot! Sometimes after I wake up in the morning, I get the hick-ups a little and have a crappy feeling. It lasts for a few hours. I am glad I found this post to express my symptoms...

Avatar universal
by Mart52, Oct 26, 2009
Excuse me while I cough this out...

Well whadaya know, I'm not alone. It started about three or four weeks ago. (Late September) I developed a tickle down deep in my throat or esophagus, feels like where it meets the wind pipe. Definite fluid buildup, dripping into the wind pipe or lungs. This prompts a tickle and the need to cough which quickly developed into a violent wheezing, almost to gagging. The first week of this (several spasms a day) would leave me dizzy with the feeling of being close to passing out. I was worried I was going to have a brain aneurism. The pressure the wheezing puts on my brain is tremendous. The second week I found it hard to catch my breath, but less episodes. I thought it was my lungs collapsing or something lung related. But realizing my lungs are clear and after reading others findings, I know now it's my vocal cords or throat sizing up from the severity of the wheezing. The cough I understand is brought on by the buildup of fluid, which is clear by the way. It doesn’t do much good to try and cough it up as it brings on the wheezing. A controlled clearing of the throat helps to clear the flem and avoid the wheezing. Last night I scared my family while we were out to dinner. After the spasm (short bursts of wheezing) it took about a minute or two to fully recover and talk and breathe normal. I sipped water (that’s all I could do is sip) after the wheezing spasm which seemed to help somewhat. I have not passed out yet, that would and I'm sure it does, suck allot.

When this all started, I initially thought it was allergies brought on by the change of weather, I live in the woods on the foothills of Mt Hood Oregon, it's nearly always wet with lots of ferns and moss. But now I'm not so sure. After reading all the above and even though my family is prompting me to see a doctor (no job, no insurance by the way) I see no reason to feel confident they will know what to do.

Comments would be welcome, thanks and breathe deep.

Avatar universal
by oxygenlubber, Oct 27, 2009
I posted first here 3 months ago, in mortal panic. Since then, all that confusion and those desperate attempts to make connections with everything and anything have disappeared, now that I know that the symptoms I had (and have, though they are now getting under control) are due to, you guessed it, undiagnosed gastric reflux problems. Check the message from LDU, August 3, it's all there, for me at least. The drug of choice, for me, has been "Pantoprazole", one pill 40 mg per day in the morning. Wikipedia says it is a protein pump inhibitor used to relieve the symptoms of GERD.

Advice to myself: Don't eat after 7 pm, don't go to bed with a full stomach, try to cut down on coffee (impossible in my case since I'm such an addict) and chocolate (ditto), wear looser clothing around the waist, quit worrying so much, get more exercise to release your tension, eat regular low fibre meals, time to lose weight.

Avatar universal
by neelC, Oct 29, 2009
Wow! so many tips, nut no-one is sure what it is??? going to see ent specialist on monday, been experiencing this for almost a month now, scary as hell!
I am a missionary / evangelist / youth leader and all eyes are on me, my group gets scared more than i do when i have these fits. Have not passed out yet, but experiencing all the other symptoms.

I am not overweight and very fit, finished 3400KM mountain bike tour beginning of Sept.
I dont drink any coffee, gassy cold drinks/soda pops, milk or any mucus causing drinks, for almost a year now (99% intake consists of spring water)
I eat a vegan diet, very healthy stuff, i am very picky of what i put into my body. lots of fruit and nuts.
i dont eat after 7pm, no spicy stuff ever. No sugar or syrup, only honey. No colorants, no preservatives, no agents.
i dont touch anything with alcohol except mouthwash (which triggered it this morning, so stay away)
i dont smoke or find myself in smoky environments.
live outside Dundee, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa on a farm, no allergies.
I dont have the flu, did not have bronchitis, feel absolutely fine all day long, but this irritation makes me cough and then my air pipe shuts.

This helps - dont sing / whisper / shout/ laugh / talk for more than 2 minutes without having a sip of water / dont cough, fight it off when you can, suppress it where possible. Any air rapidly moving OUT of your lungs past your voice box triggers the attack. I dont know for sure where i got it from but i have some ideas, probably stupid and wrong but it night help some genius figure it out...i was in touch with a big boerboel dog that i was told had kennel cough. and my scratchy throat phase followed soon after that.

Please contact me immediately if you find a cure or answer.

God bless you all for posting these! It is a massive relief to know you guys/girls have it and are still alive!

Nelis Theron +27 790878650


Avatar universal
by crabbycakes, Nov 12, 2009
I read every single posting - feels better to know I'm not the only one.  I was diagnosed with bronchitis last week.  The doc prescribed antibiotics, steroids for the inflammation, an inhaler and cough suppressant pills.  Have not used the inhaler, finished the antibiotics and the steroids.

The coughing has gotten better.  I try to suppress it  The slowly exhaling helps me a lot. My present bronchitis/cold has exacerbated the throat spasms but I have always suffered from this though very sporadic.  I remember being a kid and choking on saliva and struggling to breath and being embarrassed because people around me thought I was dying.  

I have never discussed this with any doctor, I have a follow up appointment tomorrow and will let my doctor know and will post back and let everyone know what he says. Thank you so much for all your experiences.

Avatar universal
by silvergirl567, Nov 13, 2009
Sounds like whooping cough. I have it. My brother has it. He just passed out in the bathroom coughing.

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by silvergirl567, Nov 13, 2009
I can't believe all these docs don't recognize whooping cough/Pertussis. It is bacterial. Immunity wears off from childhood vax at appx age 15.  There is now, since 2005 a booster shot for older people. TDap-get it. I did get mine today even though I know I have it now. Very Scary. Told my bro 2 mos ago he had it. First doc said sinus infection and gave no antibiotics. Now it is even worse, and the doc he went to in his new city diagnosed it and said he was having a flare-up and gave him Biaxin. IF YOU ARE ANYWHERE NEAR A CHILD UNDER 18 months (AND MORE IMPORTANTLY 6 MONTHS) get your TDap vax. MANY ADULTS GET IT AND WHILE IT IS STILL MILD THE FIRST 2 WEEKS PASS IT TO INFANTS WHO CANNOT BE VAXD UNTIL 6months AND WON"T FULLY BE IMMUNE TILL 18 MONTHS IF THEY GET THEIR WHOLE SERIES OF SHOTS. THIS WILL KILL A CHILD!!!!! LOOK UP Help prevent whooping cough/ sounds of pertussis/ and whooping cough dot net....there are others but you can HEAR THE COUGH THERE NOT EVERYONE WHOOPS EITHER!!!

Avatar universal
by RIA674, Nov 16, 2009
This is a condition that stumps the doctors.  

I have been dealing with this since Oct 10, 2009.  It began at the same time I developed my annual "change of season" allergy symptons - and the day I went to the dentist to get a temporary crown.  The covering is made of metal and has a pink covering.  It also has a taste: metal.  Did not think much of the dental situation - until now.  I am going to have it removed asap. Even is the permanent crown is not in - this metal tasting thing is coming out.

The allergy coughing hurt my head so bad that I had to hold my temples while I coughed. It was a deep cough with nothing coming out. Always the same; 2 shallow coughs then 1 or 2 deep coughs. (The choking came a few day later)    Finally went to the doctor to address what I thought was allergy.  Got meds for upper respiratory to take care of the sneezing, runny nose and sinus headache.  After leaving the doctor's office and the nearby drug store with my meds the dreaded killer cough got me at a stop light in the middle of the buisiest street in the city. The 2 shallow coughs came then 2 deep, long and ugly sounding coughts followed by the clsoing of my throat.  I started gasping and clutching my throat.  The man in the car next to me came to my rescue.  He began hitting me on my back - like you would help a person who was choking.  I struggled for a long moment. My wind slowly came back but it was a sturggle for the muscle to relax and allow more air in.  I was able to get back in my car and drive to a store and get a drink.  It took a while for the raspy feeling in my throat to go away.  I sipped on liquids continuously.  

Luckily the doctor had given me coughing pills, along with a zee pack, something for sneezing, etc. They said it may be silent reflux or acid relfux. They ordered an ex-ray of my throat and chest - all clear.  They told me to go to the ER if it happened again.  It would all be over by the time I could even call EMS. If the ER sees no blood; they would not see me either.

I later went back to the ENT, had a scope down my throat and a steroid shot.  While the nurse was writing her final notes I had an attack in the office and she did not know what to do.  The cough and my choking were so loud 2 doctors came in and they were all looking at me with blank looks on their faces.  They were stunned.  Then they gave me 2 inhalers and other meds to dry up the post nasal drip. They have also said it was laryngo spasm and checked my epiglottis.  

The episodes have happened 7 times in 10 days.   It happened at work 2 times and a co-worker was able to perform the heimlic which really helped.  At other times it has happened while at home.  Two of those times I have been able to get to my neighbor to hit me on the back until it goes away.  Each time I am not coughing up anything - just a ticke that leads to a choking cough.  The tickle is hard to resist. The muscles start quivering and if I don't get to a bottle of water and sip it out - I am in trouble.  I have bottles of water everywhere in my home and car.  It happens at any time.

I am a trainer and talk everyday.  It has been hard talking through a workshop but it has not happened while training.  I get a wisp of air that weakens my voice which causes the break down which causes the urge to cough. This is the first week I have not had a full attack. I think I have so much medication in me that all of it is doing a little something.  But truly I feel none of it is getting to the root of things.  

I felt the current ENT professionals were unable to figure this out. They said my throat area looked fine; so I was able to see my former ENT who also said reflux along but felt saw red and irritated throat muscles.  He gave the prescribed list of things to stay away from along with lifting the head of the bed. If it is reflux; I do not have any gas or burping or burning.  When I come out of the choke there is a lot of slimy clear saliva, lots of tears and nose drippings.  The cough and choking are so hard that all of my body muscles contract and my bladder releases. I have a constant presence of something strange lurking in my throat - no pain - just the presence of something that can become active at any time.  Sipping water and catching it as soon as I can has helped.  I will continue to gargle with the solution of salt water and baking soda and continue to take the coughing meds and the pills to dry up the post nasal drip.  I will not use the 2 inhalers anymore.  Let's hope a few ENTs read this site.  
We should all forward these comments to them.  I know I will.

Avatar universal
by neelC, Nov 20, 2009
hey guys good news!!!
Doc does not know what to call what i have, but he took a shot in the dark and it worked!!!
A shot of Cortisone in the butt and 15 days on Avelon antibiotics.
Still have a bit of flem in throat , but back to normal, can cough as much as i want and it does not close up anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar universal
by Qwerty2009, Nov 24, 2009

I am recovering from a cold/flu and experienced the same irritation, phlegm, very painful heaving, coughing and choking that everyone described here. One breathing exercise I found really helpful is the Buteyko Breathing Method, pioneered by a Russian doctor who treated asthmatic patients. Basically, you should only breathe through your nose all the time in shallow breaths. To relax your lung muscles, you hold your nose, keep your mouth closed, nod your head for as long as you can hold your breath, then breathe through the nose and repeat until all sensation of suffocation and spasm are gone. Do this frequently, even before any attacks. Try Googling on Youtube to lean more about this. There is a whole lot of science behind the methods, and a lot of asthma and sleep apnea sufferers have benefited greatly. None of these prescribed drugs, Ventolin, Prednisone, EVER cure any sufferers, and dosage has to be amped up to treat the problems over the years. There's also a Youtube video for children. I find these exercises extremely helpful in relaxing the upper respiratory tract, and beats pumping your body with drugs.

Good luck and let me know if it works.

Avatar universal
by shamrocks638, Nov 27, 2009
My throat just completely closed while coughing, scared the crap at of me, and making strange noises when gasping for air.  This lasted for  an hour, and happened about an hour ago.  I thought I was dead, feels like a muscle in my throat closed and got stuck, and I couldn't open it again.  My wife was getting ready to call 911, but the muscle started relaxing, and I went right on the web to check it out, and wound up here.  I'm 48 yrs. old and this never happened to me, and I reall thought I was Dying, I'm hoping it was a one time thing.

Avatar universal
by Suade, Dec 20, 2009
I just stumbled upon this site in doing some research this evening, and I don't know whether I want to rejoice because clearly I am not alone in what I have been going through, or if I want to cry because I do not see any definative answers.  

This all started for me the end of October, I have actually been out of work since October 27th to be exact.  I was first diagnosed by my PCP with H1N1, I was feeling lousy coughing, fever, very breathy sounding when I talked eventually lost my voice completely. I took the prescribed antibiotics and of course they did nothing for mr and by the following Sunday I went to a local Urgent Care as I was feeling more and more tightening in the bronchial part of my chest.  I also had started coughing fits in which I would black out and for lack of a better word have a "seizure".  I would have no clue how long I was out and numerous times I would find myself on the floor beside the chair I had been sitting in.  One time I was by my sink about to take a vitamin and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor.  Needless to say I am bruised from head to toe!  The Urgent Care doctor said I had Bronchitis, so I started on some antibiotics once again.  By the following Thursday I was much worse and I felt like I had Pneumonia so I went straight to the ER.  They did chest x-rays and the ER doctor thought that he saw some pneumonia so they admitted me.  I was put on IV antibiotics and monitered for a couple of days in the hospital.  It turns out that there was no pneumonia in my lungs, so once again I was told that I had bronchitis.  I went back home and just kept getting worse, the frequency of my black out spells are anywhere from 10 to 25 a day.  Sometimes I know when they are going to happen as I feel my chest starting to get tighter and tighter, and l get that feeling of trying to breathe through a pinhole, the next thing that I know is that I am waking up in a complete sweat normally my legs and arms are convulsing and I have absolutely no clue as to where I am at.  It normally takes just a couple of minutes and I am ok.  I got to the point where I was afraid to stay by myself, what if I had an episode and fell and cracked my head open?  I barely could make it to the bathroom (and that is when I was lucky enough to have not lost control of my bladder during an attack) on my own let alone take care of my puppy.  So here I am a 38 yr old woman staying with my mom and step father because I cannot take care of myslef.  
The day before Thanksgiving I spent the day back in the ER where once again I had every test done on me, and once again sent home being told that I had bronchitis.  The only difference this time was they referred me to a Pulmonologist.  I was lucky to get into see him and only had to wait a week and a half.  He listened to everything that I had been going through and he looked at my CAT scan and x-ray results and they were all clear, so he said that my problem was I am a large chested woman.  He said that when I cough the size of my breasts put restrictions on my blood flow to my heart which causes me to black out.  He also ordered some more x-rays this time of my sinuses.  Well I did not buy what he had to say, I did not just wake up recently with this size of a chest, and I have had colds and such throughout my life and I have never had these problems.
Then last week I woke up with complete black and blue eyes, the whites of my eyes were completely black from the blood vessels popping from my coughing fits during the night.  I had not fallen or bumped my head it happened strictly from the pressure of my fits.
I once again went back to the ER and this time I was admitted for a week.  I again had CAT scans, MRI's, EEG's, EKG's, Ultrasounds every x-ray imaginable even swallowing tests and guess what, every test came back clear and normal.
I was released from the hospital because they said that there is nothing else that they can do for me.  One doctor apologized to me that he had no direction where to even think to refer me, and another doctor told me that I should see a shrink.
So here I am still having numerous black out "seizures" a day, on all sorts of different medications which none seem to make any difference at all, and I have no more direction now than I did 2 months ago.  I struggled for so long to get the doctors to take me seriously, and now I once again feel dismissed.  I am going to an allergist tomorrow as she is pretty much the only type of doctor I have not seen yet.  Maybe she will have some wisdom that they others are lacking.

Thank you for letting me share my story, and thank you all for sharing yours.  

Avatar universal
by justwrite, Dec 26, 2009
Gosh, I hate to say I'm glad my family and I are not the only ones experiencing this.  My 16-year old began complaining of the cough in October, 2009, but it's possible it started in September.  I attributed it to asthma.  Then, last month my 1-year old got it.  She'd be asymptomatic for several hours, then have a sudden coughing fit, gasping for air, and ending with a nice vomit.  I took her and my 2 1/2-year-old to the doctor (he had a long-lasting fever, but no cough).  Both of them got antibiotics.  The medicine did nothing for her.  A couple of weeks later, I started coughing like that, and a couple days later, my husband joined in the paroxysms.  So, one thing I believe is it's contagious, though I don't know anyone outside else with it.  I might think it's an environmental allergy, as we live in Central CA with very bad air quality, but other posts don't support this theory.  My 2-year-old had only two similar coughing spells several weeks ago, and has been fine ever since his fever subsided.  All the rest of us are still choking our way through the winter.

This is the only site I've found with any info on the symptoms.  It seems to be similar to whooping cough, but none of us have had the seal bark cough (I know what that sounds like).  The cough has somewhat subsided for all of us, but it's still lingering, and is worst at night.  

However, yesterday I had a slight fever and sore throat, and today I have very congested sinuses, which seems to have exacerbated the situation.  As of 30 minutes ago, I didn't need to have a coughing fit for my throat to close up, a mere clearing of the throat would cause the sticking together.  So, I tried a homemade cough remedy made with oregano, marshmallow root, niacin, vitamin C, lemon juice, and honey.  So far it seems to be helping.  The dreaded occasional throat tickle hasn't led to a coughing fit, just a couple coughs, and my throat hasn't closed.  

Here's how I made the syrup: First I put about 1/2 Tbs. each of oregano leaves and marshmallow root into about one cup of water  (I've never been one to measure much of anything).  I boiled the concoction down to about 1/2 cup.  Then I crushed up two 250 mg niacin tablets (too much of this can cause flushing--a temporary, harmless, hot, red, itchy sensation) and added 2000 mg of Vitamin C.  To that I added about 1Tbs. lemon juice, and plenty o f honey to taste.  I've had it in a sippy cup in the fridge for a while, and had forgotten about it (I had made it for my baby girl, but she refuses to swallow it even though it tastes pretty good).  I didn't really think of taking it for myself until this afternoon, but, like I said, I think it's working!

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by shanecomeback, Jan 01, 2010
My sister put me on to this forum,and I'm glad she did. Occasionally my throat swells shut and I can't breathe--last summer I was diagnosed with COPD-former smoker--and  take advair,spiriva,an inhaler and nebs. When these spasms start I'm terrified to the point of losing bladder control. I work in a school and am always sick with respiratory problems. I dare not quit because of the insurance. Just turned 61 and as you know,medicare doesnt kick in till 65. I'm just afraid I will not last. No doctor has ever looked in my throat or nose. Going to a throat specialist is my next step--he/she will HAVE to look down my constantly sore throat and forever infected sinuses! I'ts my belief there is so much infected mucus flooding down my throat the bacteria is irritating my throat to the point it closes up.I'm really afraid it will happen when I'm alone and I will pass out and hit my head,or worse.

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by MarkOli, Jan 04, 2010
This tickling seems to kick off the coughing, and every 1 out of 3 times my windpipe closes. Relaxing will get me breathing again.

Does this go away, or do you people still have it? I would like to ask the people who posted more than 6 months ago- are you still having it - or did it go away?

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by bl2468, Jan 07, 2010
It never goes away MarkOli. Not in my case anyway. I posted this blog and in my case it returns on a regular basis over 30 years. Not nice to look forward to. Barry

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by netmet, Jan 08, 2010
by Me-too, Jan. 08, 2010  4:05 pm

Like so many others I now read about. I thought I was the only one on Earth afflicted with this terrible phenomenon. I've had dry throat (extreme) tickle coughing off and on since about 1978. The first and most embarassing time that I can remember was while sitting on a Coroner's Jury Hearing. When the tickle hit and I started coughing, the proceeding was so badly interupted it had to stop until my coughing fit passed over. My eyes watered. I broke into a sweat. But the throat didn't close.

Fast forward to about ten years ago when my throat closed while asleep in bed. I don't recall any other symptoms triggering it at the time. And like most all others here, I was sure that was the end of me there and then. There can be
nothing more horrible feeling than having the throat close and lock-up on you where you can't gasp a breath through it to sustain some life. But when the S.O.B. starts letting go and allowing some gasps of air to be breathed back into the lungs -- that too is indescribable. Then, all in a sweat, coughing/hacking non-stop (for at least 10 min) to clear the throat of saliva, and/or phlegm that suddely seems to have invaded the whole throat and windpipe area. Try and go back to sleep!? Good luck!? I was afraid to go to bed for the next 3 nights straight let-alone that same night.

When my throat closes and locks up it's always at night when I'm asleep. This is not any regular occurance, either. It could be anywhere from a year to 2 or 3 years apart, and then happen 2 or 3 times within a short period. The very last one was just a few days ago, after not having one for several months. And I did have a sore throat and runny nose for some 2-3 months though, with a feeling of bronchitis in my lungs and chest area this time. Several months ago while seeing my Dr. about my heart condition I mentioned these troublesome breathing episodes to him. He didn't say or zero-in on anything specific, but he did give me a RX for Nitroglycerin 0.4mg in a pump/spray form. When I asked him if that wasn't just for Heart Attacks, he said they also be used for relief in breathing problems.

SO, the other night when I did get that horrible attack I had almost forgotten about the nitroglycerine. I had it right there at the head of my bed. When it did come to mind I quickly pumped some shots into my mouth and under the tongue and within a second or two I felt a relief easing on the stranglehold in my throat. Within another 2 or 3 seconds I was able to start breathing again with almost total relief. I did have to cough/hack and sputter for the next ten minutes or so to try and clear my throat of the phlegm/saliva, etc. suddenly built up in there, though! And I honestly feel it may ahve saved my life here.
Then others here say that people pass out and then comeback 'to' again. Is that a consolation and a fact? Or is it that those who may not have come back to life could hardly write about it here to tell us it's not so, could they?  

But I do get the ugly and severe dry tickle attacks any time and anywhere... day or night. It just suddenly pops from no- where and I'm away. Over the years I've learned to carry a few "Fisherman's Friend" Lozenges in a small plastic packet in my shirt pocket at all times. Perhaps other types of Lozenges are just as good but once I found this one to work for me -- I won't leave home without it. When I feel the tickle suddenly coming on I have to very quickly get that lozenge in my mouth and head the tickle and cough off at the pass. I also have the lozenges at the head of my bed and when I do wake some nights with a dry tickle in my throat I quickly take one and it relieves the tickle almost instantly. I find that even Cough Syrup is also quite good in relieving that troublesome dry throat but you have to get out of bed to take it.  

SO, I quess the gist of my long story here is saying that the "Fisherman's Friend" Lozenges are a true "Friend" to me anyway, and hopefully to some of you who may not be aware. (I did also notice that another person writing in here mentioned this same lozenge as being helpful to him too).

I haven't yet tried the Nitroglycerine spray treatment for the dry/tickle throat/cough. But as for the throat seizure itself it surely worked! Where it seems, from most all the postings here, that the doctors don't know much, perhaps asking them about the nitroglycerine spray may help them to help you....???        


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by marvlss, Jan 09, 2010
You know I'm not the type who's into online chats or anything like that but I've been suffering from the same thing that everyone  has and  my God I'm so glad to find out that I too am not alone with this.

I'm not exactly certain because  I'm about 48 and back in 2008  I ended up having some type of sinus chest congestion, or whatever it was. At the time my doctor put me on clarithromycin. While approximately 3 days into a taking the clarithromycin I began to have hiccups the symptoms were very similar to the spasms that everyone has been complaining about and it shut off my air way from about is 15 to 22nd seconds, and gradually it reopened etc. While I ended up going to emergency services and what they prescribed for me was metocloperamide. After a day of taking the metocloperamide tablets my hiccups went away, which also got rid of the closing of my airway spasms and what not. I continued on however of suffering through my sinus infection etc. without going back on the clarithromycin.
From that point on I have a been going on and off with seasonal allergies and various sinus and viral bugs.

Sometime shortly after the hiccup episode that I developed, a on again off again, tickle first appeared. My tickle comes on as a burning sensation that suddenly occurs and feels like it's in my vocal chords or on the edge of my bronchial airway. my symptoms start with the beginning of the hacking dry cough that burning sensation, if it progresses much longer, then I get that gag reflex where I feel like I need to vomit. There are times when I will actually throw up an "air". I also get that sensation of the saliva buildup in your throat right before you have to throw up, I think this is the drooling that everyone is talking about.
Well the tickle has been going on for over a year now I've tried everything from looking at the cologne I wear, to getting checked for allergies and of course living in Kansas as I do I'm allergic to most grasses and tree bark.
but in actually eliminating some of my colognes especially one of my favorites, the symptoms declined. As a matter of fact I thought I had narrowed it down to one particular cologne and that seemed to to take it away because my spasms would happen at church, at work, at home, and other places but not at the doctor's office. I've also wondered if it's not been stress-related and from reading what many of you said, stress could be a factor. I also like  sunflower seeds that are salted in the shell and these also seem to be a trigger. I think it may be more the salt than the seeds. I am allergic to nuts but not sunflower seeds. The location I work at also is dependent upon hydraulic fluid the smell which is in the air.

I don't think it's in my head especially since so many of us seem to have been suffering from the same predicament whatever it is. I intend to tell my doctor about this site because I think he might think I'm exaggerating, it in fact he still has the impression that I discovered what it is with the with the elimination of my favorite cologne but, I need to tell him that the is continuing to happen and it does seem that since the season has changed and the air is drier, it seems to be much worse. I do believe that stress is a factor because of my job as a manager I tend to have many more instances of this at work and it's somewhat embarrassing when the I am involved in meetings and where one minute I'm completely fine and the next minute I'm coughing like I've got a contagious disease. And with H1N1, everyone is jumpy. The solution I would like to find something, is how to eliminate this or at least lessen the symptoms.
warm fluids do seem to help but that's not always something that I have access to. God bless and good luck.

Has anyone else tried neelc's remedy?

by neelC , Nov 20, 2009 12:13AM
hey guys good news!!!
Doc does not know what to call what i have, but he took a shot in the dark and it worked!!!
A shot of Cortisone in the butt and 15 days on Avelon antibiotics.
Still have a bit of flem in throat , but back to normal, can cough as much as i want and it does not close up anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by coughinginsc, Jan 14, 2010
I'm 47 years old.  I've had bronchitis twice over the past two months.  Was on antibotics both times.  I was coughing a lot throughout the past two months.  After starting to finally feel better, my cough at 5 a.m. was really deep then my throat completely closed and I was struggling to breathe.  Finally after a few seconds - seemed liked minutes - I was able to breathe.  It has now happened 3 times.  It is very scary - my husband just witnessed it for the first time and he was shocked.  So I decided to do some research - glad I found this site.  I'm going to try to not cough so deeply to see if that will help.

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by phlemboy, Jan 21, 2010
Great post and all your experiences really eased my mind.  Thank you!  For me, it started 3 weeks ago as flu-like.  Mild temp, chills and a violent cough I could not stop.  The coughing was really deep and I actually had to take an Advil because my brain was just getting tossed around in the ol noggin from all the coughing.  The temp broke after one day.  I felt fine except for the cough and lots of mucus starting to form--really thick stuff.  Then the mucus turned green and heavy.  After a week, I finally went to the doctor.  He diagnosed sinusitus and put me on an anitbiotic, nasal spray (steroid) and gave me some cough medicine.  The mucus has now turned clear/white and seems to sit in  the throat. My body is making more mucus than it ever has!  Last week, about the two-week mark of this ordeal, I began getting a cough that I couldn't control and it made me gag and I actually passed out around 3 in the morning.  My wife found me on the bedroom floor just sleeping.  When she awoke me, I was fine but had lots of saliva on my arm and my shirt was wet from sweating.  Very differnt from the first coughing attack which was more like whooping cough.  I'm now gasping for air, tears in my eyes and making noises that scares the heck out of my wife and kids (I'm 48).  I feel the mucus just running down the back of my throat and it just won't quit.  Today, it's about 3 weeks later and the cough is pretty much gone except for when I have to clear my throat--about 4 times an hour--and you can hear the congestion in my cough coming from the upper chest.  Last night, I awoke every hour coughing and gasping.  Thanks to these posts, I was able to control my breathing and relax.  But the phlem keeps coming.  I'm now through with the antibiotic and stopped taking the nasal spray as that just seems to make more mucus.  I just started taking Zyrtec D today and it sure has helped slow down the mucus production.  I feel fine except a little short of breath but haven't had a gag attack since taking the Zyrtrec D about 7 hours ago.  What a mess!  I'm not thrilled to go back to the doctor as it seems you all have gotten the run-around.  I'll give it another week and see what happens.  I'm curious to see how I sleep tonight with the Zyrtec D in me.

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by kavamunger, Jan 21, 2010
plemboy, I live in Sydney ( it seems to be going around here ) and I have the exact same symptoms that you have had.  After 2 weeks of antibiotics and assorted other medicines i have found what it was.  Whooping cough.  I have had it for the last 4 weeks but none of the doctors considered it as a diagnosis.
The ENT specialist I saw reckons I now have asthma as well.  ( from this or it was a preexisting condition is undetermined )  He has me on antibiotics and a throat spray called SERETIDE MDI 250/25.
Plain old Ventolin ( asthma spray ) calms my throat down a lot and my attacks have gone down to a couple a day.  I also have purchased a product called FLO Sinus Care.  This is basically a bottle in which you add the saline powder mix it with warm water and squirt it up your nose to clear out your nasal passages.  
The last and one of the best pieces of advice that I have seen on here is to drinks lots of water.  Non stop water.
Good luck, mate.

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by phlemboy, Jan 22, 2010
Thanks Kavamunger!  Appreciate the advice from down under.  I'm drinking close to a gallon of water every day so I'll keep that up.  Thought I'd give you all an update on how the zyrtec D worked for me last night.  It was GREAT!  I woke up gagging one hour after I fell asleep but did not have another attack until I got up for the day around 6:30 a.m.  I haven't taken another one today but plan on it before I go to bed (it's good for 12 hours).  I freaked out my son again last night with the attack.  I assured him I'll be ok and told him the next time I have an attack, grab the camera and put me on YouTube!  That made him laugh and eased his mind.

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by c1967, Jan 23, 2010
Last week I woke up in the middle of the night and had difficulty breathing. It felt like 90% of my throat was closed, which caused me to gasp frantically for air. The episode lasted for what seemed like a minute. After the event, my breathing returned to normal and I felt fine. Over the next two days, I experienced the same problem.  Given the frequency of the attacks, I scheduled an appointment with my family doctor. After examining my throat and obtaining an extensive medical history, she diagnosed the problem as laryngospasm.  She referred me to an ear, nose, and throat doctor for additional testing. The ENT conducted more tests and ruled out any physical problem. Unfortunately, she did not offer any suggestions about what to do when an attack occurs.

I then went to my allergist. He conducted another exam, performed some tests, and came to the same conclusion as my family doctor - laryngospasm.  He recommended that I perform breathing exercises each day. The exercise he suggested was to quickly sniff (taking in as much air as possible) and then slowly exhale through the mouth while making a “sh” sound. During the day, I practiced this around 20 times. At night, I had an attack. But it only lasted around 5 seconds, as opposed to previous attacks that lasted for what seemed like a minute. During the most recent attack I tried to repeat the exercise. As soon as I did my breathing returned to normal. I don’t know whether this exercise will be effective over the long term. But it seems to be working well for now.

During an attack, it is critical that you not panic. (I know this is easier said than done.) Instead, try to focus on controlled breathing.  

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by kooakoo80, Jan 25, 2010

I'm a nurse. You are all describing the syptoms of two very common illnesses. The first, as you already know, is acid reflux-which a can be life threatening-especially in babies and young children. I suspect some of you are looking for a more dramatic diagnosis which is why you say you don't have acid reflux. Have any of you actually had a PH Probe study done? If no, then you would be ignorant to rule it out-so get one done.
The second illness is croup. A viral (so antibiotics wont work) infection of the upper airways, causes the throat to swell. Not seen in children over the age of 8 according to research-except it is and adults do get it. So it happens any time, but typically at 'the crouping hour' which is 1-3 am. Usually starts suddenly, people sound like they are choking, make a harsh sound when breathing in and sometimes a bark when breathing out (although uncommon in older children and adults). The syptoms are reduced with a one off dose of oral steroids or a few puffs of a steroid (brown in the Uk) inhaler. Then go outside in the cold air, which help shrink your airways back to normal size.
Alos, if people are stopping breathing with this-they need to call an ambulance!! Howvever, if your air way becomes occluded-it wont just clear itself with no treatment! So I suspect this isn't actually the case. Good luck

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by kooakoo80, Jan 25, 2010
Oh and the 3 rd disease, which I forgot to mention (because we had been doing really well at wiping it out!) is whooping cough (pertussis). Obviously we are now seeing the unfortunate results of people not immunising their children due to a silly scientist! This can also be  life threatening, last for 3-4 months and once the cough starts-you can't stop-typically go red, then purple in the face accompanied by mucous bubbling and pouring out of the mouth. You can get antibiotics for this but sometimes need to stay in hospital-usually young babies tend stay in because the incidence of babies stopping breathing is about as high as 85% with this disease. Any of you have or in contact with children who aren't immunised? You can have a nasal swab taken for this. good luck

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by phlemboy, Jan 27, 2010
Well, I'm making progress!  Still can't shake all this mucus and PND but the cough is totally gone.  It's sure acting like laryngospasms.  Feels like there is something in the throat all the time.  I never got a sore throat through all this and the spasms didn't start until the whooping cough went away.  Last night, just one spasm.  And I always get them about one hour after I fall asleep--must be when the mucus just builds up in the throat and it triggers the spasm.  I stopped taking the Zyrtec-D just so I can get a true handle on what my body is up to.  I get mini spasms during the day at work but I'm able to control them for the most part by relaxing, exhaling completely so my lungs are empty and then taking a slow breath through the nose.  Also, during these spasms, it's like I have to "gobble" air and I get lots air that I have to burp out.  So it's like I can't get enough air and at the same time I need to get the air out by burping.  Finally, while I love to laugh often, I can't or it triggers a spasm.  I'm giving it one more week and if no improvement, I need to break down and see an ENT.  It's crazy.  I feel really good except for the darn laryngospasms and I can't find anywhere how long it takes for this to work itself out or effective treatment.

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by Caldanster, Feb 06, 2010
I suffered my first laryngospasm about 10-12 years ago. I woke up in the middle of the night (when travelling overseas and alone in a hotel room!) unable to breathe at all, in a state of total bewilderment and panic. I had no idea what was happening to me. I felt like the devil was inside me strangling me internally and I felt surely this was it for me.  It scared me so badly that when it ended after a minute or so (to my understandably huge relief), I was shaking uncontrollably and had tears in my eyes. I called my cardiologist cousin and he said it was probably a laryngospasm and it wouldn't kill me - worst thing that would happen is I would pass out and then my throat would relax. Since that time, I've suffered 5-10 additional attacks. I thought I was over these because I hadn't had an attack for many years, but then last year I had another attack when I had a cold. It seems that inflammation in the throat combined with post-nasal drip can trigger it, although breathing in water when drinking has on occasion also felt like it might trigger it. So I try not to get sick and I try to drink carefully because even though I understand a spasm is unlikely to be a fatal event, it's still terrifying and upsetting, not just to me but to people around me. I wouldn't be surprised if they are even more scared than I am, especially if they have never witnessed such an attack before. I try to relax and stay calm as best I can, because that indeed seems to help. I came across an article that explains a possible way to stop an attack but I don't fully understand how to do it. If anyone can figure it out and maybe even make a video for the rest of us to see, that might be useful to a lot of people. The article is at If it really works, wow, a lot of people would sure love to be able to stop a spasm in its tracks!

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by Spikexxx, Feb 10, 2010
I've never had anything like this before, 2 weeks and not getting any better. My doc said I had a chest infection which he treated with antibiotics then I woke up coughed and my throat shut!  Icouldn't breathe and like others here thought I was a gonner. I was taken into hospital for 2 days then sent home with drugs to treat reflux. Saw the doc again and he gave me more antibiotics for a sinus infection (dont actually think I've had any infections). I was told point blank that It could not be whooping cough as I have been vaccinated as a child (I'm now 42) although listening to the audio files of someone with whooping cough I sound exactly the same and have the same symptoms. I have no idea what is going on and I wish it was over as it not only scares the living daylights out of me, my girlfriend is terrified I'm going to choke to death. I am constantly clearing my throat to get rid of the clear mucus it keeps creating, along with huge amounts of saliva when I get an attack. All in all this is a really nasty and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I hope if anyone reads this and is suffering the same symptoms that they recover quickly. My best wishes to everyone.

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by whatdodrsno, Feb 10, 2010
My 15 year old son had it. Now I have it.  We took him, literally to 3 hospitals in addition to three different doctors in his Ped office.  We took him to his neurologist as well  ( he suffers from epilepsy).  The "diagnosis they gave us after a three day stay in the hospital, on a video eeg monitor for 48 straight hours ( to be sure the attacks weren't seizures, which thankfully the were not) was ACID REFLUX.  Wrong!  I now have it and ACID REFLUX, as far as I know is not contagious.  We have both had chest x-rays that have come out clean.  Neither of us experience any pain in the throat, chest or anywhere else.  It starts with a tickle in the throat, then a cough and the next thing you know there is flem coming up and no air going in or out.  IT IS TERRIFYING! How is it that not one of the doctors that have looked at us can tell us what it is.  That is the scariest part.  His episodes happened about 1-2 hours after he had been asleep.  He has had a couple in the last two weeks but they have been mild compared to what he had been going through.  I have had a few in the last two weeks.  The worst one an hour ago.  I COULD NOT BREATH!  I did my best to stay calm.  It wasn't easy!  More than anything I want to know what is going on.  I am confident it will go away as it has begun to subside in my son, but there are three more kids and my husband and you don't wish this on your worst enemy much less those you love.  Why can't anyone tell us what is going on and if we can keep it from the rest of the house?

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by whatdodrsno, Feb 10, 2010
and oh yeah....we did the antibiotics, inhalers, albuterol nebulizers, cough meds, steroids, all of it.....his did not begin to subside until after about 6 weeks, the three day stay in the hospital and the acid reflux medication.....get that!  Who knows?

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by mimi111, Feb 12, 2010
I have the same problem and have been searching for help and found this on a web site - HOW TO HELP YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY UPON HAVING THE VCD ATTACK:

--Since most people cannot inhale (breathe in), during VCD attacks, please start by breathing out (exhaling) in the special
way described below, and this will usually open up the spasming vocal cords, immediately, or fast.

--Start, by breathing out (exhaling), with lips 'pursed', as if you are trying to gently blow out a candle:

--This is similar to whistling, but your lips will not be as 'puckered', as when whistling, and your lips will not be pushed forward, like when whistling. If you look in a mirror, you would see a mostly horizontal line of space, between the lips, less than an inch in length (like 1/3 of an inch), while you exhale the "ffffffffffff". Some say the small space between lips has the shape of a tiny bird with outstretched wings, like a "V" that is almost a horizontal line of space.
--This may be silent, or may sound like a gentle wind or breeze, like “fffffffffffff”, and your lips should be symmetrical, around your teeth. Your lower lip will not be touching your upper teeth, like when someone says the name FFFFFFrank. This is one continuous flow of exhaled air, either silent, or making a slightly windy "sound" ( vibration of the vocal cords).

--Feel your hand on your belly (lower abdomen) come IN, just a little bit, toward your back, as you are “working” (using/contracting) only (or mostly) your lower abdominal (belly) muscles.

--This abdominal exhaled “ffffffffffffff”, alone, often stops VCD attacks, immediately, or very quickly.

--Some prefer to try a variation of exhaling “fffffffffffffff”: Try exhaling  quickly, “ffff”, “ffff”, “ffff”—all part of one exhalation. Don’t inhale in between the quick “ffff”s. This helps some people to more quickly open up spasming vocal cords. This is like blowing out a slightly stubborn candle, exhaling against a tiny bit of resistance. (like trying to blow out a trick birthday candle, that doesn’t want to be blown out too easily).

--If any of this helps, try to slow down the exhalations, and gently exhale "fffffffffffffffff".

--Some people prefer to gently exhale: “sssssssssssss”, or “shhhhhhhhh”, rather than “ffffffffffffff", etc. Choose what works best in your case, or what is most comfortable for you.

--You may need to repeat exhaling the "ffffffffffff", (or "ffff", "ffff", "ffff"), etc., several times, to relax the spasming vocal cords. Repeating this, usually stops a VCD attack, by somehow making the vocal cords open up (move apart), so that you can inhale (breathe in) again, as described below:


--When you can’t exhale the "fffffffffffff" any longer, and your belly muscles are tired of coming in, a little, towards your back, just LET THE BELLY RELAX, LETTING THE BELLY MOVE OUTWARDS, AWAY FROM YOU, TOWARDS THE FRONT.

--Your belly (lower abdomen) will get bigger, looking like a pot belly. You will feel your hand on your belly move OUT, slightly, away from you, towards the front.

What this does, (belly moving outwards) is to pull the muscle called the  DIAPHRAGM, downwards, towards the floor. This pulls the lungs (which are above the diaphragm) down towards the floor--slightly opening up the lungs:

This creates a bit more space in the lungs, and this creates a “partial vacuum” (area of lower than normal air pressure), inside the lungs, compared with room air.

The room air is still at regular air pressure (a little higher pressure now, in the room, compared with the air pressure inside your lungs), and—

Air always wants to move from a higher pressure area (in the room) towards a lower pressure area (in your lungs).

--This creates an easy, unforced, automatic, passive, movement of air from the room, into your mouth &/or nose, down into the throat, down between the now open vocal cords, down the trachea (windpipe), and finally into your lungs. This is the easy (abdominal) INHALATION that you’ve been waiting for, now that the vocal cords are open, like they should be, again! (You had opened the vocal cords by EXHALING "fffffffffffff", using abdominal/belly muscles--pretending to blow out a candle).

Avatar universal
by oxygenlubber, Feb 13, 2010
I posted last July when these symptoms started for me, and again at the end of October when I had concluded that for me the problem was connected to acid reflux. I thought I should post again to say that my problems have mostly subsided. So in my case the throat spasms lasted for only about two weeks after they had suddenly started, and then they disappeared. I still am having problems talking loudly before a class (I'm a teacher), because I can suddenly lose my voice, which I think is still due to reflux (it's accompanied by a gummy throat that swallowing will not clear), but the throat closing no longer occurs. I have taken the advice I read on another site, which has helped me a lot: I now chew a stick of gum a few times per day and before (and sometimes during!) a class. When you chew gum, you moisten your throat with your own naturally alkaline saliva and that helps to neutralize any throat or esophageal acidity. A natural cure!

So I hope it helps some of you to know that your ordeal may soon be over. A very few people seem to be dealing with this over a period of years, the poor souls, and they have my profound sympathy.

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by bookie10, Feb 24, 2010
Went to the doctor today for cough, fever and and not feeling well. Given Cipro and Predinsone to bring throat swelling down even though I do not have a sore throat. About 2 hours ago I had fallen asleep when I woke up to a tickle in my throat. I have been coughing a lot today, so I thought little of it. Suddenly this overwhelming tickle started, and I sprung from my and couldn't breathe. I tried to wake my husband, but he couldn't hear me. Then a big puddle of clear water mucus stuff came out of my mouth. I was running around the house not knowing what to do. I thought I was dying. Just then I saw a glass of tea. I picked it up and drank. It made my throat dryer. Then I thought of ginger ale. I don't know why, except it always helps an upset stomach. I poured a glass of that, and I could breathe again! It has worked for the last couple of times. Works instantly. Water does not help. I don't know why the ginger ale, but  the minute you know the spasm is starting, sip the cold ginger ale. I hope this works for others. I have had vocal cord problems since 1999. I got a bad virus, (pertussis) from working at an elementary school, and I lost my voice. Since then, whenever I get a cold, sore throat, sinus infection or upper respitory infection, I lose my voice. It lasts for about a month. I have seen many emts, had scopes put down my throat twice, and there is really nothing to say except it weakened my larnyx the first time, and ever since then it has been a problem. Also, I once was given percosec for "time of the month" cramps, and my esphogus went into spasm. Wonder if it is all related?????

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by pradeepbhalla, Mar 11, 2010
i do not know the cause but am sure that by doing deepbreathing exercises called pranayam and nicely demonstrated  in videos of swami ramdev at youtube viz;bhrastika pranayam,kapalbhati pranayam,anulomvilm pranayam,gunjan pranayam and practicing shavaasana as illustrated in videos should take care of your problems. try to weave these into your daily life style and see  the results in 10 days .wish you well. a well wisher

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by Metoo435, Mar 16, 2010
by  metoo  Mar 16, 2010  4.15PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I have been experiencing these problems( strange cough/post nasal drip/chocking and throat spasm)  together with an itchy painful ear, since Feb 2009 following water in my ear for 3 days after swimming in our pool.  have had endoscopy showing chronic reflux and given zantac, also given inhaler nose drops etc!!! costs a fortune and had never taken a drug prior to this.  Doctors haven't a clue so tell you it is anxiety!!o  Of course one is anxious when one is chocking and can't breath.!!!!   have had whooping cough 5 years ago and feel that leaves you very sensitive.....flu/bronchitis can do the same.   I feel it is a fungal problem as after demanding some drops for swimmers ear  I have had some relief until this last month and I am much worse as it has been very high humidity and very wet.  This obviously adds to the mold count in the air and we respond.   have just started  antihistamines to see if they work and back onto the ear drops.  Stay off ALL dairy, choc spicy and friedfoods and add  a probiotic into your day.Slippery elm help for the LPR which I think I probably have as well from all of the throat clearing and I do a lot of talking in my profession....inflames the vocal cords as well   Good luck with these tips.great help

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by humac, Apr 16, 2010
Golfdude   April 16 2010

Until one finds this site it easy to think you are alone in suffering from this frightening condition.
My first attack was 15 years ago and I have had maybe 10 episodes since that time.
My attacks are not related to any cough or cold symptoms but result from the sensation of having food or liquid 'going down the wrong way'
The suggestion that during the attack you do not panic and that one tries to relax is I am sure the correct advice but something I have been unable to do myself. I have never passed out and after the spasm I return to normal quickly, but the psychological scar remains for some time. I have copied and pasted all the suggestions mentioned by my fellow sufferers and will try them all and will report back if any of them resolves the condition when/if I have another attack.
Thanks to you all for your input and Good Luck.

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by Kaycie87, Apr 16, 2010
I am 22 and since i was 19 i have had a problem with my throat closing when i cough.  I will cough and when i go to breathe in my lungs will not allow me to.  I have to suck in air really hard and the noise it makes scares everyone to death.  I have been a smoker since i was 15 which i thought may be the case, but it was still happening when i quit.  Any Suggestions?

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by Dave1910, Apr 19, 2010
Hi all
I started coughing about three weeks ago and thought it was ur standard common or garden chest infection (acute bronchitis). Not the most pleasant of afflictions but nothing to dial 999 (I'm in the UK) about. So I took a week off work and rested. Not easy for me as I run every lunch time and swim twice a week. I went to my doctors on day 2 who confirmed 'chest infection - take these antibiotics'. So I did. After a week the coughing wasn't as frequent and I was bored stupid so I went back to work.
The coughing then started to be get worse. Followed by not being able to breath! That was ( as everyone here knows) horrible and scary. But my moments of non-breathing didn't last long. Only 10 secs or so, so I was able to cope. However, one Monday night I woke feeling I wanted to cough. I then had a massive coughing attack and couldn't breath for about a minute. That really scared the crap out of me.
I am a trained first aider. And while I was unable to breath I remembered some of my training. A bit about if a casualty is unconscious, tilt their head back to open their airways. So I looked staight up to the ceiling and tried breathing through my nose. Slowly I started to breath again. I then developed three steps if it happened again that does work. 
1. Keep calm. Hard I know, but you will get your breath again. Sooner if you remain calm. Think of it as holding your breath under water.
2. Look up towards the ceiling to open your airways. Coughing normally makes you put your head forwards. As
Soon as you've stopped coughing, look up.
3. Count to 5 in your head slowly before trying to breath. Then slowly breath through your nose. 
This works for me everytime. Once you know how to deal with something, you no longer panic about it.
I went back on sick for another week and although I didn't have another attack anywhere near as bad as the Monday one, I still had coughing and non-breathing moments but as I now had my 3 steps, I found them annoying more than scary. As it was stopping me getting on with my life. 
I found this site looking for answers and was relieved when o found other people with the same problem but worried that there was no one with an answer. Well, folks, I have one:-
'post cough bronchial spasms'. And they are quite common. When sufferer coughs hard the tracts known as the bronchia go into spasm and close up (not in the throat) and prevents air flow. My doctor told me that I could be like this everytime I cough really hard. But not if coughing normally. It may well be something I have to live with. But lime I said earlier, once you know how to deal with it, it's no longer scary. 
Please, please try my '3 rules'. If your situation sounds similar to mine. My doctor agreed with the steps I came up with as being the best way to deal with it. 
I hope this helps

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by EDad416, Apr 19, 2010
Has anyone heard of laryngospasm induced by exercise or athletic activity?

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by sambuca92, Apr 27, 2010
Im 17 years old and i had this cough and it caused me the same where my eyes watered and my throat closed up while coughing i thought i was going to die at one point as i stopped breathing for like 1-2 minute! its really scary when your at this age and it happens, i went to my doctors and they didn't do nothing but gave me this medicine what didn't do nothing didn't help at all! so i had to wait till it went, now every time i laugh i Can not because i end up coughing or it ends up really hurting my throat really want to no why tho? but i have been smoking since i was 13 but before i had the cough i didn't smoke as much as i did to be honest i thought it was the m-cat what i took i thought it was reacting on my lungs and throat but looks like it isn't.  

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by kobrien, May 02, 2010
I have had this problem since I was around 15 yrs old.  I am now on my way to 42 yrs.  The problem I am referrig to is my throat closing up when it gets irritated.  This does not happen to me with a cold.  I do not have athsma.  This happens to me when I eat a chocolate bar..(sometimes the chocolate is scratchy to my throat).  Or with acid reflux (not always) and sometimes with choking on my own saliva or swallowing wrong.  But when it happens it's terrifying!  But I have learned to go somewhere so concentrate on calming myself down.  It still lasts too long.  I really wish I knew why my throat seals up like this.....And I do know that afterwards there seems to be a lot of thick saliva that just sits there in your throat.....for awhile.
Does't anyone know what the heck is going on?

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by DStrick1979, May 08, 2010
I found this topic, like some others, while searching for symptoms. I'd like to share an experience I had yesterday, and give a touch of history to previous episodes as well.

Yesterday afternoon, out of nowhere, I started to cough. It was a different cough.....its one that immediately makes you think you need something to drink. If felt very minor, and I figured a good throat clearing would fix it. I was standing up, and talking to some friends. The cough persisted, and the next thing I throat was closed. I could not take a breath at all for about 20 seconds. I have been through similar before, so I knew to try to remain calm. I ran to a water cooler and got a cup of water.

After about 30 seconds had lapsed, I was able to take in VERY shallow breaths. Breathing was very labored, and it was obvious I was having respiratory difficulty. Others around me stopped conversating, and were looking at me in disbelief. One friend, in fact, had his phone in his hand......waiting for me to flag him to call for help. After 3 minutes, I was breathing normally.....and my throat was somewhat back to normal. Being that I have dealt with this before, I knew to try not to panic. The scary part was the sudden onset of the symptoms.

I'm no doctor by any means, but I see several responses on this topic that are describing an ongoing cough, or even related to an illness. Although the symptoms are similar, I don't think there is any relation between the known illness and the sudden onset.

My history: I had asthma as a child, haven't had problems with it since my mid-teens. I am now 31 years of age. I am overweight, at 300lbs. Within the last 3-4 years, I discovered that I had an issue with reflux. This was after MANY scary nights, being woken up by the inability to breath. Same symptoms as I described initially, just without a cough. I thought for a while I had sleep apnea. I actually did a sleep study, and they ruled apnea out. After 2 trips to the ER for breathing problems, and an endoscopy, it was determined I had a hiatal hernia. Basically it is an abnormality of the tube that connects your esophagus to your stomach, which allows food particles to set in the tube and hold the sphincter open in your esophagus. This allows acid up into your throat, which your throat cannot bare......and it closes up.

I went on Nexium for ~5 weeks. Nexium is bad stuff, but it works. It takes about 2 weeks to absorb enough into your system to start working, and in those two weeks.....several side affects are certain to show. I had diarrhea for 2 weeks straight. Nexium reduces the amount of acid your stomach creates. Not only will this obviously reduce the chances for reflux issues, but it slows down digestion also. I went to the doctor every 2 weeks for a checkup. After the initial dose was given, and 1 follow-up visit, I returned a to the doctor after being on Nexium for 4 weeks (so basically 2 weeks with Nexium working). I lost 36 pounds in those 2 weeks. I had to force myself to eat, I wasn't hungry. I ate a small bag of trail mix around 10am, then another small bag around 3pm. I nibbled at dinner.

After my prescription ran out, I stopped taking Nexium. I had lost quite a bit of weight......which is basically what my doctor said the only solution was for my hiatal hernia (besides surgery). I had been about 2 years with no symptoms, until yesterday. The odd part is that the reflux bothered me previously at night, while laying down. It has really startled me that it occured yesterday, not only out of the blue.......but while standing.

I think there are 2 reasons, at least for mine. I know I have gained some weight back, which I think is contributing. Also, I would encourage anyone out there that is experiencing any sudden outbreaks like I monitor what you eat/drink. I actually ate and drank something shortly before that episode yesterday, that I don't normally consume (fwiw, Starbucks coffee in glass bottle....and 2 big Reese cups). I think peanut butter might be a trigger for my reflux.

Also, one thing I might still go get checked out GERD. My father has it, so I can only imagine its probably genetic.

- Darren

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by kristin808, May 10, 2010
I am 31 years old, never been diagnosed with asthma, don't have chronic acid reflux and I work out regularly and drink lots of water daily.  I've had three of these episodes, and wasn't sick when any of them occured.  Today's was by far the worst.  I was standing in the living room watching TV when (and I dont know the order the symptoms occured because it all happens so fast), i got a tickle in the back of my throat, tried to swallow but couldn't, coughed and my throat closed up.  All in about two seconds.  
I left the room because I knew I was about to get really leaky and red!  And the added pressure of having people hover and ask what's wrong makes you more anxious.  Since this had happened before, I was scared, but able to think.  I knew I needed to try to relax.  But as I walked around in the hallway trying to calm my muscles and slow down my attempts to inhale, it got worse.  I could breathe out, but not in.  When I did breathe in, I was making a really loud, high pitched wheezing noise.  Which of course made me more nervous.  It lasted somewhere from 30-60 seconds.  Barely getting any breath in, face red, eyes bulging, tears streaming down my face, contemplating calling 911... Then it started to go away.  My throat calmed down a little, the tickling going away, able to breathe deeper.  Then for no real reason, I took a breath through my nose.  That was what calmed me, because breathing through my nose was much easier.  I was able to get much more air in.  
Anyway, I wasn't able to really talk for a few minutes, then for a while after that I had a really hoarse voice.  It's been a little scratchy since then, and my throat and lungs still seem to ache, and my throat still feels a little constricted.  Though I wonder it that's just nerves.  
I did some googling, and the closest thing I could find was some voice box disorder.  I'm not sure they can do anything about it though, short of removing your voicebox.  Next time it happens though, I will def try breathing through my nose from the beginning.  

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by Andreas1505, May 20, 2010
Ugh.I'm in the throes of it. Hacking so much I wet myself and my throat is killing me . Low grade fever. Been though this for years. In the past year have been on 4 courses of Cipro and Prednizone. That combo stops it in it's tracks but 4-6 weeks later it's back. Going to see the doctor again tomorrow. Have tried Oil of Oregano, Asthma inhalers, Clear my Lungs, relaxing, water water water, green tea, nothing much helps.  May 20 2010.

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by genegennie, Jun 06, 2010
I also found this site whilst searching for answers to my chronic coughing fits, brought on by spicy food, pepper, oaty food e.g flapjacks or just by talking too much and my throat getting too dry, I am also prone to fits of coughing during the night, Like many others I do not have acid reflux but I am mildly asthmatic, my father and aunt both suffered in the same way. However, in recent years following a cold or chest infection mine has developed  into something  far worse. It is interesting to read there may be a  whooping cough connection as the noise I make when trying desperately to get my breath sounds like whooping cough. It is terrifying, the first occasion happened whilst I was looking after our two year old grandson he thought it was hilarious, fortunately he was in his highchair and I was able to attract the attention of our neighbours who came to help. Today I had my second terrifying experience, thankfully my husband was at home. My episodes seem to last somewhat longer than most 2/3 mins but I did realise that breathing in through my nose  and out through my mouth helped. I will try fisherman's friends lozenges (after all they are produced just down the road from us in Fleetwood Lancashire) I'm not too sure going to the doctors, as my husband suggests, will help - well not after reading most peoples experiences - but one never knows there maybe a doctor out there with an answer
Many thanks to all who have posted comments, I does help to know and that I am not on my own and that the worst that will happen is that I may pass out.

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by Ilived, Jun 16, 2010
Hello All,
30 minutes ago I survived my "as far as I can Remember" third attack of my life. Of course a quick google sent me to this site. I'm so relieved it has happened to others...Sorry!'''  I'm 46, 210 lbs never go to the doctor unless It's absolutely necessary and have no other breathing problems. I was watching tv after work having an ice soda and relaxing, my throat tickled as I went to cough I think I kinda burped..."The perfect Storm" my throat slammed shut my chest would not move and the harder I tried the more my chest said no! I stood up and headed for the front door since the family was out, When I reached the door blackness around the outside of my vision started and I leaned against the doorjamb to keep from falling. I pulled so hard I finally heard a squeak like the breathing through a coffe stirrer comment. not nearly enough!!! And I couldnt get it back out but it was enough to get my labradors attention and he began freaking out.  The closer I got to passing out the more relaxed I became and I was able to make louder and louder squeaks untill I was able to breathe again.  I think the cause is just the bodies reaction to the throat being tickeled in just the right place with just a little added pressure in your throat at the same time vola "shut down".  I think relaxing is probably the best advice, as hard as that may be to do.      

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by ellenr22, Jun 21, 2010
I've had this condition since yesterday - unable to stop coughing.
I thot I would have to go to a clinic.
I coughed so much, I even vomited.
I've had this before.
The medicine my doctor gives me makes me sicker than the original complaint. Once I went to him with bronchitis, he gave me something that made me hallucinate for 4 days!

So far this morning, I seems to be able to go longer without coughing.

__>>I wonder how much will is involved?
Can we will ourselves to not cough?
I read above that people said, try to relax, that seems good advice.
but it is scary.

As soon as it gets to a more decent hour, (it is now 5:30 am), I am going to take my friend up on her offer of chloraspetic.
I was reluctant, as I have bad reactions to so many medications.
But I need something to turn off this reflex that is making me cough.

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by pennycooper1361, Jun 23, 2010
I have had the same thing where my throat just seems to close up and I can't breathe. I feel like I am gonna pass out. I am sure it only lasts for about 30 to 40 seconds, but it seems like an internity. The things is I don't have a cough or anything. The last time it happened I was at work, and I thought they were going to have to call 911. This is the 5th time it has happened in 2 years. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening. Like I said, I don't have a cough or anything when it happens. I'ts like my throat just closes up on me for no apparent reason. Any info would be much appriciated.

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by stillwell, Jun 24, 2010
I've had this for years. I find it is much worse if I'm eating after a recent cold or mild allergies - anything that has slightly irritated my throat. Things like spicy foods and chocolates are particularly prone to causing this reaction. I'm asthmatic and have had this reaction for many years. Its scary. It feels as if the food causes some sudden post nasal drip that then puts a 'veil' over my airways. I can't think of any other way to describe it. I found the only thing that works is to go outside and stand up and stretch your arms above your head - to stretch out the lungs - and look up. Try not to panic (easier said than done!). You may discover that you can breathe out through your nose. This is calming. Keep trying to stop the spasm by relaxing. Sometimes a change in temperature helps - go from colder air to warmer air or visa versa - that's why I always step outside. Usually these spasms end with a coughing fit. That's when I get a cold or hot drink and try to break up the remainder of the 'spasm'. I've never found a cure for this but at least this particular exercise helps me when I'm in the middle of one of those things. It does feel like you're dying as it happens and its very difficult to calm yourself but that is the very best thing you can do. I live alone and have these attacks once every three months or so. I'm still here! Good luck!

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by mandy12221958, Jun 26, 2010
Good Morning, I too have been suffering. It started with my daughter. She had a cough. The doctor put her on zithromax, 4 days, did not work.  Then amoxicillian.  The cough was so bad she would lose her breath for 10 - 15 seconds or more.  Once I blew air into her mouth. It helped. This happened several times.  I put her on zirtec a week ago she is ok now far.  NOW I am coughing and my throat locks up.  It starts with a tickle, the a cough then I lose my breath for
10 or more seconds and have secreted clear mucus....and throw up.  I am not sure what it is.  I relax when this happens and it eventually passes.  I use throat spray and my daughters inhaler atrovent...It helps some..I am afraid to cough and
try not to as it almost always causes my throat to close and I feel like I am smothering.  I may go to ER today.  This has been going on with me for 2 weeks...I am scared but feel better to read that many people are suffering from the same symptoms.  I think it may be a virus.  My daughter got this the last couple weeks of the school year this year 2010.  Maybe airborne but really stange that she is ok now and I have all of her symptoms...No fever...A tickle then cough then throat locks up.....throw up sometimes and sometimes it is clear thick mucus....Scarry.........I am still here and comtemplating a trip to the ER today ...It is Saturday 6.26.2010    Amanda Padgett   Roanoke, VA  

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by KBsta, Jul 06, 2010
I just developed this coughing-into-gasping problem at my huge 4th of July/surprise 40th b-day party for hubby this weekend, now its 2 x a day or more.   I am asthmatic, but in elevation of 6,350' in Colorado, its not bad anymore.

So far only cough drops and/or ice cubes and water seem to relieve the "tickle" that causes my cough fits.

I hate how I am unable to breathe during it for 10-20 seconds.....too long in my book.

Good luck to all in getting over this.

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by HeatherG0907, Jul 07, 2010
I have had a cough for about 2 weeks now.  For about a week now my throat has been closing on me and im freaking out.  I feel like im going to die.  I get a tickle in my throat and then start coughing.  I try to breath in and cant.  Once i can breath again I start throwing up.  I would appreciate it if anyone could tell me what they think this is.  

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by shay2001, Jul 07, 2010
im glad to hear all your stories because its 5am and i am here awake, wishing i was still sleeping. this is the third time this has happened, and the worst and scariest. i had mouth surgery yesterday so ive been in a lot of pain and pretty out of it. i took my meds before bed for pain control and all of a sudden about 4am i woke out of a dead sleep with this intense coughing spasm. i could feel acid or something climbing into my throat the more i cough and eventually i began vommitting and not able to stop. i was coughing and vomitting and gasping for air all at the same time, i couldnt even scream for someone to help me, but because i had my surgery yesterday, i was advised to not be left alone for at least a day or two, so my brother slept in my room on the floor incase i needed anything and to make sure i was ok. my coughing, wheezing and vomitting woke him up pretty quickly and he jumped up asking me what he should do, and i had no idea what to tell him. i eventually slowly slowed my breathing down even though it was so hard to do and i got some pepto from the cupboard and drank some. i have NO idea if this is asthma, or acid reflux or what but it feels as though my throat is closing and i can taste acid or vomit or something burning in my throat when i have these episodes... i am so scared to go back to sleep because i think it will happen again. it still feels like it will if i were to give in and cough, but im holding back... does anyone know what this may be??

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by Daryl_C, Jul 08, 2010
Hi everyone, I am in the UK, it appears most of you are in the US, but be assured the problem is trans-atlantic. I get the same problem, maybe once or twice a year, after a cough/cold.  I too have a lot of mucus produced and constantly clearing it - the cold/cough symptons have generally gone but the mucus continues as does the throat closures.

One thing I havent seen mentioned by everyone is the feeling of a sharpe opject (although its part of the throat) that comes in from my right side in a place I can only describe by saying 'if you put your finger behind the corner of your jaw line and push up as if you are trying to get to your roof of your mouth' it seems to be there before the closure.  So it comes and I cant get it to go away, only really eating something seems to clear the passage but that doesnt make sense as its my wind pipe I thought. It petrudes in my throat - then my throat closes as in like its been stuck together, coughing clears it temporarily but eventually if I dont continuously cough it closes and I cant breathe, its short but it definately inhibits breathing. As everyone else says, you can still breathe but it panics you enough and inhibits breathing enough for it to be problematic.

Mine usually comes at night in bed. I know its coming, I know I cant stop it happening and it is really wierd.

It does however go, eventually, but it runs me down, worries me everytime and I fear if I wasnt young it could be more problematic.


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by Daryl_C, Jul 08, 2010
This link is an interesting read:

Interesting to know - how many on here are smokers?

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by KBsta, Jul 08, 2010
Not a smoker....had asthma almost all my life, up until 5 yrs ago.

I have been fine for last 3 days now, no tickle/coughing/gasping at all.

Pollen in grass has been high here in Colorado, so my allergies are rough right now.

Good luck to all that this passes for you.

Avatar universal
by pmfreeman23, Jul 14, 2010
wish i had some answers.  been going on for me for about a week.  getting ready to get on a plane to NYC for a mission trip and i am scared to fly or go...will try some of the breathing methods suggested.  can barely sleep.  I am very anxious and wonder if anti-depressants would help?  scared!!  hate this feeling...shaky...scared to eat or drink anything

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by majic28, Jul 29, 2010
same thing happened to me, started about a week ago when i woke up out of a sleep with a coughing fit, and couldn't get a full breath, i sprang out of bed gasping for air it took about a full minute and i started to burp then breathing became a little easier afterwords it was hard to talk and took awhile to begin breathing normal i figured this was just a freak incident until today when the same exact thing happened  and this time i went to the ER i should also mention it has been hurting when i swallow but does not feel like i have a sore throat the dr gave me a chest x-ray which came out clean and suggested it may be my larynx spasming from the cough he gave me some cough syrup which provided some relief but told to go to to my ENT for a larynxoscopy and if that comes out negative to have a bronchioscopy  

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by abbeyvg, Jul 30, 2010
Well, you can add me to the list of people who experience this problem, though it is a fairly recent phenomenon with me. It started with a cough that my husband had too, though his never developped the same complications. About 6 weeks ago, I had my first episode of not-breathing (all of the standard symptoms listed by all of you) and freaked out of course. Since then, I know how to cope, but it has not gone away. My doctor prescribed antibiotics for pertussis, but I have completed the course and my problem remains. (They also did a blood test for whooping cough, but I haven't had access to the results yet...I will keep you all posted if you want.)

There is a pressure point behind the earlobes (no, I'm not normally an alternative medicine type, found it in a medical journal). If you press very hard on both sides with your index fingers in the notch in your jawbone just behind the earlobe and push inward (towards your face), it will hurt a little bit but it will also release the larynx within a short amount of time. I have found this to be immensely helpful.

Also, my husband instinctively wrapped his arms around me to hold me still the first time because I was panicking so, and that was helpful too, calming.

Finally, I find that Vick's Vaporub helps a little, because it calms the tickle in the throat while sleeping.

All the best.

Avatar universal
by joy1015, Aug 08, 2010
Thanks to everyone that posted.  This has really helped provide comfort.

I had a little GERD over the last two years which subsided when I dropped a few pounds and changed my diet.  I am not significantly overweight but I am not exercising which I know is key to a healthy lifestyle.  (Even if it is walking 30 minutes a day to start)

I've been up since 1:30 AM with the miserable cough/spasm and gasping for air.  I have had the cough for about a month, but when I couldn't breath because my throat swelled up and all the mucous I went to the ER (just 3 days ago.)

A few things I learned was to "keep calm" - it really helps.  "Dave1910" posted some breathing tips which I will try today.  I was prescribed Azithromycin 500 mg for 7 days.  The Dr. thinks it is whooping cough and bronchitis.  Interesting that the "whoop" does not happen for every person that coughs (because I didn't have it), but the other symptoms are there.

I have been sipping water and Apple Cider Vinegar very very slowly.  It helps to break up the clear mucous from my throat.  (about 3 tablespoons per 8 oz of water)   When I did cough (after I sipped a little) it did help expel some of the mucous so I wasn't choking.   It wasn't great, but as least I was able to manage the coughing spell.

I do not want to end up spending a ton of cash on meds that aren't going to do anything.  I am attaching a link that might be helpful to some of you suffering from these symptoms.  It will provide history of the condition and herbal treatment.

It appears that the reason the condition returns is because of a weakend immune system.  I think alot of this stuff is getting back to basics - which I admit I have a hard time committing with my busy schedule and my family.  

Vick vapor rub does help and provide a little comfort.  Thanks "Abbeyvg".

"Metoo435" says the herb "Slippery Elm" might be helpful.  I am including a link on what the benefits are.

There was also a comment about Kennel Cough.  Here is a link about an herbal approach which has similar symptoms to whooping cough and talks about importance of a strong immune system.

I'm starting today with some small changes to my diet and walk.  If anything, it will help me in the longrun.

I hope that some of the info will be helpful to you and provide relief.  I wish you all good health and a good nights sleep.

Avatar universal
by David1247, Aug 09, 2010
This same thing started happening to me about a week after I started take Cymbalta.
I have know Idea if its related. but one of the side effects of Cymbalta is upper respiratory infection (7%)
Anybody else relate it to meds???

Avatar universal
by joy1015, Aug 10, 2010
I have a report to share.  I originally posted two days ago (8/8) and have some good news that I hope will help some of you.

I suspected that the symptoms I have been experiencing - dry itchy throat, coughing spasms and unable to get air to pass through my lungs, etc was due to GERD.   So I went to a health food store to address it and here is what I have found.

1) I have been using "slippery elm" losanges (only 1 every two hours) which provide some relief.  I also continue to drink ALOT of warm warm and honey
2) I also have been taking a probiotic and digestive enzymes to attack the bacteria causing all the clear mucous.

I found out that antibiotics also take out some of the good bacteria that our body needs which weakens the immune system.  I started this regimen Sunday (8/8) afternoon and have seen a reduction in the amount of mucous and can manage the coughing spells.  I only coughed 3 times Sunday night (compared to 10+) - and I slept on my stomach so I wouldn't choke and it did help.   Last night I coughed two very short and managable coughs. They are no longer coughing spasms and I am able to rinse my mouth during the coughing and provide relief.

I am attaching a link about the GERD that might be helpful.   Read "complications of a chronic cough"  

I hope this helps some of you.

Avatar universal
by missy3636, Aug 22, 2010
This happens to me as well, started back in 5th grade every so many months I will be drinking or have a cough and my throat will close off and I cannot breathe. It's very scary and embarassing, the only thing that helps is me putting my hand over my mouth and  it starts my breathing again. Sounds weird but I guess its kinda like breathing in a paper bag. I wish I knew what caused this because its very scary.

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by majic28, Sep 04, 2010
I posted july 29 2010, since then i went to the ent who did a laryngoscopy and said my throat was red and said i had silent reflux, I already took prevacid and doubted it was silent reflux but he said prevacid is not a true time release medicine and put me on a new med called dexilant 60mg, i was very skeptical but took it for 30 days and all my symptoms went away except i would still sometimes cough, just last night i coughed again and my throat closed up, this time i didn't panic and it was so bad but now i feel like i am at the beginning again. next step will be a pulmonary doctor.

Avatar universal
by majic28, Sep 04, 2010
meant to say this time it wasnt so bad since i didnt panic, really glad i found this post, seems the key is not to panic and tell yourself you will get through it

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by TheOne876, Sep 05, 2010
Hi All:

I am happy I found this site, knowing I am not the only one experiencing these symptoms.

The first major attack happened a few days ago, was walking in the city and was bitting my nail and it went down my throat. It happened in a split second, coughing then I realized I could not breath. Never experiencing this before I panicked extremely thinking this was it for last for 30-45 sec, after which burping freed up my throat.

During this period I had a nagging cough for about 2 wks, and had two smaller incidents last between 5-10 sec but its not till after the major one that I realized that OMG I was experiencing this but smaller.

I realized I just need to control the cough and I am OK. But last night out of cough medication I had just one incident and my throat went into spasm again as I figured my vocal area is still swollen as my throat is not yet healed from all that 2 weeks of coughing. I did not panic this time as I was expecting it. All I did was close my mouth that way I am not forced to pull air in which would make it worse. So with mouth closed I then take shallow breath through my nose repeatedly until the feeling subside..

I have been to the doctor with no success I may go back but after reading these post I am not optimistic..

Avatar universal
by huffanpuff, Sep 06, 2010
I like the 32 I have read about here has told me it isn't something I just have  .mine only comes when I seem to feel a head cold coming on. I get this tickle in my throat & start coughing which I try to depress but,it gets worst to losing it & go into a panic as I can't get air can't even talk. try to tell wife what is going on but speech is slurred. I than pulse breath & it calms me to  relax. I have even used my Proventil inhaler to relax throat.   I have than coughed up much mucus. I than pulse breath for some time & throat still hurts but,it settles down. Like many here this is down right scary & wounder what brings this on.
I did have lung cancer & was told had three months to live. Had 3b but, that was ten years ago today & I have copd , so thought it was part of it but, this coughing jag only comes on 3 times in the past year & a half. I do how ever take many immune system builders to keep colds away or fight them off . I take a bee propolis  a good immune system fighter & haven't taken any in some time because, I ran out & it has to be ordered over internet because, city I live in doesn't have it & low behold my daughter said, she has a cold she got from work & my mind just said "grate" I will have it next. Got that head cold feeling tried some night quill & two seconds later bang, the coughing  started. I relate this to a head cold nothing more

Avatar universal
by sumitb16, Sep 07, 2010
I visited this site 2 months ago when i was sufferring from these choking attacks and I was scared like anything. I have been sufferring from Sinusitis from childhood. This time I went to an ENT specialist for this problem he told me the sinusitis problem is getting worse and the choking and the itchy feeling at the back of my throat is due to post nasal drip and advised I need to get a surgery done for it. He diagnosed it as Chronic Rhinosinusitis + deviated septum. I underwent a procedure called Septoplasty + FESS and luckily I've not had any problems at all after that. I am now able to sleep comfortably without worrying about cough or nose blocks.

Hope this is helpful to anyone sufferring from the same problem.


Avatar universal
by mrsimsck, Sep 09, 2010
Wow! I don't feel alone.  I have just recently became afflicted with this debilitating cough just 4 days ago.  I just thought it would pass.  I started the not being able to breathe on the 2nd day of the cough. I don't suffer from any soreness in the throat.  I do however notice the little tickling feeling in the back of my throat.  The not being able to breathe part is truly scary.  Today was the worst.  My reason for searching the web for a reason.  I just began to cough as of the last week...then i just wasn't able to breathe out, I could breath in but the breath wouldn't release.  I started making my way down to my neighbor and as I willed myself to get some control. I was then able to began to get some kind of air.  Then the I was breathing very shallow breaths.  I am going to see a Doctor TOMORROW, unless this happens again tonite in the manner it did today.  Then I am in the ER.  And after reading the post by sumitb16.  I am also worried that the sinus problem I've put off since childhood as just allergies, will turn out to be more then I had ASSumed.  Since child hood I would always have to sniff.  Hopefully I can get some relief. I will definitely post my results...Thanks everyone for your contribution.  You all have helped me so very much.  

Avatar universal
by LC23, Oct 01, 2010
So glad I found this site.   I had my first trip to the ER about 2 weeks ago.   I have been battling seasonal allergies and I normally don't take anything as decongestants make me to jittery.   I had a bit of a coughing spell and bam, I couldn't breathe and was making a god awful gasping sound   it lasted about one minute -- which left me baffled and scared.  Went to the ER, they prescribed antibiotic, even though I had not fever, steroids and sent me on my way.   Neither of these scripts I took.   Last Saturday while sleeping I had a tickle and coughed and bam it started again.  I made my way again to the ER where it happened twice.  This time I did have a fever and they sent me home once again with an antibiotice and told me to follow up with an ENT.   I have since learned from doing some research and this site that what I had is called a laryngospasm.  There is actually a video of that shows what happens to your vocal cords during these attacks.   I am researching a good ENT in my area and have not yet been seen by a dr.   In addition to this, I am also having difficulty swallowing.  It is like once I am ready to swallow my head forgets what is next and the food just lingers in limbo for a second or two then it goes down.   I do have a history of allergies, throat problems and sinus concerns.  Would love to hear from anyone else that has swallowing problems.  Will post my outcome when I get an appt with an ENT.

Avatar universal
by Burrows77, Oct 05, 2010
I also have swallowing problems and have intermittently gotten laryngospasms from breathing in liquids or even my own saliva a time or two. (I've had about 18 laryngospasms in 14 years.) Now I make a conscious effort to take small sips and also to watch out for foods that lead to GERD. After dinner I chew sugarless gum. I also take a probiotic daily.

I had a swallowing evaluation after I returned from a vacation in April. I was often tired on my vacation and had difficulty sometimes with food lying at the back of my throat. My husband reminded me to cough when this happened, and it did help. Because I can't cough during a laryngospasm, I hadn't realized I could with this new situation.

My swallowing evaluation showed a mild problem with my peristaltic action, moving food and liquid to the stomach. Instead of squeezing things down in an organized manner, my food/liquid is tossed from side to side. I think of it as a washing machine action, with splashes going randomly high in my throat at times. My family physician says he thinks this contributes to the laryngospasms. I'm not sure that that is so, but it's worth consideration.

Now I am facing surgery, a laparoscopy, and tubing for this procedure is necessary for anesthesia, unfortunately. One of the things that can set off laryngospasms is anesthesia. There is an article called, "Perioperative Laryngospasm - Review of Literature" at It describes some of the better anesthesias for avoiding laryngospasms, but also talks about longer than normal uvulas, etc.

Good luck to everyone suffering these kinds of problems.

Avatar universal
by katastic, Oct 13, 2010
After reading everyone's comments, I feel that I'm getting off easy. I have spasms, but my throat and air aren't cut off. Still, I'm so miserable, not being able to talk without coughing or my voice volume and sound being affected.
This is my four episode. It seems to happen once a year, on average. Three of the times have been in the dry fall season. I have noticed that rainy weather and being in the shower ease the symptoms somewhat.
I've begged doctors to help me before it gets to the full-blown state of spasming about 1/3 of my waking hours. So far none has prescribed an anti-inflammatory besides prednisone, which didn't work and made me feeling like the world was coming to an end!
I have had antibiotics, prescription cough meds, muscle relaxants, and lately, nitrostat and dilatiazem. The condition seems to last about a month. Once a doctor even thought it was whooping cough, like Anna59. It wasn't though.
My gastroenterologist has suggested that I have too much acid produced and coupled with a stressful situation at work, I've aspirated into my larynx and burnt that and my esophagus. He's talking about a surgical procedure to make a new sphincter at the esophagus opening to the stomach (Nissen fundoplication). Has anyone had this suggestion? Had the surgery? Did it work?  
My heart goes out to all of you who are also suffering. You have helped calm me somewhat.
I like the suggestion of changing room temperature and holding my head up. Good luck to everyone:)

Avatar universal
by Burrows77, Oct 16, 2010
Logging back in to say that I don't have to have a laparoscopy after all! I got a second opinion from the best OBGYN I could find in my health system with a specialty in advanced laparoscopic techniques. PLEASE DO THIS FOR YOURSELF IF YOU ARE FACED WITH A SUGGESTION FOR SURGERY, EVER!

'Humac' (Golfdude) on this list (April 16, 2010) and I seem to share the identical problem. I am learning to lower my chin when I swallow, in order to block the trachea from taking in unexpected fluids and ending up with laryngospasms. I really feel for those of you who get attacks at night. It must be very scary indeed.

Avatar universal
by dougbf, Oct 18, 2010
Fascinating to see all these posts.  I had a mild chest cold, followed by a bad cough for a week.  This was followed by a week of night-time coughing fits that would wake me out of a deep sleep.  This was followed by a week or ten days where the coughing fits ended up in not being able to breath in, which scared the heck out of me and my family.  Trips to the emergency room and family doctor were pretty much useless, at least initially.  That's when I first read these postings, and it was amazing to find all of you.  Now, almost a month later, I still have chronic laryngitis, but the coughing fits have stopped, as have the bouts where I couldn't breath.  Doctors surmised the coughing fits were caused by GERD or allergies, but they are not really sure.  I don't know whether time helped, or a bunch of medicines, but I took the following and it seemed to help:  two doses daily of over the counter prilosec (approved by my ENT), proventil inhaler as needed every four to six hours, flovent inhaler two puffs twice daily, and I've been stealing my wife's singulair pills once daily.  I use a humidifier at night and use an extra pillow as well.  Your postings are what helped me through one of the weirdest and scariest couple of weeks I have ever experienced.  

Avatar universal
by bl2468, Oct 24, 2010
Barry again. I too have developed a swallowing problem over the last 9 months or so the same as LC23. I have to VERY careful what I eat as I have had some close shaves with meat and larger capsules amongst other things. I only eat mince meat now and if I can't get small capsules to swallow I go without. Everything has to chewed up very carefully. I have had a check on my throat and there is nothing abnormal. I have read of people choking to death on a piece of meat too big for their throat so have taken preventive measures to reduce this happening to me. My dr says I may have a small swallow (common to many people) and care must be taken when eating. This would not help when and if I get another bout of my coughing spasms. Good luck to all who have posted over the last few years and hope down the track something positive comes out of these discussions.

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by 1Marmalade, Nov 19, 2010
this is the scariest thing ever!  i live alone and about once a week, i have a coughing fit (seems related to swallowing), and i begin to get a worse feeling of irritation in my throat, followed by the closing of the throat.  the feeling of not being able to inhale is so frightening, i am sure that my panic just makes it worse.  sometimes this happens while i am eating and sometimes i may just be unconsciously swallowing.  even the smaller bites of food doesn't seem to deter this.  no history of asthma, or any lung related problems, just seems to be a small 'tubular' problem with my airway and esophagus tubes???
thanks for all the posts, i no longer feel alone.  one thing i was told by a medical professional, if it lasts long enough that i would pass out, i would most likely relax enough to quickly start breathing again...  one can only hope!

Avatar universal
by lisa98, Nov 21, 2010
Currently in the throes of this horrible condition.  Started with cold/flu like symptoms without fever about a month ago. Two weeks later rust colored mucus developed and difficulty breathing after coughing began.  Went to family Dr. and he prescribed Z pack, combivent inhaler and prometh w/codeine syrup.  Mucus cleared but all other symptoms remained.  My coughing spells/inability to inhale most often happens in the middle of the night -- strangely usually around the same time -- between 3 - 5 am (but has also happened during the day).  After reading the posts on this site I spoke to my doctor about the possibility of it being GERD and he suggested I make an appointment with an ENT before seeing a Gastroenterologist,.  Did a little more internet research and found LPR, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (see  I have recently gained weight and do drink a lot of coffee, so it seems like this is a strong possibility.  Made an appointment with an ENT - I'll let you know what happens after the appointment.  

Avatar universal
by rrowe68, Dec 14, 2010
Just an FYI - report  back.   I had this similar issue over the summer.    On 4-5 occasions, my throat would spasm and I couldn't breath - everyone around me thought I was choking.   This lasted for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  The only remedy was to tilt my head up and breath thru my nose until the spasm ended.  

My doctor told me to use Benadryl at night to clear up/dry any sinus issues to prevent post nasal drip.  Then, use an allergy tablet during the day.   I haven't had the issue return for nearly 4 months.  I think it might have originated as a allergies/cold/whooping cough and just lingered, until my body got over it.  However, it did eventually go away and now I don't worry about it occurring every day.

Avatar universal
by ranosb, Jan 11, 2011
I believe that what is happening is your expelling all the air out of your lungs & your windpipe is collapsing, Like a balloon collapses when the air is let out. TAKE DEEP BREATHES before & in between each cough to keep air in you lungs if possible to prevent this. Seems like once your windpipe collapses, it makes it easier for it to reoccur again...
Randy Osb

Avatar universal
by deb544, Feb 03, 2011
This started happening to me about 2 or 3 weeks ago after a bad cough that my whole family has had, including myself.  I would cough and my airway passage would close and I couldn't breathe any air back in for about 40 to 60 seconds.  Then it started happening to me in the middle of the night when I'm not coughing.  I had been going to a general practitioner, but I don't think he understands the severity of it and how terrifying it is.  Last Friday I went to an ear nose and throat specialist who told me that I am having laryngospasms.  He is not sure why they are happening, but said he thinks it could either be acid reflux (which I'm not aware that I have) or something left over from this cough.  Either way, my body is producing phlegm in my chest and we need to figure out how to stop it.  I'm trying a couple of different meds, one for acid reflux and also Singulair.  I will go back in a couple of weeks.  I wanted to pass on a tip I got from the EENT doctor for what to do when you have a laryngospasm.  HE SAYS CONCENTRATE REALLY HARD ON SAYING "E" OUT LOUD THEN BREATH IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE.  Do this over and over.  Say "E" then breath in through your nose.  I have had to try this and it does work.  Somehow it helps the muscles around your voice box relax so that you can get air in.  I hope this helps anyone who is having this problem.  At least it won't be as much of a panic situation.

Avatar universal
by ozguy37, Feb 05, 2011
I currently have very similar symptoms to most people posting here. I went to the doc and straight away I was tested for whooping cough. Test results took 6 days to come back - I am positive. Apparently pertussis (whooping cough) is becoming a lot more common everywhere. I just had my worst coughing fit, then i couldn't breath, kept swalling air then coughing again and wheezing trying to breathe in because my throat had closed off. I am now on a 7 day course of Clarithromycin, I certianly hope this helps. It is very frightening waking up in the night not beeing able to breathe. I am definately NOT a doctor but, I would strongly suggest for people with the symptoms above to be tested for pertussis ('whooping cough', look up symptoms) even though I was vaccinated when I was young it does wear off after 5 to 10 years. I will try the 'E' thing tomorrow night.

Avatar universal
by satisfieduser, Feb 09, 2011
Thanks to everyone who has written and shared their experience and, especially, their solutions.

I am 57 and have experienced a number of laryngeospasms over the past number of years. They rarely seem associated with flu or other symptoms--just choking on a liquid, most often water. (I drink a lot of water.) And yes they are really scary. My doc, too, advised that in the worst case, if I pass out my throat will relax and I will start breathing again. So far this hasn't happened. The inability to take in air "feels" like it lasts a minute, but in reality I bet it's only 10-15 seconds. I'm just too scared to tell. Although I have never had asthma I imagine that the sensation is similar.

I read every post in this thread and gleaned the following:

1) When breathing stops, relax. There are a few mechanical things to try, like hyperextending the neck (look up), breathing in through the nose, breathing in and out in specific ways, moving the jaw forward. I will try all these things next. Relaxing seems to be the most important. Remember beforehand that rarely, if ever, does someone die from this.

2) Drugs mostly don't work.

3) Different conditions can trigger the spasms. There is not enough commonality to draw general conclusions.

The last time I had an attack (yesterday), my windpipe closed completely (unlike most previous events where I could wheeze in a little air). I was alone and, as usual, panicked. But this time after a few seconds I convinced myself that I had to relax, and almost immediately, it dissipated quickly.

As a small airplane pilot, I value the importance of practicing for readiness. Over the next little while I will try holding my breath and practicing the breathing, relaxation and mechanical methods I learned here. Then, next time my windpipe tries to sneak up on me, I'll be ready with some automatic responses of my own.

Thanks everyone!

Avatar universal
by Grammiemimi1, Feb 11, 2011
I have posted before - the most scary event I have ever had.  My windpipe closures can happen at anytime, with or without and coughing.  Three weeks ago I awoke at 2:30am feeling a burning in my throat and had one of my worst episodes.  Absolutely no air was able to come in and go out.  I had eaten some chili in mid afternoon day before and felt was regurgitating a small amount.  Took about 5 minutes of gasping and trying to force air in and out before I was able to calm down.  I take both an antacid and muscle relaxer.  Have had the acid test and did not register a high amount of acid.  I am going to a new throat specialist soon and hope he will have some answers and successful treatments.  Millie

Avatar universal
by DimitryZ, Mar 05, 2011
I have read this blog with great interest, as this ailment has recently struck me as well.  In my case the cause is likely bronchitis, probably viral, since antibiotics aren't helping in a hurry.  I usually cough only once, my upper air tube and vocal chords get coated with mucus and I can't breath in or out for some time.

Some of the advice in the thread is very helpful.  I have found that standing upright, lifting your head up and mildly pulling the jaw up or forward (depending on your head position) helps open up the throat and gives the most chances for the spasming cords to relax.  The other thing that seem to help for me is to be deliberate in your overall cough "strategy".  I cough, hard, to get the mucus OUT of the throat and wait until I can start breathing slowly after the spasm starts to subside, before I attempt to spit out or swallow the discharge.  I also allow the drool/saliva to fill my mouth and try to spit that out AFTER I swallow the lung discharge.  In the previous few days, in panic, I tried to draw air in as soon as possible - only resulting in more spasms, more mucus going back into the throat and more panic, etc.  If you feel a cough coming get a few good breaths in right before, to oxygenate your body, so you can stand a bit of time not breathing to give your chords a chance to start relaxing.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Tussin DM type medication seems to be good, since it both suppresses some desire to cough as well as liquefies the mucus.  Decongestants seems like a wring way to go - the mucus is thicker and is much harder to clear out of the throat on a cough.

I have asthma, but this is different entirely.  Albuterol, both as a rescue inhaler and a nebulizer treatment is not doing much for me.  ER doctor that I had seen seemed thoroughly disinterested once it was ascertained I had no tumors in the throat and my anatomy seemed normal.  Most doctors seem to ascribe the overall effect to psychological panic and really don't believe that your airways close completely for a time...

Avatar universal
by freshy44, Mar 09, 2011
I have the problem with my throat closing and not being able to breath in or out, quite frightening... my Dr put me on Nexium 40mg for acid reflex and omg, its a miracle drug, havent had anything since.

Avatar universal
by havocmil, Mar 23, 2011
well this is an interesting i thought i was going mad with this issue.,  About a year ago i woke up, not being able to breath...jumped out of bed, down stairs making this loud wheezing noise as i tried to breath in and it was really loud.

Tried breathing through my nose and it was like breathing against a plastic bag, nothing., luckly for me i am fairly calm, i went out side to ring the next doors bell for them to ring an ambulance, cause well, i thought, if i somehow survive this then maybe they can help but the change in the air temperature or humidity seemed to allow me to breath..after that i stuck my head in the freezer (dry air), thinking back the action of tilting my head probably was what changed the situation but i didnt know that at the time..anyways to cut this shorter, ambulance came and confirmed that my airway was badly circumferentially swollen but i was breathing now ok...that was a year ago....i've had lots of drugs since then for bronchitis and i've always been left with a cough, well not really a cough a feeling like i need to cough and i do sometimes but i just cant get rid of it and i am really scared of it coming back someday.....when i came back from the hospital i was really scared of sleeping, i sleep with an inhaler in the draw beside the bed , doctors gave this to me, it seems to open up the airway or something, thing is, it was a one off event, so far....oh i had a lung infection and just got over the Piggy flu at the time......hasnt been a good year or so....any ideas why i still have a cough from this ??

Avatar universal
by goldie159, Mar 30, 2011
I agree havocmil interseting to see so many people with the problem no clear answers though, I have had a cough now for the past 6 weeks and this morning I woke up with a coughing fit and my windpipe closed could not breath for about 30-40 secs Dr gave me anti biotics which seem to have done nothing just really worried that this will continue as I am very healthy normally as I play a few sports but if this continues I would see it as a danger to me. Acid reflux is interesting as I have had the bile a lot in the past may have a look into this if there is anyone out there who has a clear idea that would be great.

Avatar universal
by luvanurse, Apr 09, 2011
Boy, am I glad I stumbled onto this site!  I got the flu in January, took the Z Pak, drank lots of fluids, took vitamins, etc and it did OK.  But I have had this constant sensation of mucus building up in the back of my throat for weeks since then.  Sometimes it seems like it sticks and I have to try and cough several times to get it come up.  When it does come up it's clear, so that tells me it's not a respiratory infection. Plus, I don't have a temp or the usual associated signs that comes with bronchitis, the flu or pneumonia.  So, basicallly, I've been pretty concerned that it hasn't gone completely away by now.  The other day I was at a person's home who has lots of cats.  Two of the cats got holed up in the basement and were fighting to the point where the person I was visiting was concerned they were hurting each other.  I offered to go down and try to roust them out.  After I left, I noticed that I started having clear nasal discharge and started sneezing.  In a couple of hours following, I began having some coughing fits at work.  It was pretty embarrasing since everyone was looking at me.  I started thinking, "Great, now I'm getting another cold or bronchitis".  Throughout the evening, I coughed more and more. It wasn't constant though, just every several minutes or so.  When I went to bed and just started to settle down, I had another coughing fit.  I sat up to try and relieve it but it wouldn't quit.  I got out of bed to see if that would help then the next thing I knew I was coughing and suddenly my throat closed over completely where I couldn't get air in or out.  I was suffocating and it scared the hell out of me!  Like our EMT friend from earlier posts, my thought was that I would need to go to the kitchen, get a sharp knife and do a cricothirotomy on myself before I passed out.  Instead, I began to mentally talk myself down from the feeling that I was dying from suffocation.  After the episode passed, I too felt like I was breathing through a thin straw. I was afraid to go back to sleep for fear that the next time, I wouldn't wake up.

I decided to drive myself to the ER and was afraid the whole time that if I had a fit again while driving I would pass out.  Calling 911 for help was out of the question since I was unable to talk.  This very nice physician came in to examine me and determined that what I had experienced was uvulitis.  She gave me a dose of a liquid steroid and a normal saline breathing treatment.  Before I left she also gave me two amoxicillin and a script for more.  I didn't have the script filled yet, (this just happened last night) because I don't believe this is an infection causing the flu or something akin to that. I've never been diagnosed with allergies or least not yet.  This has never, ever happened to me before and it's pretty scary.  So I can relate and feel bad for all of us out there who have had this happen and aren't getting any straight answers.  I went on-line earlier to learn more about uvulitis and esophagitis but have not found anything conclusive with the two symptoms together causing throat closing aside from the fact that it's more prevalent in children with pertussis.  I also do not have esophageal reflux which can cause esophagitis in some cases.  Or hypothyroidism which can cause a bulging in the throat to the extent that it narrows the passage in the esophagus.  Tonight, I'm wheezing and having difficulty taking in full breaths.  And I continue to sneeze with clear drainage.  If there's a physician out there who can offer better ideas I'd love to hear them.  Good luck to all for a decent night's sleep.

Avatar universal
by ClevelandKen, Jun 06, 2011
Hello... I have similar problem. It has occured approximately 5 times now. I will be sleeping, or about to fall asleep, and I stop breathing completely . My throat closes off, I sit up, and I jump out of bed. I would say it closes for 10-20 seconds. I have to say it is quite scary. I have bronchitis and asthma, but don't know if I am coughing in my sleep when the closing of my throat occurs.

Avatar universal
by RafaelSV130360, Jul 04, 2011
Hi guys,
Another victim here reporting from Venezuela, so it´s definitely a world wide issue.

Previous condition:

After suffering a mild flue, I kept a low fever (38 celcius), the “tickle in the throat” and the occasional coughing to calm it. I had also been under a lot of stress for some months.


One night around 2 am I woke up and couldn´t breath at all, throat completely closed, terrible noises, and panic… It lasted for 30 seconds or so and afterwards I could not speak for 15 minutes.
The next days it also happened during the day, always following the same sequence: tickle in the throat + coughing + 1 minute throat closing without breathing. My throat felt dry, no mucus… I learned I could breathe through the nose somewhat looking upwards to the sky/ceiling and especially: not panicking.
I went to the doctor, who didn´t see anything unusual and had my blood examined. On a second visit I was able to generate an attack by coughing hard and he understood something was wrong and prescribed antibiotics, anti-rhinitis medication, and nasal spray. I surfed the internet and recognized my symptoms completely in Laryngospasm and/or Vocal Cord Dysfunction. Thanks to this page and to
Attacks during the day diminished but got worse at night. I once – alone in a hotel room –effectively fainted. At home in presence of my wife (who thought I´d had it) I had a 2 minute attack which turned me purple and blueish and left me completely exhausted. Those night time attacks showed a somewhat different chain of events:
1. Tickle in the throat continued during daytime but does not generate that much coughing any more.
2. Coughing did not generate the spasm anymore or at least I can “control” it
3. Attacks occur at night between 1 and 3 pm
4. My throat doesn´t feel dry any longer but sticky, glue-ish (but no mucus released)
5. Worst: I couldn´t breathe through my nose any longer (which previously helped me to maintain my calm)
6. The mental effort and breathing effort to get over a crisis is tremendous and exhausting
7. But the most different sensation compared to my original attacks is that when my throat opens somewhat (which previously meant I could start to breath, although with an horrible sound), now air does not come in but seems to go out ! With a bubbling sound as if gases from the inside meet liquids while trying to escape. This makes it impossible to breath, I have to suck the air in during the few moments I can, which closes the throat again and starts a terrible cycle that takes 2 to 3 minutes, while turning completely blue, and only seems to stop when I am at the verge of collapsing.
8. During various days I put my alarm-clock from 10 pm to 11 pm, from 11 pm to 12 pm, from 12 pm to 1 am, etc. afraid to sleep too long and have another attack. Of course in the morning I was tired as hell…


Nevertheless, the good thing was I clearly felt the night time attacks were caused when I have gas in my stomach. And although I didn´t feel any reflux at all nor heartburn etc., I did suffer in the past a lot from gastritis and ulcer, and I have a diatal hernia. So I went to another doctor, who – hallelujah – knew about laryngospasm, and after some analysis concluded I had laryngopharyngeal reflux plus nasal drip. As I understand it, the gasses slowly destroy the throat, the vocal cords and the related nerves, which then react to the mucus of the nasal drip. The reflux seemed to make sense, seen my previous history and the stressful period which had me passing the last months without breakfast and lunch, only greasy diners with lots of alcohol, and a cognac or rhum as a daily night cap… The nasal drip tough didn´t convince me that much.


Typical diet recommendations to avoid gastritis, GERD, etc.
Nexium (breakfast), Motilium (lunch) and Primperan (dinner)
Dislep - Levosulpiride: before each meal
Festal o Pankreosil (enzymes): after each meal.

Nasal Drip:
Talzic or Cetirivax

Some of these names are probably Venezuela only. Please check equivalents on internet.

Present Condition:

In less than 7 days, serious episodes have disappeared. I still wake up at night between 1 and 3 pm with throat slightly “glued” but since I can again breathe through my nose there is no choking. I always have a cup of tea next to me, and with the first sip my throat opens. Today around 11 am I had to sneeze hard, and my throat closed again, but same procedure: looking upward, breathing through nose, and some liquid… the whole episode less than 15 seconds…  What has not improved is my voice, I sometimes find it very hard to speak.

General Impression:

In my case it is definitely a combination of reflux and nasal drip. Medication on reflux had an immediate effect. I am not so sure about the medication regarding the nasal drip / mucus. My voice is not OK either. Nevertheless the doctor did tell me this will take up to 3 months to cure, so I will keep you guys up to date.

One last thing: Although living in Venezuela I am a Belgian national, with a good old “social security” from my country of birth which covers all my medical expenses… Thank you very much, socialized health systems from continental Europe…

Avatar universal
by bootsdog, Jul 10, 2011
I wish I was alone in this and no one else had to experience the "throat closing" sensation.  It's horrible.  In my situation, I did test positive for pertussis.  After going to the family physician 4 times, and ENT twice, a pulmonologist once, and an ER visit, I was put on:
Valium (2mg. twice a day) to relax the throat muscles
Prilosec (20mg twice a day) to get rid of acid reflux (I don't have it normally, but when I was coughing real hard, mucus   would sometimes come up and caused my throat to look red when scoped by the ENT)
Chlor-Trimeton (One 12 hr pill twice a day).  Really killed the mucus.  Tried Clariton, Zyrtec, Allegra, Musinex.  None of them worked to get rid of the mucus, but Chlor-Trimeton is a God-send.

I'm much better since the mucus is gone.  No mucus - not much coughing.  When I do cough 3-4 times a day for whatever reason, the throat can still close up if it's a severe coughing spell, but doesn't stay closed long.  I notice that when I involuntarily inhale deeply to cough, that's when the spasm hits.  Am getting off the Valium slowly and will return to the ENT in 8 weeks - hopefully with all this behind me.

Hope this helps!  Good luck to you all!  God bless.

Avatar universal
by Treati, Aug 06, 2011
I have the exact same problems as does my mother.  The diagnosis of laryngeospasms and gastric problem makes perfect sense for both my mother and me.  However, mine has recently gotton worse.  I take a quick breath to yell at the dog or cold air from the car air conditioning seems to set if off worse.  I also note that when I have a lot of these attacks I tend to have more BMs.  Does anyone notice this problem?  I have been diagnosed with having gallstones as well and have had a few gallstone attacks.  Other then a slight feeling of indigestions these attacks have been minor so far.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

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by SGSweden, Aug 16, 2011

Here is a Swedish story about the laryngospasm. This page was really important for me when I thought my case was unique – it wasn’t!
For me it started with a dry cough for one week, which gradually was transformed into a deeper cough trying to expel mucus, also with disease signs similar to normal cold, like dripping nose. After another week with this endless cough my muscles in the chest were aching and often woke up to cough at night. Slowly the spasm in my throat started to come. In the beginning only for a few a seconds but after a few more days I woke up in the night coughing hard and my throat closed completely – I panicked and ran up to the kitchen trying to get a sip of water. Terrible noises when trying to breath in. Huge amounts of clear extremely viscous mucus being coughed up. I was gaging and swallowing a lot of air which triggered new attacks. My wife was at this stage terrified and dialed 911 with an ambulance arriving after ca 20 minutes. By then, the attack had seized and I breathed normally. They seemed pretty annoyed and could find nothing wrong with me – even saying they had also experienced difficulties to breath during a cold and recommended a mint! They said I could visit the “light ER (lättakuten)” next thing in the morning. I was afraid to go to sleep again and tried to stay awake all night long.
The #1 doctor I met at the hospital said it was my imagination I could not breath and prescribed Erytromycin against mycoplasma bacteria – she did not do any cultures, my CRP test was low – indicating no serious bacterial infection. Small choking episodes now happened many times a day and serious one cirka once a day – often at night. Staying calm and breath through the nose helps. Two days later I bicycled and had a new attack – almost panicking again, since I could not calm down with a racing pulse due the ride. The medicine had no effect at all on the attacks but the cough was less problematic at daytime. Went back to the hospital (lättakuten) - which reluctantly let me in – the nurse was upset and explained my problem was Mycoplasma – nothing else! I insisted and met doctor #2 at hospital – she let me inhale Ventolin and Atrovent – which temporarily helped. She said it was not medically possible to breath normally – have a closed throat – and then breath normally again! By now I started loosing faith in the hospital so I went to local house doctor clinic (vårdcentral) – here doctor #3 explained it could not be any infection – my CRP was low and Asthma could not be triggered on / off in minutes, rather it must be – drum whirl – GERD! He prescribed Omeprazol for 14 days. He did not take my choking seriously either even after lengthy discussions! He believed my wife had forced me to visit different doctors and told me not to waste the time and money of the public health care sector! He also recommended no meals in the late evening and sitting and sleeping. I now realized my attacks must be filmed in order to be believed by the doctors. I was exhausted after sleep deprivation for almost one week, also starting the camcorder before each time I needed to cough. When I eventually had a grand attack I did not have the camcorder available…My throat was now really irritable – on the verge of attacks when I became angry, or speaking loud, or putting to much food in my mouth – I always had some water available on arms lengths distance. Five days after staring the Omeprazol treatment I saw no sign of improvement and went to a private clinic with a specialist in ear-nose-throat (ENT). The nurse at the reception desk was really unfriendly and said my problems must be psychological and said the doctor would probably not find anything wrong with me – wasting both the time of the clinic and myself – all this she said sitting behind the desk prior to knowing anything about me! I insisted and finally after 4 hours I could meet doctor #4 who could see no signs of infection of inflammation in my throat or nose – rather – the attacks were due to over stimulation of the nerves on the throat – triggering the spasm – when coughing the mucus. This was not possible to treat with medicine but somehow she suspected Asthma and prescribed Symbicort and recommended a visit to the Asthma clinic. I was torn – she was the first doctor who believed me but said it was not treatable – the cough must be removed – it was the only way. Since the first dose – I have had no more grand attacks. The initial infection had healed but triggered asthma, manifested by serious cough at night. Five days after onset of treatment my throat is still sensitized with many uneasy moments every day – gradually the nerves will normalize their behavior I think. By, the way – I talked to three more medical doctors in private – one recommended ECG and stop drinking water in the afternoon (Chinese medical doctor) – another one believed in the GERD theory. The third medical doctor believed in laryngospasm due to sensitized nerves and recommended Pulmicort (similar to Symbicort).  Seven doctors – two were correct. In retrospect the weeks I were ill are in a haze, like a bad dream – but it was real. Will all these doctors continue to treat patients incorrectly and mock them? I do not want anyone more have the same thing happening to them! My disease history include IgA nephropathy, allergies and mild asthma – but never manifested as cough previously.

Avatar universal
by rabcoe, Aug 27, 2011
I am in my 60's and have had this ever since I can remember.  It always comes on the tail of a cold or infection.  I always felt it was overly sensitive nerves in my throat and I've had bronchial problems my entire life. Now I have another allergy problem starting with sinuses and working its way downward through the larynx and then bronchial tubes.  Have never met anyone with it so I was googling to find a way to relax my larynx so I could sleep at night.  will try the breathing techniques though and I had started drinking tea just as I started reading this.  That and a tylenol seems to have helped.  As others have said, when it has passed my voice is changed and any real projection of my voice feels as though it could trigger another event. It comes on too suddenly to try those techniques but I will attempt it.   Also will try something to dry up post nasal. Having just had another attack I am exhausted and my throat is sore so talking is scary.  I found that in the past this could go on for a few weeks if my throat became dry and then when the cold or cough was gone it was too.  Thanks to everyone for sharing.

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by TruCuckoo, Aug 30, 2011
Hi,  My name is Mike and it seems I am suffering with many of the symtoms as you guys & gals.

I am quite a fit and active person, I go to the gym 3 - 6 times a weeks doing weights and cardio.  3 weeks ago I started to have a cough which got progressively worse.  I decided to see the doctor to see if it could be an infection, due to the amount of mucus I was bringing up.  He prescribed me Oxytetracycline.  I took the full course and my symtoms were still getting worse.  I went back to the doctors who then prescribed me Clarythramycin, and yet my symtoms are still getting worse.  For the past 3 nights I have woken in the night with a tickling feeling in my throat, causing me to have a coughing fit.  After these fits my windpipe closes and then i'm unable to breathe for approx 30 secs.  This is the 3rd night now where I have been unable to breathe after a cough.  It's very frightning.  I'm scared to go to sleep, which now causes me to be very tired and fatigued all the time, and lose focus and concentration on my work.  

I am unable to have any Penicilin based products due to severe penicillin allergy.  I was diagnosed with the allergy a couple of years ago.  I took penicillin for tonsilitis but after my face neck and throat had swollen up.  I got rushed to hospital.  At one point I was totally unable to breathe, causing me to panic.  They injected my with adrenaline, and with seconds I was able to breathe.  So now I'm wondering could Adrenaline be the way forward?????  I have an appointment with my doctor again today, so I will keep you posted guys.

Thanks everyone :-)

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by Brenda301, Sep 03, 2011
Wow!!!  I cannot believe I have found exactly what  has been happening to me.  I am having the same complications and I just had the coughing fit where my throat closed for quite longer than usual.  This was really scary - no one else was around and I really thought of the dying element!!  Question - with the mucous buildup - should I be taking a benedryl sinus or something  along with the other meds.  I think I'm going to try it - but just thought I'd ask.  I have just finished the azrithromyacin and the prednisone - am still using albuterol, simbicort, and a cough med.  I'll be heading back to a doctor next week - but do believe I'll be going to an ENT.  thoughts??

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by tabather, Sep 13, 2011
i am asthmatic and have had the same problem as many others after haveing a coughing bout my throat closes for a few seconds it took 6 years and a trip yo dermatology to find out that its a side affect of the salbutamol which i discovered after reading through the leaflet enclosed i now take reguler antihystamine and this problem has gone

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by Debbiedooda, Sep 30, 2011
I am so glad I am not the only person experiencing these awful coughing spasms.  Four weeks ago I developed a cough which would not go away, so I had a course of antibiotics which didn't seem to help and then one night I had a terrible coughing fit where I was wretching and thought I would be sick and couldn't get my breath, so the Doctor gave me an inhaler.  On Sunday evening, I had the most frightening night, I suddently woke up and started to cough and could not breath and my throat seemed to go into spasms as if my airwave was blocked, this happened about 5 times during the night.  The next morning, I saw the Doctor who seemed to think I may have whooping cough, I have had a blood test to see but this will take upto 2 weeks for the results to come through. The Doctor also prescribed some steroids to ease the cough, but they have not helped much and in the meantime, for the last 4 nights I have fallen asleep only to be woken by a coughing spasm where I feel like I am choking and cannot breathe and I am scared to go back to sleep in case it happens again.  It is the most frightening thing to happen and I am wondering how long this is going to last for.

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by dav78, Oct 05, 2011
This all sounds so familiar. I have had the same breathing troubles. The worst "fits" are waking up realizing you cannot take a breath. The panic immediately sets in which makes it worse. I have found by quickly going to bathroom, running warm water and gargling with it helps. Everytime the warm water seems to relax whatever is blocking my airways. it doesnt take long. I know its not a cure or preventative but it quickly restores breathing. Good luck and God bless

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by JewelCrossbow, Oct 07, 2011
What is wrong with the medical profession !!  I live in Switzerland and have had a "walking" pneumonia for the last couple of weeks.  The cough morphed into a horrible gagging experience, with the throat eventually totally closing up and cutting off air for about 15 to 20 seconds.  Exactly like all of your comments here!   After the antibiotics were finished I am still coughing up the clear, bubbly mucous of the pneumonia but only five or six times a day, instead of every thirty minutes.  The doctor witnessed one of the wheezy, can't breath attacks on my last visit and she gave me locabiotal and a medicine for acid reflux, nexium.  I am still having the oxygen starving attacks at night, but I have quit panicking about them, because their pattern is the same.  I am sleeping, I suddenly need to cough up some stuff, I start coughing, my throat closes up for a bit, I try to draw in tiny little breaths until it is over.   I have no idea how long this will last, but it is a terrible thing to witness, as my husband, and all of your partners and family have seen.  I tried to go back to work, but ended up - wildly enough - having such a cough and a gagging moment, that I vomited on the computer and ended up blowing the fuse in the wall of my office and the offices of three colleagues.  So I am home until I have a publicly palatable, and electronically safe,  cough.  Weird.  Obviously all of our problems have been dealt with by doctors but no one can find a solution to the problem.  I find the standard response of the medical profession in all of these posts very disturbing.  Good luck to all and I hope mine doesn't last much longer!!

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by Hjbmk, Oct 17, 2011
We have had this same long-lasting choking cough.  It doesn't seem like there is much for it.  My kids was dx with with whooping cough based on the choking cough followed by attempts at breathing.  I got it after they have had it for a month and I am already so worn out from lack of sleep and now 3 weeks of coughing.  Whooping cough can occur in about 7% of adult coughs.  The antibiotics only help you to prevent the spread of infection.  Prednisone can help calm inflammation in the larynx.  You can also get secondary infections bc you are so run down and reflux can exacerbate symptoms.  30% of people with pertussis end up vomiting from coughing so hard.  I don't think they typically have reflux, but once your larynx and pharynx gets irritated it doesn't take much to set things off and cause reflux or just plain forceful vomiting from so much bubbly mucus.  I just want to sleep without choking.  Whooping cough tends to give a person some immunity for a time after, but I wonder if the damage and irritation to the throat can make you susceptible to problems and complications from future croupy type respiratory illnesses.  I also wonder if pertussis has morphed bc we have been vaccinated.  It isn't 100% effective, though.

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by coughvictim, Oct 24, 2011
Wow! this discussion spans over 2 years! and all over the world people are given little explanation about this problem. I too have recently started this violent coughing spree! I know when it comes and prefer to vacate and struggle elsewhere than in presence of family etc. Being calm is my only advice with the idea also of getting to know your patterns and try to plan how your cough will be by breathing in slowly before you cough so as to get a lung full of air before blasting out the flem and then waiting for the weezing terror of gasping for air, sometimes making me end up on all four's. Well good luck to all my fellow sufferers!

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by trulysmith, Oct 29, 2011
WoW!  is right!  I've got it, too, and was hospitalized for 2 weeks last month with a dx of  COPD, pneumonia,  r/o TB, and a final dx of  MAC.  Not one Dr. parading in and out of my room  gave a damn about the fact that i  cough violently with my throat closing up so tight I feel as if I'm dying. I sound like I have whooping cough, and finally got an infectious disease doc to test for pertussis while in hospital, but it was negative.  So,  they gave me Xanax  and said it was an anxiety reaction to being so sick (because I'm a young  61 & never been sick a day in my life.)  Well, now my mom, who's a "young 85", still works full-time, and has never even had to have a tooth pulled, has the same cough. She's had 2 chest xrays which are clear, and was put on z-pack antibiotics and told she had the flu.  She does not have any of the other symptoms of COPD or pneumonia that I have. And she's not anxious!  BUT, she's choking like the rest of us.  I've got a little technique that helps to open the throat after that last cough breath goes out, and the throat locks... try to stay calm and focused enough to  blow air quickly out of your nose, &  no matter how little air there seems to be, just keep doing it til the throat opens all the way to breathe. It's worked for us and has helped alleviate that terror from not being able to even gasp for air.

Avatar universal
by RafaelSV130360, Oct 29, 2011
Hi everyone, I want to give you a follow up on the diagnosis (LPR: laryngopharyngeal reflux plus nasal drip ) and treatment (see my post of July 4, 2011).

As I wrote before, the nightly spasms and throat-closing episodes improved in a question of days. The mucus nevertheless did not go away easily, and always gave the sensation that an attack could occur again any moment. I had other exams done (sinus etc.), everything normal. Slowly but surely, things started to improve and after 3 months of treatment, at the end of September, I felt “cured” and stopped taking any medicine.

Symptoms came back immediately ! After a week, I had my first throat-closure experience at night (although not as bad as before) and felt again the mucus buildup (white, transparent). I then started Nexium again (without all the other medicines I was originally prescribed, because I felt that it was Nexium that made the difference, but now in a double dosis: not only in the morning but also before going to sleep), with again as a result a fast improvement of the reflux and a slow improvement of the nasal drip. No more coughing and choking, and now almost a month later I feel OK again, with mucus almost gone (and back to one Nexium daily, in the morning).

So at the moment, the only thing I can say for sure is that in my case it is definitively  laryngopharyngeal reflux plus nasal drip (also definitively caused by the reflux, which I was not sure of before). And that in order to control it – but apparently not cure it – I will have to be on Nexium (I am taking the generic version which here in Venezuela is a lot cheaper) for the rest of my days or until someone comes up with a better diagnosis (vowel problems is the only possible cause for the gasses I still haven´t checked) or treatment!

By the way, of all the doctors I have seen, there was only one that made the LPR diagnosis, all others mentions the same nonsense that most of you have also reported in your posts, so insist to have you checked and treated on LPR also known as (a form of) Vocal Cord Dysfunction.

Avatar universal
by GaryJH, Nov 06, 2011
I had an episode like this last evening and it scared me to death.  I was unable to breath and I thought I was a goner.  Now I can't sleep because of it.  I was making the same scarey noises that you all descibe and it is really a helpless feeling.  It started yesterday morning with a slight sore throat and I think I have a slight fever.  Thank you all and I'm glad that this site exists as it calms me a bit to know that I am not alone.  I'll be back here checking on everyone's progress.

Avatar universal
by tara11150, Nov 12, 2011
I've had versions of all the above scenarios, and want to add something that made A WORLD of difference.

Nystatin Swish and Swallow -- drink oral Nystatin after each cough, = its so beningn it would be a crime for a doctor NOT to let you try it.  I found that the Nystatin, after the antibiotics and also an oral Flutcosone tablet, 1x daily for 30 days, almost permanently resolved all symptoms of cough.  

Coughing up, the candida in the guts, gets into the lungs and then creates an unending nightmare of more coughing!

Other option is to inhale, custom compounded Glutathione in a ventilator - inhaler (electric ones that use liquids).

Also very powerful.

the other note, is that Chocolate suppresses the cough reflex.
Try hot chocolate (try to avoid all dairy), but its not the end of the world.
I found that sipping chocolate to be helpful as well.
Eating chocolate could be more effective than sucking a lozenge at treating coughs, say doctors.

They have made the surprising discovery that a chemical found in chocolate is better at suppressing a throaty tickle than medication used in cough medicines.

It could provide the key to a new breed of treatments, according to research presented yesterday at the British Thoracic Society's winter meeting in London.

----Learn rescue breathing from a voice therapist to open your throat when it closes.
It will take time to reset your autonomic nervous system.
Basically, start with sipping breaths through your nostrils.
Breathe out through your mouth with pursed lips. (look like you are usiing a straw).
Sniff in for 10 and breathe out using pursed lips.
The pursed lips position opens up the back of your throat.
Its pretty cool to see it on camera. A good throat specialist may video tape the throat closing.
90% of this is stress, food, and weight gain + candida!  

Don't forget the Nystatin swish and swallow. Will make a huge difference.  

Avatar universal
by oxygenlubber, Nov 13, 2011
I posted more than 2 years ago. I just dropped back to answer someone's question, "Does it go away?" In my case, yes, it went away after a couple of weeks, and never came back, thank heavens. Don't worry, this too will pass.

Avatar universal
by stelavon, Nov 19, 2011
hi all ,

i have the same problem the last 4 weeks now ,firstly  the doc diagnosed me with swollen tonsils and laryngitis he gave me anti biotics and paracodine , didnt really do much so i ended up in er one night with the clamping up of my windpipe after i had coughed really hard they gave me difene for the swelling of the tonsils and a few steroids !!, also clamps up when i sneeze , im not allergic to anything nor have a history of asthma , the doc said its a virus and it will pass but hasnt gave me an explanation for my windpipe closing up ???? its affecting my body in different ways i do be very tired after i have one of these episodes wheter it be during the day or night ! mostly during the day !

he also gave me a throat spray (antihistamine ,antibiotic)  

thanks all for the updates very helpfull indeed  


Avatar universal
by hardtobreath47, Nov 20, 2011
Hello everyone,  

I don't know if I can shine any light for anyone here.  I am laying in the hospital right now with a breathing problems.   I started out with a cough and as the cough got more intense  my troat started to close up and I couldn't catch my breath.   From there I started passing out when I would start coughing.   I would only be out for a few seconds but it felt like forever and hitting the floor was not a good feeling.   I had an episode one evening driving home after a meeting and though I did get off on the side of the road before the coughing started I didn't have time to put my car in park and when I fainted my foot let off the brake and into the roadway I went driving basicly blind in traffic and when I came to I was heading across the road toward the meadian and pulled my car back to the shoulder with people behind me hitting horns and I got stopped and parked and set there until I gained my composure back and slowly headed on home but scared it would happen again.   I decided someone was going to have to listen and do something before I hurt myself or somebody else.   I have been in the hospital now for 4 days and still fainting when I start coughing.   They have determined I have bronchitis and I am having a vegal nerve response or syncope with my coughing.  I have not found where there is a cure for it and they say the only way to stop it is to stop the cough.  You can look up syncope and vagal response and it does decribe my problem to a tee,   now if someone could maybe give me some advise as to what to do to maybe controll this,   I would greatly appritiate it.  I have managed to stop smoking now for three weeks and I don't plan on starting back.   I have been a  smoker for about 30 years and this is the first time I have made it this long with out smoking.   The feeling of hitting the floor and not being able to breath is a scary feeling.  I work in construction and I am a single parent and my little girl needs me.   Maybe what little I have found out for myself will help someone else.   The vegal nerve response can be triggered by a lot of differnt things.   any episodes of fainting I suggest anyone to check it out.  

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by bl2468, Nov 25, 2011
It's been nearly 6 years since my last attack. In the past I have had re-occurrences every 5-6 years since 1976 and for that reason I started this post in Jan 2008. I will, if there is a next time, try out Tar's ideas especially the Nystatin. The breathing control is mentioned a few times here and that will also get some attention. Good luck everyone. Barry

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by rrrockerr, Nov 27, 2011
Had pneumonia in March of this year (2011) which started out with cold, bronchitis then pneumonia.  Went to the emergency room at the hospital because I woke up one morning and could not breathe.  Never had this happened before and it scared me so much.  Hospital doctor gave me two antibiodics and sent me home.  I got better and have not have an episode since.  However, I am afraid of going to sleep and this happening again.  Your stories on this website articles have really helped me feel better.  This fall, just before Thanksgiving, I started feeling a cold coming on after working in the pasture (lots of dirt blowing around) which has worked its way into bronchitis again.  Anyway to make this story short and hopefully helpful to those concerned I have been making mustard plasters and applying them to my chest.  It's amazing how much this has helped loosen the mucous in my bronchiol tubes and throat.  

I use one teaspoon dry mustard and three teaspoons of flour mixed with hot water into a paste and then apply the paste into a Pampers baby diaper.  It stays neat and won't run out.  It gets warm/hot on your chest but will not burn.  I leave it on as long as I want and the heat helps so much with my cough.  You can make more of the paste at once to use immediately, but remember it is 1 part dry mustard and 3 parts flour.  So if you want to use tablespoons versus teaspoons that's cool too.  One more very helpful suggetion is to buy Lemon Heads and take one prior to going to sleep to help soothe your throat.  It desolves slowly and helps make your throat moist because of the saliva secretion.  Like eating a very sour pickle.  Try it you'll be amazed.  I sleep with one most of the night right next to my cheek. This way
I will not choke on it while sleeping.

My mother used to give me mustard plasters when I was a child and they were always comforting and must have helped me then as it is now.  I am also drinking lots of water and taking my vitamins and getting plenty of rest.  I have placed a straw by my bed, as suggested in this site, just in case I have another breathing episode and taking a spoonful of honey really seems to soothe my throat too.  

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by Birdtheman33, Dec 26, 2011
Well it's 1:15am and just woke up to what most people are describing here. This has happened to me over and over again. I can be anywhere. The tickle starts, you start coughing, next thing you know you can't breathe. Wheezing for breathe feeling helpless. Thinking the worst is to come. Just woke up trying to breathe, my wife has no clue what to do. I always feel like I need water near by. This has happened alot. I do experience lots of ear wax build up, always having to clean my ears out. Seems like a common thing I'm reading, not sure if these two go together. I also have times when I'm eating that I have to drink to get my food down. I always have to make sure my glass is full. The closing of the wind pipes is very scary, I have actually felt like this is it, I'm going to die. I try to relax and try not to panic, but calming yourself is hard. I just want to breathe. I struggle to breathe but after about 30 seconds or more of wheezing I snap out of it. I am very concerned reading all the comments thats theirs no fix all. I'm sitting here confused on what to do, or were to go. I am not a rich man by no means. Don't know what to do. I love my son and wife. Everytime this happens, I tell myself go to the doctor. Just don't want to waste what money I have on things that apparently don't work. Scared to go back to sleep. I know this will happen again soon, I hope someone figures it out, Mike M.

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by aguadalupita, Dec 26, 2011
I want to thank everyone who has commented on this subject. I myself got the flu about 10 days ago but it wasn't until 3 or 4 days ago that I also had breathing problems. I woke up in the middle of the night coughing and with every cough I let out a little breath and noticed almost immediately I wasn't inhaling any back in. Of course I panicked and tried like many of you, unsuccessfully, to take as much air as I possibly could as it seemed I was doing it through one of those coffee stirrers. I couldn't for what to me felt like minutes but was more likely 15 to 20 seconds. I tried to make as much movement so as to wake my husband up so he could call 911 and at the same time I was trying to think which was closer, the pair of scissors or a pen. I thought I was going to die and the only thing I thought of doing was make a hole in my throat like they do on those Hospital shows (Other than putting a band aid on, I have no other medical training, but I thought I was going to die and this was the perfect solution to me at that precise second) Luckily for me I slowly but surely was gasping as much air as I possibly could before I even decided what to use. I didn't know what happened, I didn't know what caused it and I was stupid to think it wasn't going to happen again. It happened that same night again. This time I ran to the bathroom as I thought I was just going to vomit when I woke up coughing and again my throat closed. It lasted about the same amount of time and when it was over I was on the floor crying scared for my life. I didn't go back to sleep because I was scared. It happened 2 or 3 more times during the day but this time no airway was blocked. Just a coughing fit followed by flem, lots of saliva (which I don't think is saliva anymore cause it's kind of clearer and tougher and firmer), a chest pain and also pain from my left shoulder to my left arm. Well again I thought it wasn't going to happen but it did 2 more times during the night. I wanted to go to the hospital but it always seemed to go away and I don't have insurance so I first wanted to see if there are free clinics around my area. Well it's been a few days later and it's still happening only during the night. I found a free clinic but it has been closed during the holidays and will open again tomorrow. This is how I ended up here. I had to google my symptoms to see why it was happening. I've only read a handful of comments and I already feel better knowing that it will all be ok. I still can't help but panic every time it happens but at least I know I'm not dying. I actually try to trick my brain into thinking I'm playing that game "try to see how long you can hold your breath" and it has calmed me down a bit because I know that even before this I could hold my breath for over 15 seconds. Since I started doing this I no longer have that little voice telling me I need to gasp for air because I can't breath. Instead I tell myself to cough out everything I can before my 15 seconds are up and it has worked  like I never thought it would. It helps me focus on the expelling of the mucus instead of focusing on trying not to die. I still panic a little for a second ( I mean, who wouldn't) but this time I tell my brain I'm in control. For this I thank you all who have said we need to calm down. I have found my own way of calming down before I go see the doctor.

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by Joejam, Jan 02, 2012
HHMM seems like a problem that is newer and not known by doctors yet,

I too have had this for the past 6 weeks, my daughter was sick with fever and so on, then my 12 year old got it as well as me. But my son and I started having this exact problem of our throats closing up and not being able to get air. I have had it now for 6 weeks and he is pretty much done except for a cough once in a while. He gave me his inhaler that the doctor gave him but i have yet to use it. I always get over colds and flus so fast and only use theraflu or vicks vapor rub once in a while . That has worked for me for 40 years, but this not being able to breathe crap  is something new and very scary.
The only thing my son and I may have done different than my other family is  that we checked out a bunch of old gas masks at a survival store together in November,  they were from all different countries all over the world and different years. I thought **** ! maybe we brought home some weird war agent home with us. I am happy to see this has been going on since 2009 or more though, but i wish it wa not happening at all.
I must say there was a teburculosus scare at my daughters school not to far back, and it almost sounds like the post of the whooping cough scare  up the page.
I am not happy that people are getting this and I do not know what it is and it is now 3 years later and no doctor has an explanation. HHHMMM?

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by Bernie515, Jan 07, 2012
Thank all of you for your comments, which has helped me so much to deal with the same problem that you have.  I got bronchitits and was prescribe the Zpacks, antibiotics, cough syrup and decongestion.  None of these worked to clear mucus in my throat which seem to be cover my windpipe that caused me to cough chronically.  This has gone on since Thanksgiving.  Friday of last week, I experienced what you all did with the throat spasms.  It was very scary, however, it did not last long.  Today, I experienced the second episode.  I did have whooping cough at six months old.  I never experienced this before and I am pretty healthy otherwise..  Monday, I will be calling for an appt with the Doc.  I am curious of his prognois.  I will take in consideration all you have shared.  


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by WackyPlanet, Jan 12, 2012
I have had my throat close over regularly. Very scary! At first I thought it was a type of anaphylaxis as didnt have a bad cold when I first got it, just a bit of post nasal drip. Nothing worse when you start to choke on what you are eating and have to cough it up at the restaurant, or just suddenly not be able to swallow, or the worst where your throat just closes over and you cant breathe for no particular reason. Eventually an allergy specialist advised that I was sensitive to high amounts of preservatives in products and to try to avoid certain imported foods (especially fish). He also advised for me to become aware of the feeling that I get just prior to an episode and to stop doing what I am doing and drink water, or if I know it is something that I am eating to go for a brisk walk...this does help. I now sometimes take an over the counter antihistamine if I am going out for Thai food (the fish sauce!). It has now been 4 years since his advice and I rarely have the experience due being mindful of what is in the food that I eat.

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by ameenah41, Jan 30, 2012
I have had this propblem about 13 years ago i remember like it was yesturday cause here i am with a sore throat post nasal drip and cant sleep cause im reminded about the ordeal that took place i was coughing one night got up went back to coughing again when i ralized i could not exhale i panic i woke my fiance up pointed to my throat to let him know i could not breath he jumped up hitting my back called rescue went to er they gave me a respiratory inhaler to use now 13 years later i cant sleep cause im afraid that might happen again i was trying to fall asleep then it felt as if i couldnt breath now im up 100 am looking for some help

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by 1redlion, Feb 19, 2012
So glad I found this site as I thought I was going mad, i have had this problem for years and i still do it happens quite a lot,:-(   mainly when i eat dry foods and times of stress. I have learned to live with it , I try not to eat in public, watch what i eat etc

But when this happens its a horrible sensation and very scary for me and the people around me,  some doctors don’t seam to take it seriously? If you have if you had a cut leg they would treat it, been able to breath for 1 -2 mins on a regular basis i don’t think is a trivial.

They keep saying its asthma but I know its not asthma ( i have that as well) I trying to changed doctors and trying to get to the bottom of this and so I get the right mediation i need , Is there a common name for this as it would help people understand the condition, i just say windpipe spasm ?

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by jyoti795, Feb 28, 2012
hi! i am 22 yr girl..i had suffered from tubercolosis bt i was recovered by takin the complete medicine...after few months i have noticed that whenever i cough some blackness occurs in it...i don't understand what is happening...??i don't even smoke nor i drink...please tell what does this blackness in cough means???

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by Shireen_M, Apr 04, 2012
Hi everyone! My name is Shireen and I'm 19 years old.

I've had asthma since I was born and it's been getting worse the older I get.

Last week I had a viral infection which now has turned into a windpipe spasm. I've been to the Doctors twice and all they don't seem to know what I'm talking about. They just give me more Inhalers which I have to pay for.

I've the windpipe spasm since Monday and it's just getting worse and more frequent. The worst part is that I not cough and can't breathe, but I throw up; which makes it even more difficult to breathe.

Everytime I start  Coughing I get a tickle at the back of my throat and I physically can't control the cough. When I start coughing the spasm occurs at the 3rd cough and then I start throwing up; it lasts for about 10 minutes.

I start panicking; but I've had Asthma all my life so I know how to "control my breathing", but it really is getting much worse.

Has anyone else thrown up with their windpipe spasm?

Avatar universal
by Shireen_M, Apr 04, 2012
EDIT - I've been having steams every two hours since Monday. Sometimes it works and stop coughing for a couple of hours, other times the steam irritates my throat and I start coughing.

When my windpipe closes I feel like passing put; it hasn't happened yet thankfully. But it's so scary!

My Doctor says I need fresh air and steam. Yeah great help, not!

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by bl2468, Apr 06, 2012
It is a bit of a problem you are facing Shireen and what I have to say you probably have already been on in the past. I do sometimes have a short notice of when my cough is going to get worse so I go on straight on an inhaler called bicanyl. Dust of any kind irritates the throat so I keep well away if possible. Even opening a book on the bookshelf can start it off. I found steam very good and it shifts the mucus buildup. The tickle is the key and I keep Strepsils (numbing ones) on hand ALL the time. I started this blog a few years ago and it is amazing the people that suffer from this one way or another and no definitive cure has surfaced. I am sorry that I cant come up with more suggestions than what is here but what I have already said has helped me in the last few years. Before then it wasn't so good. Regards Barry

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by sps693, Apr 12, 2012
Hi, my son of 14 came home from school 7 weeks ago with an intense cough, it got worse and worse till he was making himself sick.  My husband and I got it 4 weeks ago and we have tried every cough medicine possible.  Non of us seem to be able to get rid of it.  Then I started a few days ago coughing spasms, where I can't stop and my throat goes into spasm, then I am sick and can't breath.  I just don't know what it is, our son has had anti=biotics with absolutely no difference.  It is making me wonder if it is whooping cough or some virus the doctors are keeping quiet about.  I am going to doctors tomorrow hopefully.

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by celadybug, Apr 13, 2012
Not being able to breathe happened to me 3 years ago after having a cold and sore throat.  It seems to happen just during the healing process of the sore throat when there would be a tickling sensation.  My throat completely closes and air cannot get in or out.  Very scary ...........At that time I went to emergency twice in one day, and no diagnosis was made.  So I am now getting over a sore throat for the first time since then.  Had been to the doctor today for it and she gave me an inhaler and a cough syrup with codeine so the coughing  would subside enough so I could get some sleep. Well,  I was suddenly woke up unable to breathe.  With these episode my whole chest has a burning sensation especially my breasts. I used the inhaler, but there is an intense itching and and feeling of going into another attack. Also if the inhaler isn't used at the very onset how does one inhale it when no air is able to be taken in or expelled.  It is now over an 1 1/2 hours since that occurred and I'm afraid to go back to bed.  Working with the public in an office I always am extra careful to avoid people who have a cold as I know what will happen to me.  

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by 66mochi99, Apr 15, 2012
Hello, having read the numerous posts on this terrible cough, It appears I have been suffering with the same symptoms that many of you have had or are having.

While not wishing this ailment on anyone it is a comforting thought to know that I am not alone in experiencing these scary coughing episodes. It is so frustrating that there seems to be no straightforward diagnosis of what this really is. My condition developed after a particularly bad cold/flu a couple of months ago. I thought that I was recovering after a couple of weeks until one day when I was having lunch with my family and I had a violent coughing fit followed by my throat closing up and I was unable to breathe for around 30 seconds. I have been getting these coughing fits fairly regularly now for about a month. Usually followed by the need to burp. I guess I am swallowing what little amount of air I can breathe in rather than taking it into my lungs(?)

Getting a good nights sleep is next to impossible. I am going to consult my doctor about this tomorrow as it does not appear to be getting any better. I have found these other posts very helpful and I wish everyone the best of luck with a speedy recovery! :-)

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by kortegirls, Apr 17, 2012
Spent last night in ER after having the worse episode of my life with these spasms.  What triggered me yesterday was a lot of nasal and chest congestion.  In the past it was has been dust and even vingary salad dressing or too much pepper.  All I know is the internet is a God send...truely.  I have gotten tips of coping.....breath in thru your nose slowly....out thru your mouth with your head slightly tilted up......Don't PANIC...which of course is the hardest part.  Learn your triggers.  ER Dr sent me home with asthma med...they gave me a breathing treatment,  benedryl and steroids and pepsic through an IV.   Check out luck and knowledge is the best weapon against fear!

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by future2000, Apr 20, 2012
have you gone to a doctor to check out your tonsils when have u had a cold


take cold and flu meds

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by celadybug, Apr 20, 2012
Whoever you are, you are the dumbist thing around.  I am 59 years old and have had many colds throughout my life.  This is not just a cold !!!!!!!!!!!  Try to imagine not getting air in or out.  Your throat completely closes off all airways.  Obviously you cannot comprehend what the posts are saying.............

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by kjc43, May 01, 2012
My solution for these frightening throat-closings: SIP ICEWATER IMMEDIATELY. That reverses the throat spasm a tiny bit, enough to get a little air. Keep sipping. Clear throat with great caution so as not to cough again. Tonight I did not have ice and just used cold water. It has happened to me twice: once 5 years ago when I bit into a mild chili when I do not eat Mexican food otherwise; was with relatives--it was horrible. My throat shut. I stood up, everyone terrified, I grabbed the first thing in front of me at the restaurant: icewater. I had to be like the bunny who swalled the bumblebee for hours afterwards: very, very careful, sipping icewater in tiny bits whole time.

The second time it happened was tonight, May 1, 2012. I had eaten a tiny Tootsie-roll too fast and began to cough. I felt what it was going to do and ran for cold water (no ice tonight), very fast, and reversed it: but I had no air for long enough to remember the chance solution the first time.

So, for emergency treatment try that. It is the worst feeling I have ever experienced, I quite agree with others here: suddenly, your windpipe swells shut COMPLETELY and there is no air at all!

Think relaxation immediately you get a little air after sipping icewater. Pray. Sip. Breath very calmly, calm down. It goes away. It didn't take 3 hours, this time, as I was less afraid. But one could die, all right, if this didn't work, and it came out of the blue and you didn't have any way to breath again. Icewater, if you are very fast, halts the swelling, and slowly reverses it.


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by kjc43, May 01, 2012

tonight, even  cold water, all I had, worked.

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by prendy71, May 03, 2012
I started this cough 1 month ago.  Freaked me out & it still does!  Everyone has their opions about it.  Who says it' allergies, some say it's my tonsils, a cold, my ears ..oh the list goes on.
I ent to the doctor after a few days it started & I was told I had a nasil drip (it was believable) gave me nose spray & cough med.  Well here I am 1 month after & still coughing waking me up & closing my throat!  I don't know where this came from but I seriously had enough!  So a few days ago I went to an ENT.  He did the tube up your nose down your throat test & tells me that he sees nothing & all is clear (seriously?) so now I need to go for a chest X-ray & next week a throat test.  He did although say it was prehaps "silent acid reflux"  do I believe him? NO...It happens sleeping, walking, sitting, talking & I can't take it anymore!  I;m glad to see that I am not crazy!  I just want to know what the hell is it??   Good Luck everyone!

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by Pooky225, May 05, 2012
I had this for the first time last night (4th May) totally freaked me out, i sneezed and my throat swelled shut and i was coughing and pukeing. SCARED MYSELF SILLY. Kept waking up on and off all night so scared it would happen again. Then today it happened twice after i sneezed, i immediatley felt the intense itching feeling in my throat andi was coughing again and couldnt breathe, freaked me out yet again, then again a few hours later i sneezed, so now i know i cant sneeze, have been taking every allergy med i can think of thats safe to take. Going to go get an allergy shot on Monday and see if that helps. i avoid coughing, and sneezing, blow my nose frequently to clear any nasal drip. Seriously scared to death right now, i am dog tired but scared to go to bed incase it happens again. Been almost 8 hours with it not happening again. But im terrifed.

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by Okiegal60, May 11, 2012
Mine started Easter Sunday (April 8, 2012). The first week was just a tickle in my throat. The second week the spasms started. I'd never in my 52 years experienced anything like it. I won't go into the various treatments that really haven't helped. My question: Is this a virus?  After I started getting sick, I heard of others in my office building who also had coughing issues.  I've talked to some to see if they also had spasms. It sounded like some did to varying degrees but theirs did not last as long as mine. The doc I went to diagnosed me as having a cough and allergies.  I've taken allergy meds for years and never had a cough like this.  You can't tell me it's allergies when so many people in my office complex has it and it doesn't act anything like the allergies I've had in the past. The hoarseness is almost gone but if I am not careful a cough will still go into a spasm.  I carry water with me constantly - even sleep with a bottle still. Small sips to moisten the throat helps. Why aren't the doctors testing for virus?  

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by MagicDoesMons, May 18, 2012
Hello. This has started for me too recently. I went to the Dr and was first told it was nothing but a viral cough and i was run down. I went back after nothing helped and the Pholcodin he put me on wasn't relieving the cough as it was supposed to.
So he listened to my chest and found that i was a little crackily. So he put me on some Amoxicillin for a chest infection.
It has helped a little but i still get into a coughing fit a few times a day and find i can't breathe for about 30 seconds afterwards. I try to breathe in but i think i am just swallowing the air as i need to burp very loudly after i can breathe again.

It's really scary. I now think i took breathing for granted before i had this and i can't see any way to stop it.
I think it is also putting a strain on my heart as i am beginning to suffer chest pains after a really bad fit.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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by Vickie13, Jun 08, 2012
Hi my 10yr old son has been having exactly the same symptoms, starting with the cough and so far has had 3 "attacks'. These only started after the drs increased his preventer inhaler to 2 puffs twice daily. As well as the throat closing he is also sick. Yesterday we decreased his brown inhaler to just 1 puff in the morning, and for the first time in a week he managed a full nights sleep. He is on salbutamol too but after having read about this possibly being the cause he will not be having it again unless absolutely necessary. He has realised that if he stays calm and breathes in slowly through his nose then his breathing returns to normal after 20-30 seconds. Even though we live in the uk the drs here have been absolutely rubbish and have been no help at all.

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by TheWhiteRabbit, Jun 12, 2012
I have had this for about 10 years. I can't get any air in or out. I can't make ANY noise because i am getting NO air. Scares the heck out of me. Mine usually last about 30 seconds of zero air with no noise and then about 10 minutes of labored difficult breathing & overwhelming urge to cough. It totally feels like a spasm that suddenly just eases up and then I can breathe with difficulty and will cough a lot. It always happens when I am sick, but can also happen if I eat something very dry or very sugary. I can get it just sitting at my desk at work or out of a dead sleep. I’m 100 pounds so its not from being overweight & I work out daily & do not have asthma. My boyfriend is a doctor and has witnessed it several times and says it’s a spasm. He did blood work and everything is normal. I agree that the panic makes it worse. He usually calms me down. Taking decongestants & avoiding sugary/dry dusty type foods helps me, and if I am sick sleeping with 2 pillows slightly upright is a huge help.

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by himom8, Jun 13, 2012
Wow!  ***** this has hit so many and still no real answers!  It has come upon my family.  We also have no clue.  Doctor just looked at me weird when I told her they were burping and sometimes getting up phlegm with bubbles in it.  My husband had it first but we just thought it was weird asthma thing for him until 3 months later my boys,16, 9 & 7, now have it.  Same as all above, have to stay calm, breathe in thru nose, we eliminated milk, sugary, etc.  No real change.  One doctor thought walking pneumonia and so they were on 250mg Azithro.... for 2 weeks.  Better but not completely gone.  My only new information for you all is this; I have not gotten this yet and the only difference is I have been taking Diatemaceous Earth and they have not. FOOD GRADE I started taking as preventative for parasite things as I love sushi.  Used on dog for fleas/ticks too.  It takes away my sugar cravings.  I don't know much but am mother of 8 and prefer natural remedies over anything but nothing has worked in that re: either, not homeopathic or Collodial silver or Olive leaf.  Honestly, things mutate so much now not surprised docs no nothing.  So I just pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show me answer.  Try the DE, can't hurt.  Just make SURE it is FOOD GRADE and pure.  Whatever this is, won't be able to build a resistance to DE.  I DO know that Jesus heals and yet for us, it has not come miraculously or immediate as in the past.  Maybe I needed to share this insight with you all.  

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by himom8, Jun 13, 2012
Well not sure what I typed that caused it to change to stars in previous post, funny.  Just read some more testimonies and seems like so many things are the secondary issue of the main problem, the mucus.  The acid issues and throat closing result from body trying to get this clear thick nasty mucus out.  Then you have to retrain your brain so it doesn't just start coughing because it remembers it coughed before in a situation.  My 7 yr old will be fine until his older brother starts coughing, then he starts all over again too.  Lost my place but one post mentioned candida.....that IS another thing I noticed with the DE, gets the mucus out and I know that candida causes craving for sugar so it must deal with that too since I quit wanting anything sweet when taking it.  I have now increased my amounts as precaution from 1 Tablespoon/day to 3 or more.  Switched to Almond milk too, kind with vanilla extract but no sugar added.  
May God bless us with the solution to this as the doctors are clueless, that we can agree on.  

Avatar universal
by Chough1, Jul 01, 2012
I have had this happen several times over the years - most often at night - waking up with my throat feeling completely closed and making a a strange grating gasping sound as I try to inhale - I have learnt that if I try not to panic - which is not easy and close my mouth and attempt to breathe only through my nose - I can get very small amounts of air in and eventually it passes. It seems to run in my family, as my sister and father also have it. It is sometimes related to having a cough/cold but more often it is not. The GP suggested asthma in the past - but it doesn't feel like it's to do with my lungs at all - just my airway. Years ago when I first went to the GP about this and said it was frightening because it felt like I might die - he said "Think about it this way - if you start breathing again you'll be ok and if you don't you'll have nothing to worry about!" -  which made me laugh - my sister lives in USA and unlike the NHS, did not give this wise advice but sent her for lots of tests and eventually thought it might be a sort of sleep apnoea for which they could suggest nothing.

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by SyedNaqvi, Jul 03, 2012
My Syed,
It began in 2011 and re occurs every 6 moths so far. (I have Thyroid problem I am using prescriptions medicine for that since last 8 years), my windpipe closes (Choke) In can breath in or out I try very hard to breath out but I can't 1st time during night time I was sleep  and wake-up for breath choke for 20 second, 2nd night time for 30 seconds I was thing my last day, 3rd few weeks a ago I taking my breakfast, that very hard one windpipe choke for 35-40 seconds scare every one in my family, after my windpipe open I was sweating top to bottom, My family doctor have no answer for that, he said it could be room circulations air, less oxygen for me, He send me for Sleep Study, whole night, Doctor suggest I hav strugle in sleep but no answer for what causing windpipe choke,
Is any one have any idea, what is causing and how to prevent this kind of situations, most important how to react, in these situation I don't thing any one can be relax or calm, I appreciate right answer,
Thank you

Avatar universal
by SyedNaqvi, Jul 04, 2012
Sorry previous message have some typing error
It began in 2011 and reoccurs every 6 moths so far. (I have Thyroid problem I am using prescriptions medicine for that problem since last 8 years), I have few attack of windpipe closes (Choke) during windpipe close can’t  breathe, in or out I try very hard to breath out but I can't 1st time happen during night time when I was sleeping  and wake-up for breath choke stay for 20 second, 2nd time night time for 30 seconds I was sleeping, I was thing this is my last day, 3rd time few weeks ago I was taking my breakfast, that was very hard one windpipe choke for 35-40 seconds scare everyone in my family, after my windpipe open I was sweating top to bottom, My family doctor have no answer for that, he said it could be room Air circulations not enough for me, less oxygen for me etc, He send me for Sleep Study, whole night, Doctor suggest I have struggle in sleeping but no answer for what causing windpipe choke,
Is anyone have any idea, what is causing and how to prevent this kind of situations, most important how to react, in this situation I don't think anyone can be relax or calm in this situation, I appreciate right answer,
Thank you

Avatar universal
by Mellynlexa, Aug 09, 2012
I just had an episode myself. Woke me up out of my sleep. I've been having this nasty dry cough for about 4 days now. Nothing over the counter has worked. The cough persists throughout the day. At night it becomes worse. Just now, I was woken up by a nasty cough & couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't breathe in or out for about 30 seconds. Along with some white bubbly mucus. I am totally terrified as to what this is. I have never in my life experienced this...... what is this?!?

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by arch1929, Aug 14, 2012
To get rid of the feeling of choking tilt your head back. What I have found after years with this problem of throat spasms is that when you get it you panic and hyperventilate. If you have not died yet you never will from this. My advise just let it happen and relax and it will go away. The more you fight it by coughing the more you aggregate your thoat musles you are making them spasm. I found that I sit in a lounge chair with my head tilted forward thus closing your throat. DON"T FIGHT IT JUST GO WITH IT. You are only making it worse. Maybe your MD can give you some Valium which really helps when you are having these episodes. Think of the saying that when an athlete can't get it done HE CHOkES. He is just not relaxed.

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by kidd201, Aug 27, 2012
Sometimes when I drink something a tiny drop of the liquid goes down my windpipe and the air way locks up and I can't breath if you have any sound coming out at all you are getting air, don't panic get in front of an air conditioner or fan cool air helps calm you down, and try to relax and doctors say if you pass out the spasm will let up and air will get in.Keeping this in mind helps it's an awful feeling I don't wish on anyone sinus drainage can cause it at times when your sleeping best to not lay flat.

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by AnteVirusjT, Aug 29, 2012
Wow... it's not just me!

I was having breakfast with my kids and started coughing when some water (of all things!) went down the wrong hole, I coughed pretty hard and it felt like my windpipe just closed up, I couldn't breathe at all. It was very frightening and I ran from the kitchen and actually reached into my mouth to feel my tongue as I was convinced I had swallowed it. I held my tongue in my fingers for a few seconds and then thought to myself that I was going to pass out. Then 'Boom' as quickly as it came, my throat opened up and I could breathe again.

Pleased I found this page, but frustrating that there isn't actually a diagnosis.

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by malorie215, Oct 11, 2012
Im so shocked that  this is more common than I thought. I have had enough cough issues to understand how everyone feels.. I have seen a doc about this a few years ago, and when I talked to him he looked at me like I just grew another head..... I asked him well if I cant breath will I pass out and then can I die from this. He smiled and said absolutly No..
Well thats good to know, but still didnt help...There has to be a doctor out there who can help us. It is so frighting to deal with. If anyone ever finds a doctor with knowledge to help us Please Let Us All Know..........

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by ajsmom07, Oct 13, 2012
i have been having the same issue.... myself and my kids get scared when this happens. About a month ago my youngest daughter was diagnosised with pneumonia. She got better relatively quickly, then my youngest son developed a nasty cough playing soccer, took him in and the doc said he had a cough and sent him home.... after two weeks took him back and was told he had an upper resp infection. Took him back a third time and the doc put him on Z-Pac and an inhaler... its been 5 days and still sounds awful. But in the mean time I have developed a cough and was told it was bronchitis, then pneumonia and now pleurisy. I have lupus and take chemo for it, so when I wound up in the hospital with pneumonia I was given a shot of rocefin, and sent home on Z-Pac and Keflex, cough syrup with codeine... not helping. Now at least 10 times a day I go into coughing fits where I feel like my throat closes and cant breathe.... think it is about time to go back in to the docs again.... hope to get answers soon.... so sick of this!

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by Susunny, Oct 20, 2012
I wish I knew about this forum years ago! What a frightening experience to have a laryngospasm. The fight or flight response kicks in and it's hard not to panic, especially when you think you're going to die.

My story with this problem is long, but suffice it to say that I recently got prescribed Prilosec for acid reflux and laryngospasms and it has worked like a charm! My goal is to eventually get off Prilosec and work with complementary approaches to deal with the root cause of the problem, as there can be  egative side effects,but for now the Prilosec has stopped my incessant coughing, which, in turn, has reduced the frequency of laryngospasm attacks.

I know every case is different, but don't dismiss acid reflux or GERD as a reason for the cough and spasms, even if you never experience any acid symptom- there's a "silent" acid reflux condition as well. Good luck to everyone and remember that the laryngospasms typically last under a minute and will subside on their own. And if you were to pass out, I'm told your larynx would  naturally relax, allow breath to come through. While it's difficult in the moment, remember to ground and relax as much as possible. Also, breahing thru the nose, tilting the head back and pressing firmly in the notches behind the ears has helped some, including myself. You may want to beware of ice cold drinks, chocholate, etc., as these can be triggers. Will check back soon. Be well!

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by roadburner99, Oct 26, 2012
in my school if someone is coughing too much the teacher makes an admin call is this illegal in the united states? and my mom is coughing like a balloon and we dont know what it is my mom would like to know what these symptoms are.

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by ony531, Oct 27, 2012
Wow I cannot believe I finally know about persons having the same exact symptoms I have.  I have this horrific cough for about 6 months now.  I have been to so many doctors (including ER) and through so much medication and testings that I lost count. It all started when I was away on vacation (6 months ago)in the Dom Republic, where I go two or three times a year. It felt like an allergy in the beginning but then it got to the point of the stop breathing episodes.  Whomever has gone through this knows how terrifying it is.  No doctor that I have seen has given me a real relief to this, just temporary relief.  I have been on all kind of antibiotics, cough medicine, sinus medicine, acid reflux medication and even asthma medication and I do not suffer from asthma.  Some medication gives me relief for a bout a week and then it starts all over again. I do not know where else to turn to.  I just want this to go away.  Right this very moment I am about to start coughing because I can feel when it is coming. I do not have a cold. Please, please if anyone that is reading this knows about any specialist or treatment that has worked for them please tell me.  I am really depressed about this cough.  I cry and feel helpless. I hate it.

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by ony531, Oct 28, 2012
You know, last night, after I wrote my message, I had a few cough episodes. I tried doing what Susunny suggested on her last message (breathing through the nose, tilting the head to the back and pressing the notches behind the ears and of course tried to stay calm) and I did cough but I did not get the closing in my throat nor the stop breathing feeling.  Another thing I noticed, that is helping me somehow, is drinking sips of water everytime I feel the dripping in the back of my throat. I noticed I do not cough as much. Thank you Susunny.  

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by kat6837, Nov 27, 2012
I am so relieved to have found this site. 3 weeks ago i had a sore throat and that developed in to the most debilitating cough. My job is on the phones and have had 14 days off work so far because i cant stop coughing. the last few days the throat closure spasms have started and i have never been so frightened in my life. About an hour ago my throat completely closed up and i was banging the table to wake someone up to help me. Im too scared to go to sleep at night. Ive had 5 doctors visits, antibiotics and gargles, puffers.  The best thing that has worked so far is actually Panadeine Forte as the codeine in them is a very powerful cough suppressant. In saying that , it is helping at night but i cant be constantly doped up on them so the spasms still occur.

To ony531, i am going through exactly the same thing and am so distressed and cranky at my son from lack of sleep. i do hope it goes away .

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by john306110, Dec 16, 2012
Problems for me started 3 weeks ago with a chesty cough, diagnosed with chest infection on the Monday and started antibiotics, on the Friday evening sitting watching TV I coughed and my throat totally closed up, I started gasping in big mouthfulls of breath to try to get some air into my lungs(obviously now know thats not the best thing to do) this went on for a couple of minutes scaring the wife and kids half to death as they thought I was dying.
Saw an emergency doctor who gave me steroid tablets and said all will be fine now.
Sunday morning woke up to the same thing again, cough , then throat seized up. Another emergency doctor, stronger antibiotics, stronger steroids and an inhaler.
Tuesday early hours and woke from sleep again throat closed again,got breathing after about a minute of so then it immediately closed again for another minute which freaked me out, wife rang 999 but by the time they arrived I was ok and all vital signs normal. Up hospital for 7 hours having loads of tests done but all ok, gave me some more antibiotics, acid tablets for reflux and how to relax when having this throat spasm.
It's now 9 days since my 1st attack and they are getting more frequent but less severe, I can normally get my breath now after 15 seconds.
Sleeping is a right problem as during the night I wake up within 3 hours feeling that phlegm lump at the back of my throat, noing I need to cough and that will start the spasm again. I normally get up and have warm drinks to try to clear it.
Hoping once this cough/phlegm build up has gone things will improve, but having read most of the replies here, I'm not so sure.
Good luck to everyone.

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by kadrie2002, Dec 24, 2012
I really need help. My 11 year old daughter has been to every doctor and on what seems like every medication over the past 2 years. She has been treated for asthma, acid reflux and even anxiety, none of which has helped. She has been given so many courses of steroids that i have lost count. She coughs and coughs in spasms which can last for hours and when she is at the worst gasps and struggles to breath. Her oxygen levels are typically good but we havent been able to find any answers. A doctor recently dx her with largospasms yet hasnt been able to help us stop the problem. Initiallly this would occur a couple times a year, usually when she caught a cold or virus which would end up with croupy cough and stridor. This bout has been al,ost daily since Oct 24th. She seems to be on the mend and then gets bad again. We give her saline in a nebulizer, musinex, prilosec and hydromet at night. She is starting voice therapy in a few weeks. My husband and i are really at our wits end. We have done everything the doctors suggest but no one has been able to give us any solutions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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by Lyvm, Dec 25, 2012
After a long time searching im glad to have finally found people going through the same thing. After consultations with many doctors in the past years i was convinced i just had it bad however it seems to be genetic and my mother and my sister sometimes suffer from it. Basically it begins with a tickle right at the tonsil which seizes control over your entire throat and there is absolutely no way to avoid this embarassing episode when it happens. Ure gasping for air coughing uncontrollably to the point of gagging. I can only stop this by quickly guzzling down a full bottle of water. Now, this usually happens very frequently after being sick with the flu and/or sore throat. However being in dusty, dry climates trigger this as well. I do think that by keeping ourselves well hydrated that we may be able to lessen how dry surroundings and dust or mucus affect our throats causing this outburst. This is based solely on common sense, however, after suffering from this for years.  No doctor has remotely been able to connect the dots, and i find this really strange that they write it off as a normal 'bad' cough, advising that u take cough drops which has not once helped. I suppose it is a case of some of us having more sensitive throats than others and in turn this obviously affects the connecting windpipe (common sense speaking once more) but the doctors have never suggested that either, geez.

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by tfsmithy, Dec 26, 2012
i think this is a terrifying experience. i had a perforated ear drum which went into an ear infection (got antibiotics), then 2 weeks later got a throat infection & persistant cough (given diff anitbiotics),then a week later on 20th dec i woke from a sleep and had my first ever coughing - throat closure attack. like the rest of you i thot this is it. my husband called the ambulance,(we live in scotland) as it lasted around the 10 mins before i could calm down, then another coughing fit started it all over again. one doc at the hos thot it was whooping cough plus an xray showed i now had a chest infection so more diff antibiotics, i went to the ent dept which put a camerca down my nose, this doc said my mouth, voice box, tonsils were all fine but my throat looked red raw but was given nothing and sent home.
night time is definately worse for me as my attacks last longer (last night one of them lasted 30 mins) - although it is still very bad during the day. i have about 20 attacks daily & like some of you i sometimes cough up the thick mucas which helps.
ive saw my local dr who thot i had croup so now on steroids & a reflux pill. not working.
ive now had this for 5 days, very little sleep or food & constantly on edge, just waiting on my next bout of coughing to start. i am at my wits end & my husband works away alot & im petrified that this continues (like it looks at though it will from all of the posts ive read here). in this day & age i dont understand why NO doctor out there can help any of us.
i will continue to read these posts in case someone gets some answers.


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by catmom62, Dec 29, 2012
I have had this for several yrs. My history: 50 yr old female,  4 births, ear infections in childhood,  bronchitis multiple times while growing up and on going,  asthma diagnosis at age 32, Sjogren's syndrome diagnosis as well as GERD a couple of yrs ago and Bile Reflux dx'd last yr...Gallbladder removed in 91 Jensen the bile backing up. Sjogren's causes horrible dryness issues as well as other things. I guess this "tickle,  cough,  gasping through a straw" cough often...especially with sinus issues/colds. Two yrs ago I had a surgical biopsy and no intubation but just the tube to HOLD the throat open. I awoke in the recovery room surrounded bytwo freaked out nurses having the scathe spasms. I kept squeezing my fist to make a "choking/throat is squeezing" sign for them. They kept asking me if I had panic attacks. I AM DRY,  I wanted to yell. I am dealing with this situation right now having type 2 flu.

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by catmom62, Dec 29, 2012
Throat ..not scathe

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by catmom62, Dec 29, 2012
Oh....also happens after choking on water or liquid going down the wrong way,  etc....not JUST UR issues.

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by zodoy, Jan 05, 2013
Hi. I am 15 years old and a few weeks ago i started having really bad couging fits. But recently, when i start to cough, i can't barley breath. I feel like im dying. I havent been to the doctor, but maybe an inhaler would help? i need to have water with me or i cough really bad. when i cough and choke, i cant breath and my eyes tear up and it sounds like im dying. its really scary. no cough medicine helps at all. it doesnt happen that often, but at least twice a day. i think i might be choaking on the mucus that comes up when i cough. i need help ):

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by zodoy, Jan 05, 2013
and i got my tonsils removed almost 5 years ago. so i dont think it has to do with that.

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by Pripsie, Jan 10, 2013
I've just had one of these coughing sessions, like everyone else has experienced they are so scary, basically because you feel like you're going to die right there and then.  I've experienced them a few times over the years and the memory of the fear they cause almost brings on the panic.  

Mine start like a really dry tickle, like all moisture has been sucked out of a small area and the you start.

As mentioned by another member...if you can, sip cold water immediately.  Try your best to control breathing and prevent coughing.  Purse lips and keep blowing out steadily.  Get to a window or door and try to breathe in some cold air.  Keep breathing as calmly as you can (not easy).  Get a small saucepan on the hob and boil a small amount of water, breathe in the steam.  Once things have calmed, keep sipping the water, the try some hot tea.  Try and keep your throat hydrated.

If you were unlucky enough to pass out, the tickling and cough reflex will stop and the airways will relax again.

Good Luck to all of us, it's a horrible thing when it happens.

Avatar universal
by Ocngrlz, Jan 24, 2013
Runs in my and now daughter.....starts as tickle....usually hits night for most of us....while sleeping...we wake up and the tickles full blown,.. then the closure..grabs you with no air air think you will die....panic sets in and you gasp harder and harder for Air, to no avail......Mostly happens with or following a cold....coughs seem dry at the time....which I think is when the tickle starts....with the dry throat......spasm's a good term for the process of throat closures....I just can't understand in 1913 why they don't know what causes it and how to cure nice if there was some kinda med to take care of this situation that so many of us experience .....My Mom is 88 and is down with a cold ...she is having one every night now....she is afraid to go to sleep and has almost called 911 a couple of times.......when this is happening to her...her mouth fills with clear mucus....she on occasion vomits....she panics and almost passes out....she resigns herself to sleeping sitting up...but even that is not working for her....she lives alone...and I feel so sorry for this is something we can't help her with.....and neither can her Doctors.....I live in fear for much as she lives in fear for herself....If anyone EVER has a solution for this....Post....PLEASE....

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by bl2468, Jan 26, 2013
This blog has been running now for 5 years and there still is no answer to it from all over the world. I do not think there ever will be one single cure for this problem and we will just have to live with it. Sorry people but it was worth a try. It certainly attracted comments from many places in the world along with a variety of problems associated with the workings of the throat. Throughout it all the one thing that does stand out is the ignorance of the medical profession and the wasted money spent on "cures" which are nearly all worthless. Good Luck to all in your quest for a cure. Barry

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by tallulah255, Jan 30, 2013
Hello Suffering Friends,

I can't tell you all how much this site has helped me, in knowing that I'm not alone. Thank you for starting it, Barry. I put in some key words after a week of these terrifying symptoms, and found this.  I've had respiratory symptoms for three weeks now. I saw a doctor and he said it was influenza, and would have to run its course.  He gave me a ten day prescription for Prednizone.  I felt like I was hacking up my lungs for weeks.  About a week ago I had that hideous tickle in my throat while I was asleep, and began coughing.  That was the first time my throat closed up.  I never heard of this, and thought ~ good bye cruel world - this is the end for me.  I did begin breathing again, but have had at least two episodes each day of my throat closing, for a week now.

I went to another doctor yesterday.  I told her what I've been experiencing, and how terrified I am of going to sleep or being alone (and I live alone).  I told her that I looked it up on the internet and found all kinds of people who have the exact same throat-closing experiences I've been having.  She said she knew exactly what I was describing and called it 'Laryngeal Spasms.'  She said SHE HAS HAD THEM SINCE SHE WAS A TEENAGER, and she's even had two experiences during patient examinations.  She had a me student with her yesterday, who was wide-eyed as Dr. Kievala explained to her that 'it's a complete closing of the flap of the larynx, and there is no air exchange through the mouth or nose, until it relaxes, and that you want to flap your arms in relief when you can finally suck in air.'  The student was horrified, and I assured her that it is horrifying.

Like most everyone here agrees ~ Dr. Kievala said that the most helpful advice she can give is to RELAX during the episode, and be assured that BREATHING WILL RESUME.  She said that some people experience this during a respiratory infection with cough ~ some people experience it because of acid reflux (throat irritation and inflammation) ~ and others, like her, have had it for many years, and who knows why.  This doctor is an athlete, about 40 years old, and said that she has coped with it all this time by REFUSING TO BE AFRAID OF IT.  She said that she knows when it's coming, and excuses herself quickly if she's with patients,and returns (hoarse, but alive) when it's over.

I've lived 57 years and never heard of this until last week.  This is some scary crap, but the episodes I've had since knowing what it's called have been less terrifying, because I know that there are all kinds of other people out there, living through this incredibly difficult condition.  This is all very new to me, and I see that I could easily get paranoid, which I don't want to do.  May we all remember our 'brothers and sisters' in this forum in our prayers.  Stay strong everyone!  Thank you so much for taking the time to share and give all your good ideas.  May there be an answer soon.  God bless you all.  Tallulah

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by bl2468, Feb 02, 2013
This is the first time we have had a doctor on this blog and also one that has experienced the problem as well. Take the words written by Tallulah as constructive as you will will ever get.Thank you Tallulah for your input. Barry

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by Bustasmom, Feb 09, 2013
Firstly im so happy its not just me.. Ive had for the padt few years  a episode where my throat starts to feel sticky , dry and narrow so i start to cough and then my wind pipe closes and its so frightening not been able to breath in or out for about 20/30 seconds. Its scarey for people around me too. I then feel like im choking and go shakey for half an hour afterwards... Docs dont seem to want to try and help me.. It can happen anytime of day with me.

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by sweetgen313, Feb 20, 2013
Thank God for this post!!  I have been through every diagnoses out there, along with the medications.  The only thing that would stop the deep lose your breath cough was Tussicaps or Hydrocodone.  Just try asking for that medication 3 times or more a year.  I have had 5 hours worth of surgery on my sinus to try to stop this. ( That was just 1 surgery)  NOTHING has worked.  It all starts with that tickle in your throat which leads to the cough then to the mucus then comes that deep cough lose the breath, vomit, spit, blow your nose and in my case pee myself.  

My family thinks I over react and am trying to get attention.  My doctors don't know what to do.  Asthma medications do not work.  I have drank a whole bottle of Benedyrl in desperation in the middle of the night that did not work.  I flush my sinuses on a regular basis.  There is always that slime in my throat.  BTW did anyone else have Hashimoto's here?  I read someplace that this might be the cause.  This has been happening to me since I was a small child.  

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by RayTheOldGuy, Mar 02, 2013
Great site, Barry! I've had this condition for many years (I'm 63.)  The first time I got the throat closing...fear of dying...panic "thing", I would have loved to know a place like this to see how "NOT unique" my event had been. But, as I continued to get them, I adapted to the now obvious:  stay calm, wait, and the air always returns. Now I just kind of "sit back and watch" while it does its thing. Mine was usually caused by GERD. I would eat late, and then the acid would rise up as I slept, and when I finally breathed it in, the battle began. I'd be in a perfectly sound sleep ...and then suddenly I'd wake up in a fight for my life (it seemed.) The taste from "food in my lungs" would last an hour, and eventually I'd fall back to sleep. I usually don't eat late these days, so I haven't had episodes in the middle of the night recently. I still get them from time to time during waking hours.  But those start after a hearty cough, don't appear to be food related and have few after effects.  To all "newbies", the first rule is always: Don't panic! The air will return. And then try the other excellent tips you see on this blog. I haven't seen any horrible outcomes here, so it makes me more comfortable now to know that once it starts, we're just "going for a little ride" ...and there are lots of friends on that same ride. I am sorry especially for those of you who get this several times a day and for the children who have to suffer and be afraid. But, good luck to everyone! And keep this journal going...over 5 years so far--wow!!

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by tallulah255, Mar 03, 2013
      I wanted to check in and share what I've learned about this condition in the past month.  Someone, somewhere on this blog wrote that one of her family members blows into her mouth when she's having a throat spasm, and that seems to help her.  I live alone and there is no one to try that help with, but I used her advice in another way.
     I was picking up toys from grandkids one night, when I felt the tickle and knew what was going to happen.  I had one of those little toys in my hand that has a small fan on the top.  It has a super hero of some kind on it, and there used to be a little tube of candy on the bottom.  You press a button and the fan fires up and spins its little heart out.  The kids call it a 'spinner.'
     Someone else also mentioned that they put their head back when they're able to, during a spasm (as you would do to open up the throat of someone you were going to give CPR to).  I got the terrible tickle, my throat closed up, I put my head back just a little bit, opened my mouth wide, and spun the toy fan in my mouth.  IT MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE in the amount of time my throat was closed.  I keep that fan with me in a tiny over-the-chest purse at all times.  I don't care if it's psychological or really real, but it helps me.  I can feel that cool air hitting the back of my mouth, and it helps.  I have it within reach when I'm sleeping.  If I have a spasm during sleep, it always lets up sooner if I can stand up right away, and then get my head back, mouth open, and fan spinning.
     I'm on the lookout for another spinning toy to replace my little grandson's super hero that I stole.  My respiratory infection is gone, but I'm still having the laryngeal spasms.  Not as much or as badly, but they still come.  I got myself a hot mist vaporizer, and that helps a lot at night.  I use two pillows to sleep on, and I make sure I don't eat very much after supper.  The emptier that my stomach is when I go to bed ~ the better it is, even if I have a spasm.  If I'm going to have something spicy like spaghetti or pizza, I make sure it's for lunch now, and not supper.  
     The biggest thing that has helped me is finding this site, and taking comfort in knowing that there are people all over the world who are struggling with this every day and night, like me.  I might live alone, but I'm not alone in this.  It's still very scary and the panic wells up when I'm in that moment, but concentrating on my 'plan of action' is helping.  Wish I could send every single person here a little spinning fan, just to try and see if it helps.  Take care everyone.    

Avatar universal
by passion4horses, Mar 10, 2013
     I am so glad to have found this site. To be able to chat with people that truly understand how this feels and the anxiety that builds with each horrific episode will make me at least not feel so alone.
     I too have been desperate for answers for years on end as to why my trachea goes into these spasms and closes off.  Currently I have a cold and at this point have been up for what will shortly be 48 hours because of the fear of going to sleep. I drink coffee endlessly throughout the nights so as to not fall asleep because of how horrific the episodes are. It is worse the first few days of the cold...I absolutely cannot go to sleep because it happens over and over if I do. Then after things start breaking up in my chest I get a tickle in the throat and that will set off the laryngeal spasms anytime throughout the day.
     The only pulmonologist that took me seriously was one approximately 25 years ago that said the "flap" in my throat was too large and I needed laser surgery to correct it....back then it was considered very high elective surgery and they wanted me to sign my life away to have it done. Naturally I chose not to. The doctor I see now just blows me off, will do a bronchoscopy now and then to remove some fluid from my lungs and tells me it will all be fine. He said being on Symbicort would make everything ok, but there has been no change.
      My ex husband always told me he envisioned one day having to do an emergency tracheotomy on me to save my life....said he would rehearse it over and over in his head like he had seen on an episode of MASH!! After I divorced him I spent 15 years alone....and told my daughter that was probably how I was going to found alone in my house days after an episode.
     My current husband does not have a clue....he is even trained in CPR, but when this happens he just freezes up. I had an episode about a month ago out of the apparent reason.....right in front of our grandson, who was horrified. It was one of the worse ones and seemed to go on forever.....I was sure I was going to die with that one, and my husband did nothing except for asking me what I wanted him to I could talk?????
     I sleep upright most of the time, and my sleep is very broken. It takes me forever to fall asleep, and I know it is from anxiety.
     I have not read all the blogs on here as yet....I was comforted to find others that have experienced the same thing, and I will rest easier in knowing that everyone seems to come out of them ok. I like your advice, tallulah255, to put your head back and get some air coming in by some other means. I will try to remain calm on the next one and try it out!!
     This will be one site I will be visiting on a regular basis to get a dose of comfort from you all! Take care!!

Avatar universal
by Fastron, Mar 12, 2013
Just a few hours ago I had an episode where I was unable to take in a breath.  I coughed and coughed but could not inhale...very frightening. It was like I had coughed and laughed all the oxygen out of my lungs and couldn't bring any in.  Just before this 'attack' I was laughing and was gasping out a lot of air as I chuckled.  Suddenly I couldn't inhale.  After 30 seconds or so I was finally able to force myself to inhale.  Could this have been the opposite of hyperventilation? A spasm of the diaphragm?  COPD?  It happened once before a couple years ago.  I have arrythmia and a pacemaker.  I fear that this could trigger an episode with my heart as well.  Can anyone relate to this?

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by stacee710, Mar 12, 2013
Reading all of this is both a blessing and a curse. To hear so many stories that won't resolve is troubling to say the least.

So, our quick story

Dry Cough - diagnosis Bronchitis, treat with Ibuprofen and Hydrocodone cough medicine
8 days later my 14 year old wakes up, has one big cough and begins gasping for air.
Trip to ER as EVERY time he coughs he can't breath. He has Bronchitis so coughs nonstop. He forces himself to hold in his coughs.
ER appeases us with chest X-ray but poo poos us - Diagnosis Bronchitis. They say they would prefer not to, but give us Hydrocodone/Tylenol to control cough. They would rather him cough it out. Again - he coughs every minute
After begging we also get Z-Pak, steroid pills and an inhaler.
Later that day go back to our DR since we didn't feel we received a proper diagnosis.
I had them do a breathing treatment and review meds we were given. Meds seem appropriate. I also mentioned Epiglottis after doing some web research. He says he can do a throat X-ray if I wish. I got the impression he didn't feel it was necessary left it up to me and i would rather rule it out, so did it.
I also asked about Whooping Cough which was casually mentioned at the ER. So they did a swab for me.

Well DR just called; diagnosis Trachetitis. Very dangerous if untreated. And it needs the antibiotics the ER didn't want to give me. And you must STOP the coughing which is the opposite from how you would treat Bronchitis.

LESSON:  go with your gut and keep searching for answers.

Whooping cough results not back yet, so we will see about that.

Avatar universal
by stacee710, Mar 15, 2013
Positive for Whooping Cough and Bacterial Tracheitis. Misdiagnosed therefore untreated Whooping Cough led to Tracheitis.
He is fully vaccinated. Symptoms for both did not present anything like textbook.
If you are coughing a lot and gasping for air after, please get tested for Whooping Cough.

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by patandpat, Mar 19, 2013
to help breathing again: push out lower jaw bone ,as if to give yourself  an underbite (like boxer dog) breath thru nose if possible

same problems here, had croop? alot as young child. i noticed when working ,heavy lifting car trans/engine could feel back of throght close/push foward., by musclemovement? i've had a little weeze when i sleep for years going to get checked out for tracititis.

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by Babs777, Apr 09, 2013
Hello All,

Different day, same problem.  One thing to share that has helped.  My doc doubled my antihistamines!  One Zyrtec per 24 hrs, but addedBendryl every four hours.  Works well keeping the mucus down - way down.

I still cough, but not as violently and mostly just in evenings and overnight.  Getting more sleep these days, too, as Bendryl works on that aspect, too.

I have tried sipping apple cider vinegar in a glass of water to cut through the nighttime mucus.  I keep it ready to go bedside. Just a sip and the tickle will subside for awhile, at least.

The chest heaviness is still prevelant and I always feel the need to gasp for air.  I have to remind myself constantly to relax and breathe small breathes thru pursed lips.  My mantra seems to be "Relax, relax, relax."

This is just the worst condition, but at least we all know it is not life threatening!  I will be forever grateful I found this while seaching for answers.  Please let's keep this going for support, if nothing else. Thanks for listening, Babs

Avatar universal
by JoyceBrandon, Apr 11, 2013
I just experienced this for the first time yesterday.  I do not have asthma, or a cold, but have persistent post nasal drip.  I also constantly battle heartburn.  However when the attack occurred I was standing up & not experiencing heartburn symptoms.

A little back ground...  I have always had some sort of throat spasm when I vomit.  I hate throwing up for that very reason, the inability to breathe & that panic of a windpipe the size of a pinhole.  I also, in the last 6 years or so, have occasionally had a problem with swallowing.  Once or twice a year, usually when I was very hungry or in a rush.  It wasn't like I was choking or bit off a huge bite, but like the bite of food got stuck & swallowing wouldn't move it - though I could breathe perfectly fine.  My esophagus would spasm & saliva would well up over and over.  It could take 5 minutes or more for the food to slowly & painfully move on down.  I did find that if I felt the closing of my throat around the bite of food I could take a drink and that would force it on it's way - but only if I did that right away.  If I waited until the slobbering started then having a drink would just compound the problem.

BUT last night I had eaten at about 7:15 and watched some tv with the family, then I read to my daughter from until about 9:45.  I was going to tuck her in after she finished up in the bathroom when I suddenly had a little fit of coughing - just 3 or 4 coughs.  Which for some reason made me gag, as if I needed to vomit.  I hurried to the kitchen, hoping I would get to the trash can when I coughed once more and suddenly could not breathe back in.  The muscles of my throat just closed up.  Not a bit of air came in.  After what seemed like forever, but was probably about 10 seconds, I managed to get the thinnest breath.  Like breathing through a coffee stirrer.  The sound of my struggling to breath brought my son downstairs and he asked what was going on.  By then I felt sure I was about to die.  I had made my way to a window, in hopes to stick my head out and somehow the cold air might help.  I couldn't talk and he pounded me on the back while I pinched the skin between and slightly over my collar bones and pulled away from my throat (this is something a nurse did once for me when I was coming out of anesthetic and having a hard time breathing after they pulled the tube from my throat).  That let in enough air so I could tell him to wake my husband & by the time he got in the kitchen I was breathing with less effort.  All together it couldn't have lasted more than a minute and a half - if that.  But I seriously thought I was going to die in my kitchen.  I sure had a hard time sleeping last night, and every time my throat had a tickle I tried to prepare myself for another attack.

This morning my husband said he thought it may have been a panic attack.  But, though I've been under a lot of stress and have trouble sleeping, I did not feel any panic until I was completely unable to breathe.  I am sure it was a spasm of the larynx - I felt no heaviness in my chest, no indigestion, no pain in my arms, just a closed up throat.

I guess I will give the doc a call, though it looks like that may not be a lot of help.

Avatar universal
by ANDxoxo, Apr 11, 2013
Reading this blog after having one of my cough attacks made me realize that drs just know 3 things asthma, allergies and acid reflex. Althouhh it might be true for some of us but not for me I jave none of the above.I wish o had the power to do some research but for now I have found the SOLUTION every night before bed put 3-4 drops of olive oil in your nose it smooths everything and helps with the tickle. I am excited to say that I had none for the past 3 nights. I hope my post helps someone. Good luck to is all as this condition is unknown, yet so terrifing.

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by ANDxoxo, Apr 15, 2013
Also forgot to mension that when a tickle just starts pinch ur nose and hold your breath for as long as u can. It takes the tickle away yherefore prevents cough and the choking feeling.

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by pampsr, Apr 15, 2013
Hi All,

I am a 44 year old male and first encountered the breathing issue a couple of weeks ago.  First, a little background...about a month ago, I was diagnosed with a upper respiratory virus in which I was prescribed azithromycin.  A couple of weeks later was the first time I could not breathe after coughing.  I finished eating breakfast, stood up, coughed, tried to swallow and could not take in any air.  My wife was about to call 911, but after 15-20 seconds I was able to catch my breath.  So, I went to my regular doctor and he prescribed prednisone, azithromycin, cheratussin and an albuterol inhaler.  The medicine helped my constant cough and respiratory issues, but not the breathing issue.  

My breathing has stopped around 10 times since then and is very scary!  It can happen in the middle of the night from a deep sleep or the middle of the day after a cough or sneeze.  I try to swallow several times after a cough or sneeze and then the airway is blocked.  This is the first time in my life I have experienced this.  I find if I calm down and relax, I will eventually catch my breath.  It usually takes about 15-20 seconds and I have not blacked out yet.  The doctor has assured me that my brain will take over after blacking out and I will start breathing again.  Right now, I am doing my best to try not to cough when there is a tickle in my throat and not to sneeze (very difficult to do).

I am currently seeing an ENT.  He put a scope in my nose and looked down my throat and said that everything looks perfectly normal.  He then suggested an x-ray of my throat, but results are not back yet.  He said that 75% of my symptoms point to acid reflux and recommended that I take an over the counter acid reducer, but it does not seem to be helping.  I will post again after I hear the results from the x-ray.

It is incredible to hear that so many people have experienced similar symptoms for so long, but a fix has not been found yet.  This is not fun for me or my family, so I am hoping the ENT can find a solution!

Avatar universal
by pampsr, Apr 17, 2013
An update from my previous post...the ENT said the xrays were negative...all looked normal with the swallowing and throat.  So, he diagnosed that I may have globus pharyngis, which is the "persistent sensation of having phlegm, a pill or some other sort of obstruction in the throat when there is none."  From wikipedia, it is often caused by inflammation of one or more parts of the throat.

So, he prescribed librax to help with muscle spasms and anxiety for ten days (to keep the throat calm if the breathing issue occurs again).  He also recommended I stay on the acid reducer to help with acid reflux.  If this does not help, then I will contact him again in 7-10 days.  I have not had another episode of not being able to breathe yet, but have had some close calls in the middle of the night the past couple of nights.  I am going to let myself cough and sneeze freely (will try not to hold them back) to see of the librax is helping.

Avatar universal
by dreads817, Jul 06, 2013
07/07/2013 Just thought I would add to the comments, I have just experienced my 2nd lung infection, 1st was pneumonia 6 months ago, I decided to treat this episode with large quantities of raw garlic as a natural antibiotic instead of pharmaceutical, it worked and got me through to the final stages, basically a stubborn cough, this changed to VCD about 5 days ago, very scary, after the cough I couldn’t breathe, just managed to squeeze enough air in to stay conscious, it's traumatic, I can't speak for about 2 minutes afterwards, eyes are teary and then it all returns to normal, I have the same symptoms as everyone else and am relieved to find this site, I solder for a living (really bad for your respiratory system) but the lung infection came fast after inhaling flat pack kitchen unit dust (this stuff is really bad for you period) I am on high dose vitamin C (youtube ultrasonic vit C) this sorted my lungs out fast and I would recommend this as a corner stone for any ailment esp lung related, I think all the coughing caused VCD but am hoping that when the cough finally goes that the VCD will also subside. Good luck to you all, there are some good tips on here, I can only recommend the high dose vit C which should clear the mucus which may be causing the VCD.

Avatar universal
by AND77, Jul 12, 2013
Hi all,
I have suffered from GERD-related Laryngospasm for about four years now. The attacks come on ONLY in the middle of the night - my vocal cords have never seized during the day or from a sitting-up position. Here's a run-down of how it happens:
I wake up panicked, realizing that i can't breathe. Often by the time the attack starts, stomach acid (bile? vomit?) has come up into my mouth, making the whole experience that much worse. I try to relax and it goes away after about 30 seconds. Now I'm stuck with a horrifically sore throat, vomit in my mouth, and no one to call because it's 3:00am. It happens very rarely anymore because of the drastic changes I've made in my diet and lifestyle.
If, like me, your Laryngospasm is definitely a direct result of GERD, these tips might help:
(NOTE: some of these aren't terribly convenient, but they have made a huge difference to me)

--If you are overweight, lose weight. I have a sedentary workday, and reducing my caloric has made a big impact.

--exercise; i know it sounds cliche, but exercise helps immensely with digestion, problems with which are the cause of GERD and GERD-related Laryngospasm.

--NEVER EAT after 6pm. This doesn't include liquids or medications, of course. When you eat in the afternoon, avoid greasy, heavy foods or high-sugar foods. My LS came on most often after eating Mexican food Indian food, or ice cream.

--try Nexium; it helped me a lot.

When the attack comes on:

--Don't panic. This sounds impossible, as LS is one of the most terrifying things a person can experience, but I've found (and above posters can confirm) that even if I pass out, I will start breathing very shortly.

--Sip milk or eat small bites of Greek yogurt. The cold, smoothness of the dairy makes my aching throat feel better.

---DO NOT USE A THROAT SPRAY. This will make it sting worse, and it does not have its usual numbing effect. Remember, your larynx has been bathed in acid. Chemicals will only further burn it.

--Keep Tums or Pepto on hand and chew up four or five (or take a liquid dose - whichever you use) when you can breathe again. The acid has fallen back down into your esophagus and stomach, and this will upset it. Don't be surprised if you have an immediate or slightly delayed case of diarrhea, either.

I'm not sure if any of this advice is new or earth-shattering, but I sure wish I'd known it when I first got this. I still have it about once a year, no matter what I've eaten, and I'm not sure why. I'm sorry that I don't have anything to share for those of you who get it in relation to lower respiratory infections and coughs.

I would love to tell people to consult their doctor, but my normally kind, resourceful doctor was next to no use in helping me in this case. I asked if it could possibly be GERD, since I don't normally have acid reflux, and he said, "It's all acid reflux. Take Nexium." He was right, but had no tips or advice to offer me about this issue. It was very disconcerting, and left me feeling alone and a little bit crazy. I have to wonder if there are any doctors out there who have taken a special interest in Laryngospasm, seeing how many people have come on this board to find out about it (which is surely a tiny sampling of the many who probably suffer from it). It sounds like it results from two very separate and distinct issues: 1) GERD and 2) chest congestion/flu/whooping cough. You'd think that ENTs and Gastro docs would each have something to gain by learning more about it.

Best of luck to all of you who suffer from this horrible, scary phenomenon, and thanks for posting on these boards. When I try to describe LS to friends or family, I get stares of incomprehension. I feel a little less alone now...

Avatar universal
by dreads817, Jul 17, 2013
Just a quick update, it's been 11 days since I posted and the symptoms have almost gone, the tickly sensation down the throat remained for quite some time (this was the last thing to go) resulting in a cough but this gradually stopped causing a VCD, I still could not speak for about 10 seconds afterwards but no throat closure, the cough has almost completely gone complete with no spams, not had a throat close for about 5 days, I am at the end of it now, here is the best advice I can give you liposomal vitamin C

THIS WILL CLEAR YOUR LUNGS SO FAST YOU WILL BE SHOCKED, clear lungs = no mucus = less irritation = less VCD and finally it's all overgone, best of luck to you all.

Avatar universal
by Andy2907, Oct 29, 2013
I am recovering from bronchitis, then a bought of laryngitis which I thought was from all the coughing. While I was sick I was coughing so hard I was having incontinenence. Then after my laryngitis started to get better I would have this coughing fit, if I coughed more than a couple of times or really hard my throat closed. The harder I tried to suck in air, the harder it was and I sounded like some kind of choking seal. If I could manage to calm down and drink something through a straw, because it makes me breathe through my nose, then it would subside. So I read this link, and and it helped me to understand one, how to try and avoid the triggers and two how to react when you have an episode. I have alot of phlegm in my throat I can feel it but I am trying to give my vocal chords a rest so I only clear it now and then. I try not to laugh and if I absolutely have to cough, I only cough MAX twice. I carry a shortened straw in my back pocket in case I have another bout, see the link about making the "ssssss" sound with the air you have left. Or try breathing through your nose, it opens the voicebox back up, its all about air pressure. Anxiety makes it worse, not like we cant panic when we feel like someone dropped us under the ocean with an anchor but try your best not to panic, sucking air in harder makes it last longer and worse. Good luck, I am hoping this clears up when my lung infection clears. So far today so good, when I feel a tickle, I drink through a straw, breathe in the ssssss pattern or cough twice to get the tickle out and then breathe in that pattern. The pattern helps the vocal chords somehow to stop straining which then makes them close.

Avatar universal
by Dan1478, Nov 08, 2013
Hi all, I have this also and have been diagnosed. The cough  starts with a tickle at the beck ofmy throat, but slightly lower, almost my chest. It is an almost uncontrollable urge to cough which is almost always present , when I cough, it lasts for 10-15 coughs and mostly results in phlegm being dislodged . I don't really have any other symptoms. The cough is so bad that I empty my lungs of air and feel like I am choking and can't breath. I came back negative for whooping cough pertussis swab. It was only after my son started getting the same symptoms and I had him tested a week later that we received a diagnosis of whooping cough. He is worse than me as his gag reflex is sensitive. When he coughs he sometimes stops breathing for 20-30 seconds. Something the doctor says happens when something contacts your vocal chords. I then went back to the doctors for a blood test and was also found positive for pertussis whooping cough. Swabs are only useful for the first 5 days of whooping cough. Take the horrible medication, it stops you from being contagious. There is nothing to help the cough . You have it for 90-100 days and the only thing you can do to help it is build your immune system. Don't get complacent like me after 20 days thinking I am feeling a bit better, then relapsing even worse after over doing it. If is scary and it is not cureable, but if you know what it and know that it will pass in time, it is more bareable. I never had a fever that I know of, have only ever had the cough. Extra pillows when I sleep helps, night time is the worst. Best if luck everyone, please have the blood test for pertussis, swab was useless for us, coming back negative. My son and I were immunized. He is 5 and I am nearly 40. I have since heard you need to be immunized every five years. Too late now :(

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by SANDRA_2323, Jan 29, 2014
Had this happen to me a few times a few years ago ...also last night!  Fricken Scary!!!

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by john306110, Feb 02, 2014
First started unable to breathe Dec 2012, horrendous time for me and the family.
That lasted less than 2 weeks but lump in throat difficulty swallowing lasted until April 2013 then everything back to normal.
Dec 2013 till now same problems with difficulty swallowing (worse late evening) but thankfully no unable to breathe episodes yet.
This year though is the 1st winter ever I haven't had a single cough or cold... Yet!!!
I'm wondering if getting a cough, cold, chest infection as last year would bring the unable to breathe symptoms back, hopefully I wont find out but I'll keep you updated.

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by Bharthiya, Mar 02, 2014
Just sharing. With GOD's grace, you may find some relief.
Dr. Artour Rakhimov and he suggests 3 exercises in one his interesting YouTube video -
You can visit his interesting web site:

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by Sanagustin, Mar 10, 2014
I have had the same problem for a few weeks. When I begin to caugh I make fast karate like movements with arms and my brain gets distracted and I stop caughing. I have in my night table warm tea or water and when I am gasping for air I take sips and seems to help disolve the mucus. I also put my head back and gasp strongly for air,  Beeing calm and taking control of the process helps a lot.
A hot chili tea helps to disolve the mucus.  in 4 cups of hot watter ad a tsp of chili powder, mix well, add honey and lemon juice.
drink a cp an hour before bed.

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by AlternativeMedicine, Mar 22, 2014
I came across this thread trying to find out causes for my mums same symptoms... I also came across this link..

It's pretty interesting cause it suggests how doctors aren't aware to diagnose this... Just thought I'd share with everyone hoping it may help!!

Avatar universal
by Laurob1234, Apr 01, 2014
I want to share something that helped me - but first, thank you everyone for your stories and comments, and to Barry for starting this thread.  I hate that so many have had to deal with this terrifying cough complication, but it's also comforting to know that I'm not alone. I'm thrilled to see that even in the worst case scenarios (passing out), breathing eventually resumed naturally.

When I had about 5 laryngospasms during a bout with allergies a year ago, a Google search brought me to a site that helped me greatly:

It was written for people with COPD, but would apply to anyone who gets airway spasms from coughing 'fits'. I don't follow ALL of the guidelines - but a simple, conscious effort to control my coughing definitely stopped the spasms from recurring last year and got me 'over the hump'.

My strategy is that I always try to cough no more than twice in a row (as in *cough, cough*), then take as much of a breath as I can before resuming coughing (two if possible). When I first read about 'controlled coughing', I thought, "yeah, right - they have no idea how hard it is to 'control' my cough"... yes, it CAN be difficult, but I was surprised that even being only moderately successful in the effort can stop or greatly reduce the number of spasm episodes - and it was far preferable to the alternative (a spasm).

I did have another one today, but I think it was because I forgot to follow my own advice - so I'm also very appreciative for the tips everyone gave for arresting the spasm once it starts.  Good luck everyone!

Avatar universal
by Laurob1234, Apr 03, 2014
I should clarify what I said above when I said "take as much of a breath as I can". What I try to do between coughs is breathe in, then breathe out as fully as possible before my next cough.

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by dcb1010, Apr 06, 2014
I have been experiencing the same thing for the last couple of weeks.  My cough has been lingering for almost 2 months.  Absolutely no other symptoms.  About 10 days ago I woke up at 1:00 and started coughing and couldn't breathe.  I thought I was going to die!  So f-ing scary!!!

I called 911 and by the time they arrived I was breathing .  I still went to the emergency room.  All the tests showed that I'm perfectly healthy.  I'm trying to figure out what is going on.

I cam across this link.  Watch the two videos.  This seems to be what I have.  I hope this helps.

Avatar universal
by katsis, Apr 19, 2014
I been going through this same thing. I have been to the doctor twice. This last time I requested to take something to dry
up the phlem in my lungs. The spasmatic coughing an the closing of the airways is lessing. The bronicle is irritated. For those of you that still have the problem of the airways closing, my suggestion is to relax hold your head up and breath  breath slowly it will let go and keep your head up till you can breath. This process reminded me of cpr, where your head has to tilt back to open up the airways.  Its scarey I know, its the allergies. This is the first time I experience this.  I hope  this information will be helpful.

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by Nickabc, May 03, 2014
I hope my post helps some people out there. I had a pretty good cough for about two weeks. Thought I was finally getting better and then had a few random coughs which caused my throat to close off for 10-30 seconds before I could resume getting my air. I think I may have whooping cough, or my bronchial tubes are irritated due to the cough (or sneeze) which causes the laryngospasm. Regardless my doctor gave me an inhaler "Ventolin FHA" which has helped immensely. If I take it before I feel the cough comes on or before bed (you can take it every 4-6 hours as a precaution to keep your airways relaxed for when you do cough), it makes it so when I do cough my throat doesn't tighten up. Lasts about 4-6 hours. If I do have the spasm I will take it during the episode, within seconds it opens up my air ways. I know it feels hard to breath in when your having the spasm but try to force the spray from the inhaler in by breathing in and it definitely helps alleviate it (follow the instructions from your doctor and on the inhaler on how to use it properly and hold the medicine in so it works). To help reduce my cough which causes this is I use "breathe" "essential oils". By rubbing the oil on my chest and bottom of feet before bed, I can generally go the whole night without coughing. I wish I were better at applying the oils during the day but makes it more difficult when you have to work. I am optimistic that this virus, bacteria... Whatever I have will pass. But in the meanwhile the inhaler has been awesome. I don't know if this will work for everyone because some of us may have something different causing it. But maybe this will help some... Hopefully the inhaler and essential oils could help you too.

Avatar universal
by Kimber25011, May 08, 2014
This is crazy that this post is still rolling. I have an original post from 2008 when I had no idea what was happening. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May of 2008. During my thyroidectomy, the surgeon must have damaged a vocal chord which is now paralyzed. When I have any sort of irritation ie; colds, GERD, talking too much, an environmental irritation , my throat goes right into a laryngeal spasm. I have seen 2 very good ENTs and both say there is nothing they can do for it because the chord is paralyzed into a good place. There are options out there such as Botox etc. It's a damn frightening experience. I still have them. My last one being a month ago. I still never shake the though that I will die when that is happening. It's like drowning on dry land. It's just crazy to me that this post is still rolling. My surgery was in 2008. I really hope that you all have found answers or even better it's gone away. It's a horrifying experience.

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by Tam67, Jun 05, 2014
Wow that's all I can say I had the flu 3 weeks ago and a cough that hasn't gone and twice its happened. Today I was at coles and I starting coughing and couldn't stop.started dry reaching and for prob a minute couldn't breath at all. I was so scared.I had tears pouring  down my face thought that was it and not one person ofered help.
I'm 47 year old woman and I'm glad to see its very comman thing that happens best of luck to yous all with yhis problem .  Tammy

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by h_g, Jun 19, 2014
Hi everyone,
It all started out in 2009 lump in throat effect went to ent got  post asal drip, and gave me valium to relax and nexium, and it went away  two year s later feeling lump in throat no ther burning or pain, this time ent again said post nasal drip did allergy test very high allergies count over 1500, for dust mites , also have asthma need to take seratide morning 2 puffs night two puff, also did a gastrocopy, nothing noted when had lump in throat  asked to take nexium, take nexium 40 mg, got to 20 mg due to lump in throat efferct,(is called silent reflux as I had no other symptoms) until I got the pain between below throat and top of chest, radiating to back did a scan to check for galle stone nothing noted,in the last few months have developed a cough starts dry could trigger anytime, now t gets really mucosy and pure white mucosy stuff come out  have to get a drink as soon as I start to cough and I want to vomit due to this  feel like my spit is sticy too, get a choking effectat the monent my siuns is playing up too but the cought has been there from before sinus issue started snce last Saturday  with head aches between the two eye brows and have a deviated nose, ENT said doing an operation wont help as my allergies are way too high, and I was unable to sleep as I kept jumping up like a panic attack thing  as soon as I started to fall asleep not sure if it is because lack of oxygen, dr gave e a muscle relaxant to help me sleep and antibiotics for the sinus issue at the moment, I also have felt like a twitch in my stomack since late not sure what is happening.  by the way how or what test would a doctor do to know if it is  laryngospasms I tend to drink hot water to help as soon as I feel the cough coming on.  But the vomitish feeling with it has started in the last two days.  Hopesomeone out there has some answers please

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by yellatdr, Jun 29, 2014
Sure am glad I found these comments! I have symptoms similar to most others and the worst is the Laryngospasms! I started having post nasal drip (PND) 11/13, this caused coughing, the coughing was severe enough to leave me exhausted, may start into a vomit type convulsion, and then at times I would then have the Laryngospasm fits! I have been on Tums to control my acid stomach, used lozenges to keep throat moisturized, and I have been to doctors who have put me on various medications too. I also have the thick sticky clear mucous. I have several friends who can describe my symptoms and feelings to a Tee! I have found the Mucinex for cough and congestion to help some (I do not take a full dose just about 1/8 in amount in the dosage cup provided.)

I find that if I lean back to watch TV or what ever, that is when the PND initiates the sequence of drainage, coughing, and maybe then the Laryngospasm! Other times they occur as a product of trying to have a conversation! If I feel I have the strength to go sing Karaoke I can and that does not initiate any Laryngospasm. Losing the voice is not understood by some of my friends and family. But the Laryngospasm is vary scary to me and getting scary to my wife and grand kids!

I, thankfully, never lose consciousness or have one of these spells while driving. But I have had my wife get me one of the Fisherman's Friend Cough Lozenges while driving to prevent going into a spell.

I also keep some Fisherman's Friend Cough Lozenges (terrible taste) in my pocket or nearby all the time as they seem to help prevent the PND which seems to be the initiator of my problems. Getting the PND to stop also then stops the cough.

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by Mudy54, Jun 29, 2014
I have had the same spasm in the larynx. Very scary stuff. I feel I have the best ENT specialist who is very knowledgable and compassionate. He said it is a spasm from coughing (triggered by numerous things mentioned in other posts). It affects your vocal cords and causes the throat to close. He told me that when I feel a spasm coming to purse my lips and breath in and out. This causes the vocal cords to cool down and stop the spasm. I noticed someone posted that they used a straw and had good results. I imagine it has the same effect. It really does work. He also assured me that if I passed out it would be the better case scenario because then the muscle would immediately relax. Negative of this is that there is no known "why" this happens. I haven't had one for months now since using this method. Good luck to you all. I hope this helps. It is very concerning and makes you afraid to be alone at times. The best you can do is to not panic. I hope this helps.

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by TomSatch, Jul 03, 2014
Thanks for starting this thread Bl2468. Woke up last night with a tightened throat, wheezing while breathing in. All the google hits show "wheezing while breathing out" is tied to asthma. but my case was that I couldn't breathe in; breathing out was OK, (what little air which I got in). Like all of you, I was terrified. Luckily my throat relaxed and I could breathe again after about 3 minutes. I stuck pillows against the headboard and went back to sleep sitting up. The only different behaviors I did the day before was a walk in the woods (pollen?) and I ate a big meal before bed (acid reflux?). Combined with my continual post nasal drip, there are a couple possible triggers there.

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by A_wme, Jul 05, 2014
I have had this cough since about April 2014 and it started out as a normal cold. In early May, I had choked on a gobstopper and I almost passed out. (Notice- I just turned 13 in June, so I don't know if this is normal.) I still had a normal cough. In June, I was walking with my family and a couple of my friends and my friend offered me an m&m and I choked on that. My dad had to do the Heimlich on me. A couple days after that is when I started this cough. The first time I had it happen was right after when I swallowed a smoothie and a couple seconds later, I had this tickling in the back of my throat. then I started coughing. Then, my throat didn't want to let air in. I try to stay calm, but for having actually choked 2 times it is VERY terrifying! On July 4th, I was at a balloon tether and they had free drinks there. I went over to grab a drink and it happened again. I tend to burp after it happens. For the last 2 days, it has happened around 12 am and it wakes me up right away. I don't know if this is from me being paranoid and thinking about choking so much, or if it is something serious. I am going to the doctors on Monday. (I am terrified of surgery and shots and everything like that) so I will be a nervous wreck because I don't want to have to get surgery or a shot lol...

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by pokerliz22, Jul 15, 2014
Wow. What did we do before the internet! So thankful for this forum.
I had an episode this morning. My symptoms are the same as everyone else. I've been fighting an upper respiratory infection for over a week.  I think it was brought on by inhaling wood dust. I had been working on a woodworking project just days before I came down with this. I believe I inhaled a lot of wood dust from cutting and sanding. I should know better and use a mask but I never had problems in the past.  I've never had asthma, allergies, acid reflux or anything! Maybe once a year or every two years I will come down with a cold that starts in the sinus and works it way down into my lungs. I usually get some antibiotics when the phlegm is green/brown. After 5-7 days, I feel good with just a slight cough.
So that's my history.
As of last week, I was doing a lot of coughing and figured it was regular bronchitis, brought on by the wood dust.  When I wasn't feeling better after a week, I went to the doc and got Biaxin. However, these antibiotics give me nasty side effects. I called the doc the next day and got a "Z-pac" instead. I was still doing that hard, deep coughing. (I also had the codeine cough syrup). These coughs were so hard they caused my ribs and torso to hurt so badly! The coughing would almost cause spasms and cause my gag reflex to kick in. My trachea area is so raw!  Horrible.

So this morning I was awakened by this fit of coughing (mornings are the worst!). All of a sudden, my windpipe froze and I could not breathe! omg. Never had I had anything like this happen. I thought, "Jesus. my family is going to find me dead and not have a clue as to what happened!" After what seemed like forever, I was able to gasp a tiny bit of air and managed to scream. twice. It seemed to work, as I could take a breath.  I had swallowed so much air during the seize! So now I was gasping, belching, coughing, spitting, my nose was running and my eyes watering. A wonderful sight to behold I'm sure. Absolutely the scariest thing I've experienced. I honestly though I had bit the dust. What a way to go.

Imagine my relief when I was able to read the same experiences of others in this 5 year running post! It's nice to know that if I pass out, I will resume breathing!  I'm hoping that this was just a one-time deal. I feel for you people that have this regularly. It's an horrendous feeling. If it happens again, I will try to remain calm and relax. Very difficult to do when one is suffocating!

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by charlesmarin, Aug 07, 2014
This same thing is happening with me.  I had an upper respiratory infection that went away with antibiotics and a steroid, but for the last few weeks I've had two episodes of waking up coughing in the middle of the night and my airway closing up so that I couldn't inhale, only exhale.  It's very scary and I'm not sure it's getting better.  I have told two different doctors in my wonderful health care provider Kaiser.  Each of them just smile and dismiss it saying just to keep using an inhaler and a decongestant.  But these clearly aren't helping as I had the second episode just last night.  At this point I may seek a new health care provider, one that cares.  I'm the sole breadwinner with three little kids--my family needs me to be alive and support them.

This forum doesn't have anyone saying that they died from it because the dead can't post here.  Just a thought.

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by amit91178, Aug 12, 2014
Hi group
I faced exactly same problem starting last month.
Had lot of antibiotics but of no help.
Then I visited Homeopathic doctor a very senior doctor. He has given me 2 drops of some medicine today.
He is very confident that it is cured with no further medicine required.
I am very positive and will observe for next 2 early mornings to check if it has really gone.

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by Vaff, Aug 13, 2014
Hi Y'all,

I noticed a lot of people are still visiting this site and may benefit from my experience.  

I started having this problem since July 17th.  So, I've had it for about 4 weeks now.  What I can tell you is that you probably have Whooping Cough.  There's a little about it and what you can do to ease the suffering here: .  The reason the doctors don't do anything is because there isn't much you can do.  Just hang in there.  It's often referred to as the 100-day cough because it lasts for a really long time.  I have found that after the first coughing fit, when you know you're going to struggle to breathe in, rather than desperately breathe in, try holding your breath until the spasms stop (or at least reduce) and slowly start breathing in.  This controls the cough, and stops the coughing cycle and, in turn, prevents me from passing out or vomiting mucous making an episode far less traumatic.

Also, it seems like decongestants help with the feeling like I have saliva running down the wrong pipe.  I think there's a bit of post-nasal drip, and that combined with the Whooping Cough is treacherous.

Just hang in there people, it's not forever and it will go away.  Also, worst case if you do happen to lose consciousness from lack of oxygen, you do wake up on the floor.  At least that's how it works in my case.  As soon as I pass out, my body relaxes, the coughing cycle stops, and I wake up with some buzzing sounds in my ears.  Scary, but apparently not life threatening (at least in my case).  



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by diamondlil54, Aug 18, 2014
I started with the same symptoms about 10 years ago, since it was all in my throat, I went to the ear, nose throat Doctor, who they now call an Otolaryngologist, he diagnosed my hyper-active throat was due to acid reflux, it then made sense....I used to get hoarse very often, would have these coughing fits, my throat was very often sore, etc.   He suggested I raise the head of my bed 4 inches, put me on Pepcid and made me aware of dietery choices which would minimize the symptoms.  Finally, a Doctor who can diagnose without  the hit and miss of my GP, who would send me for blood test, put me on antibiotics, etc....all for naught.   People---- look into the possibility of acid reflux condition. It may very well be the source of all your ills like coughing spasms, gasping for air, etc.  I know my condition is under control andI  hope you can find the right Doctor for the right treatment.  Good luck.

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by Clt72, Aug 20, 2014
I too have had this experience on and off for 20 years. I still pray to God each time it happens that I will live through it. First of all, I have told my family, friends, and employer that I have this issue and that they should call 911 only if I clench my throat, otherwise I will give them a "thumbs up."  Most of all I need to relax. If it's cold outside that's where I go!  The cold air works best for me. Otherwise I go into the bathroom where I can sit and try to close my eyes and tell myself that I will be okay. Relaxation is the key!  Also, I try to blow my nose and that can sometimes get me a bit more air. I pray they will find a cure!

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by PopeyePatty, Aug 27, 2014
I've had all the same symptoms for past week following a bronchial infection.  The windpipe closing is the scariest and it's happened now about 25 times, mostly in the evenings and during the night when I seem to cough harder and triggers throat closing.  I've been to doctor and got on an albuterol inhaler, followed by script for Tessalon, which is supposed to help trick your brain into not reacting to the tickle in throat by coughing (something like that). Don't know if it's kicking it yet, but I have found that relaxing and not panicking works to subside sooner, keep cough to 2-3 times as softly as you can, keep head up to open windpipe, and I've also started sticking my head in the freezer (works great when it's 90 degrees outside)!  I'm hoping this goes away soon.  I'm sorry for all of the suffering that this has caused for everyone. I'm glad I found this site.  I'm trying really hard to keep a positive attitude, relax, and keep the coughing to absolute minimum, to allow my vocal chords and throat to heal!   Good luck to all!  Patty in Oregon

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by Madmokai, Aug 30, 2014
I have has this same issue come up recently. Started out of nowhere, I was not sick or anytjing. I would wake up coughing like crazy because of an itchy feeling in the back of my throat. Extremely frightened and unable to catch my breathe I start panicking. Would last for up to a minuet. Eyes watering, chills, swallowing air because I was still gasping/coughing and freaking out. After a week it kinda went away then I got a sore throat and stuffy nose. I woke up that morning chocking so bad and so frightened I went to the ER. They ran throat swob, chest xray all kinds tests and found nothing. All I had was common cold. Dr sent me home tell me to take Mucinex. I started taking that and it defiantly helped although I still had the problem with my throat closing if I started to cough and if I slept. So I decide to try not coughing. As much as it felt like I needed to and really wanted to instead I would remain calm and kind of ahem to clear my throat. 100% is working. Especially when I'm awaken from sleep because I'm about to have an attack. I just remain calm remind myself it's just flem in my throat and clear it the best I can without coughing. And drink a lot of water! Slowly in little sips! Oh and if you are congested BLOW YOUR NOSE! Don't sniff and keep that crap in your chest blow it out! Staying calm and not freaking when your awaken by it is defiantly key though, that has kept me from going into complete spasm and my throat closing. Most terrifying experience ever but hoping it goes away completly when this cold I have is over with. Hope this helps someone bc I know I sure was frightened!

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by Pattid914, Sep 08, 2014
This is my 5th episode in one year. It always starts with a sore throat, then nasal congestion, ear clog, lightheaded, then that friggin dry, whopping uncontrollable cough. Doctor wasn't sure whether it was from my acid reflux or allergies. So I had an allergy test and I am allergic to dust mites. I also had an endoscopy which showed I have acid reflux and 4 ulcers. I'm on singular and omeprazole to see if that helps. I also have mold in my house so I hope that's not the culprit. I'm moving soon. Maybe if we can post what state we are from to see if it's environmental. Good luck to everyone from NY.

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by sandyeggo, Sep 27, 2014
Wow  I thought I was the only one. I have been dealing with this for years and thought it was because I had smoked for so
Long... I haven't smoked for years and it happens again twice in the past year. It is true that if you pass out you relax and it stops the spasms and you can breath. Idiopathic anaphylaxis is what causes mine. Don't know what triggers it.( drop of water or dry air can do it for me) I'm going to get an epipen for peace of mind and hope I will relax knowing I have it and never have to use it.

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by Scarybreathing, Oct 16, 2014
I'm so glad I googled this.   I thought I was the only one and I was going crazy.   I'm 40 years and in September I was diagnosed with bronchitis.  After taking all my meds for that and finally feeling better, I started with an irritating cough which led to coughing attacks and my throat feeling as if it is closing and I can't breathe.    I'm worried I'm going to pass out.   Last night was the worst.  I jumped out of bed from a deep sleep coughing my head off and not being able to breathe.   I'm gasping for air, panicking and my mouth starts watering like crazy which in turns kicks in a gag reflux and sometimes causes me to vomit as I am panicking and gasping for air.  My doctor gave me acid reflux meds, a Zpack to take and Steroids to take for 5 days.   I finished the zpack and steroids but I'm still having these horrible attacks.  The coughing attacks seem to happen more at night when I am sleeping.   I go back to doctors this Friday.   He did say he may want me to take a full asthma test to see if I am asthmatic and do an endoscopy.    These attacks are scary and I wish I can master the art of keeping calm during these attacks.  GOOD LUCK!!   Scared in Northwest Indiana.

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by aquagal2010, Oct 22, 2014
I am 72 years young. I caught an upper respiratory infection a couple of weeks ago. I had my first experience of being unable to breathe a couple of days into the infection when I woke up unable to bresthe as my chest was totally blocked. I panicked,frightened my partner who gave me his ventolin inhaler which worked but I had a panic attack in top of it alll. He held me close to calm me down. The infection Is still with me after two weeks and for the last two evenings I have had the coughing fits of all coughing fits where I was out of control sweating, palpitating and unable breathe in and my chest was burning burning and I swore I was having a heart attack each time. It happened both times out at dinner, so I am not eating, just drinking tea and water as I am FRIGHTENED ********. Both times my partner took me home from the restaurants and out me o bed with a cuppa. I took ventolin and some bronchial herbal drops which numb the throat, no water and rest propped up by a few pillows. I feel there will be a next time, but the burning I mentioned I dont know what that is. Is ir some kibd of damage in my lungs caused by coughing fit, is it dangerous, is it my hesrt, will it get better, what can I do. Will try all above tips when it happens again, I also dont feel alone. Any advice on the BURNING PLEASE?

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by rucoughingstill, Oct 29, 2014
I have had a dry intense tickle cough for 20yrs or more.  scans, X-rays, loads of different medications tried, inhalers, antiacid, but nothing has worked.  lost jobs through the continuos coughing fits causing nose to stream eyes to stream, saliva from mouth , pounding head, burst blood vessel in eye and vomiting, and incontinence all the result of "the coughing fit" which are sometimes up to 4 times each hour.
yesterday was very scary, during a bad coughing fit my throat CLOSED UP completely like a contracted muscle which stayed contracted for 15 seconds.  I could not breath in or out  and was convinced this was it.  The throat muscle or whatever suddenly released, my throat is very sore now .  My doctor said he had never heard of this before and that the throat cannot just closes up and stay closed like that as it is not made that way, i felt he thought it was in my head- a panic attack-  I SAY ABSOLUTELY NOT   my throat Muscle or larynx closed and shut tight  just like the people on this site are experiencing .  My doctor says this is impossible.  I am in u.k. our health service is struggling and overloaded sometimes i just wonder????

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by pcanada, Nov 16, 2014
I find it very interesting that we all experience similar symptoms but doctors do not want to listen.  I have had this problem for 30 years - once in a while for no reason throat closes and can't get air.  I am making terrible noises trying to get air through.  It has happened outside, inside, when I eat certain foods like vinegar, hot sauce, even white chocolate at a wedding, and in the middle of the night if I have a cold.  Last night I slept sitting up because of a chest cold and it still happened one time. Very scary.

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by sickincanada, Dec 04, 2014
Ok, here's my story - any help is greatly appreciated:

I'm an asthmatic and a light smoker (about 10 cigs a day).  9 days ago I came down with cold symptoms (light fever, tiredness, coughing, stuffy nose, not hungry, etc.).  These symptoms except for the coughing and chest congestion went away within 3 days.

Since then, I've had consistent coughing fits (10 or more per day) that start as the feeling that I just want to expel mucus but escalate to not being able to stop.  There is gurgling-like sounds deep in my chest and my doc prescribed antibiotics 3 days ago.  They seem to have cleared up the greenish-yellow mucus but I am still coughing.  The cough now starts clear then I get streaks of blood in it then just coughing up blood.

I've turned off the air exchanger, turned up the heat, made a tea, all of which helps somewhat.  DM-based OTC cough medicine helps a bit too but still cough up blood a bit every day.  Any suggestions?

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by myrtlebeach, Dec 08, 2014
I started having Laryngospasm 3 days ago. It is from coughing from unknown lung congestion/mucus  only. My roommate gave it to me. I have read many of the posts here and would like to share what has worked best for me.  The first time that it happened I was terrified, like everyone else here.  I was able to pucker my lips and take in long slow breaths. I was coughing up phlegm in the bathroom when it happened.  I was bending over which caused reflux too so fluid was coming out of both my airway and gullet. Because it was coming out of my esophagus. My windpipe closed so I could not breathe in. At that time I was doing the slows breathes in and kept up the ferocious coughing until it subsided.

I've found that if I relaxed and allowed myself to finish throwing-up and/or burping what was in my esophagus that my lungs would open INSTANTLY afterward.  That's how I knew that it was Not asthma. I would still be having issues if it was. I had also realized that all of the coughing for the past 2 weeks has irritated my throat causing it to swell which also seems to be part of the culprit.

After reading your posts desperately looking for a cure, I've read one about breathing through a straw. It occurred to me that I could just breathe through my nose instead.  THIS WORKS 100% OF THE TIME for people with phlegm but it is a technique.  When I cough, instead of swallowing or spitting the phlegm which would block me from being able to inhale and sometimes cause reflux, I hold it in my mouth with my mouth closed and BREATHE IN THROUGH my NOSE, out through the mouth, then spit or swallow.  This is rapid if you are coughing a lot but when you cough out and are about to inhale do Not inhale back in through your mouth. It triggers the spasm. Relax, close your mouth breathe in through your nose, out your mouth.  It works!  When I feel a tickle in my throat that tells me that I need to cough I breathe through my nose and it stops the cough.  It also reduces how often I cough too because my throat is less irritated.  Breathing quickly through your nose does sometimes cause a little light-headedness if you're not used to it. It should also give you more energy from deeper oxygen. I did find that I slept better too when I could breathe through my nose.  I am considering trying ibuprofen for my swelled throat.  Gargle with Listerine, it's an antiseptic. This helps a lot too.idk why but it seems to reduce the swelling.

Oh, a home remedy for those people taking antacids. Try apple cider vinegar instead. You might be getting reflux from not enough acid to digest the food, Not too much. You need more acid.  I had antacid issues for years until I tried this, it works. 1 teaspoon, when needed. I do Not know the daily limit, if there is one. I'm not a doctor but I'm sure that you can find more online.  Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Ginger is a natural antivirus. I put it in a hot water with honey for a ginger/honey tea. Breathe well and prosper.

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by myrtlebeach, Dec 10, 2014
I've come up with some more techniques for waking up & coughing and when my nose is Not clear enough to breathe.

For the stuffy nose; I've already mentioned it before.  When I am coughing as long as a Spit, swallow, breath out (as other's have mentioned), burp, or vomit I can get the airway to open faster. I guess changing the blocked vocal cord in any way away from coughing helps. I also keep blowing my nose while I have the blockage so that I can get some air in that way too.  My fits normally last 4 to 10 times before they subside. I think that depends on home long I was able to sleep and how much phlegm has built up in that area.

If it is a non-sleeping one it only lasts for 1 or 2 and normally just swallow or spitting will stop it. They have become super easy when my nose is clear too.

Oh, I have finally slept because my roommates parents said that NyQuil has worked for them and it has for me too.

As for the waking up with a fit. I think that I have finally figured that one out too. While I am still laying down I take the time to swallow over and over until I feel that the phlegm is mostly gone. I sometimes take a cough drop after the swallowing. I do this BEFORE I sit up because once I sit up it moves the phlegm and I start to cough and block. Once I am up I gargle with Listerine and drink some hot ginger/honey tea and it takes away the rest of the phlegm. I am still testing this one so I do not know if it works 100% of the time or not but the times that it did work was soooo relieving.

The swelling of my throat is going down too. I hope that it is healing but I am sure that coughing less has helped too. Breathe well and prosper.

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by robkmjones1, Dec 29, 2014
Hello everyone and my fellow sufferers,

How amazing since Jan 1st 2008, almost exactly seven years to the day that this blog has been running and I find this site. I guess I am a typical asthma sufferer in constant denial, that having the throat closing event for some seven years and quietly accepting the fact as a medical phenom that has no real solution, potentially being fired by global polution and environmental meltdown. I am 59 yrs old 3 months from 60, a child asthma sufferrer that grew out of it by 21 and lived a relatively normal and fit life through 20s, 30s and 40s only to find my asthma and respiratory problems returning in my 50s. Yes I have had my fair share of colds, flu and sinus issues over the years, even bronchitis and pneumonia a couple of times in my early 50s; aggravated by the idiotic habit of smoking, that I had flirted with throughout my life. Nevertheless I would consider myself a fit person having played soccer and rugby in my youth, and continued to run semi-competitively in later years on the Hash House Harriers (a great social excuse to combine exercise with drinking beer).

The first bout of throat closure spasm came one night in 2007 at about 2.00am, I can't remember what I had eaten, drank or what my mood was at the time, just that after the horrific 45 seconds, my wife said I was white as a ghost with fright ha, so was she actually. I was getting over a mild cold in retrospect and did have a lot of mucus acumulating in my throat. Which seems to be the only common factor in all of these stories I have read over the last few hours. It has returned every couple of years and when I was tired, run down and coughing mucus for whatever reason.

Last night after two years of freedom and forgetting this affliction the throat spasm returned, without warning and with the same horrific banshe screaming noise coming from my throat as I struggled to force air back into my lungs. As everyone reported, the teery eyes, the burping from deep in ones stomach, and as sudden as it came, it goes followed by retching and coughing a lot of mucus from my lungs, my throat, my previously clear nasal passages, and then the sleepless hours that follow until dawn.

What did I eat yesterday: I had a spicy snapper fish dish, I had a pint of Kilkenny and when home later my wife gave me a white chocolate bar, I went to sleep calmly and peacefully and not carrying any stress. Although recently I have been aware of being overweight and started to diet. No carbs, no dairy, no sweets, and lost 3kgs in December, quite a feat, hence the choc bar reward last night.

Oh and yes I sucessfully quit smoking 2 yrs ago... welcome to the club I guess, we should start a club, start a movement, fight for the medical professions acknowlegement of this traumatic disorder !


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by Ivanireland, Jan 09, 2015
HI, MY NAME IS Ivanireland.

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by Mtanzania, Jan 10, 2015
Thanks Dr. Google for you uniting me with fellow suffered ;-) & greeting everyone from Tanzania, Africa.

I just had same experience, for the last three days I would wake up 2AM to 3AM coughing but was able to breathe normally.
Today was the worst.. after dry cough close enough to a vomiting feel with tear out of my eyes... I COULD NOT breathe for 15 to 30 seconds.. I coughed two times and could not talk for about 40min.
My voice got deeper for the last two weeks that I have been suffering from dry thought!
Glad.. I'm not alone.. any Dr out there.. it worth looking deeper into this problem.

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by GabriMat, Jan 12, 2015
Apologies for not posting this earlier for the benefit of fellow sufferers. My spasm lasted for several weeks and I tried anything from sleeping with mentholated pills steroids. Nothing works. My assessment is that once the throat is inflamed gastric reflux irritates it. My cure was a course of strong antibiotics. My advice to everyone like this and who can tolerate antibiotics is DO NOT DELAY and tackle it immediately. Demand that you care prescribed second tier (cannot remember the name) antibiotics. Good luck.

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by Will412, Feb 02, 2015
I have the same thing and I can't breathe I have a tight chest and my throat is tight can't breathe a bark cough and doctors told me it's not asthma cuz my pulmonary function test are good what is this I can't breathe been bed ridden 4 months can't breathe

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by skershaw, Feb 06, 2015
Thank you for all the great information and suggestions.  I've read every single one and feel much more equipped to deal with this the next time it happens.

I've always had an exaggerated reaction when liquid goes down the wrong tube, etc… I've had two back to back colds over the last few months, with extended coughing (2-3 weeks after cold subsides).  I was also waking up randomly at night with a tickle and coughing to the point of near vomitting.  But I could always breathe fine.

About a week ago I had a deep coughing attack and my throat closed up.  I panicked of course.  I sucked in whatever air would come my way, then continued the cough, the sucked any air I could, then cough out… I managed to call my husband on one out-breath.  There was nothing he could do, but I needed someone to see what was happening and call for help.  Fortunately, in my panic, and with a burp welling up inside of me, I just pushed the burp out and it immediately opened up my throat.  It seized again for a second, I pushed another burp out, and it opened.

I totally agree with what others are saying about keeping the coughing as minimal as you can, NOT panicking, and BURPING!  Something about it tricks the throat into thinking it's over.

I had a second attack last night, we were at a pho restaurant and as usually happens to me there, the soup went down the wrong tube (must be the repeated drinking from a spoon, because I've always had problems at pho).  My husband knew instantly I could not breathe and said immediately to go outside into the cold, humid air.  Still terrified from the incident last week, I FORCED myself to stay as calm as possible and practiced burping.  Sure enough, it opened much quicker this time, but definitely showed me this is simply how it's going to be from now on, and what brought me to this sight.

What I will now try, thanks to these very helpful posts, is to blow the snot out of my nose (it gets instantly very snotty and my mouth fills with saliva) and try to calmly breathe thru my nose.  Seems hard to believe it could be that easy, but I will try it next time.  Also, I like the repeated suggestion to purse the lips as if sucking in thru a straw.  I promise to report if either of these things help.  But PLEASE TRY TO BURP next time during the episode and try to stay as un-animated as possible.  

good luck

Avatar universal
by skershaw, Feb 06, 2015
Update: I met with my doctor today who ordered a round of tests -- a barium swallow to see if it's caused by GERD or acid reflux, and also with an ENT doctor.  Strange enough, I've always had issues with one of my ears… it's very sensitive to wind, and also causes me to start coughing when I clean it out with a q-tip.  The same sensitive nerve in the ear is connected to larynx… Anyone else have ear issues?

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by mytfly, Feb 13, 2015
I stumbled on this while googling something else, but I did want to pass this on as I have been doing research on it.  I have had a cough for several months now, and while my airway does not close off, I have these violent fits of coughing several times a day.  This started after my having had a cold.  I've noticed it at other times in my life, always after getting a cold, or sinus infection, or bronchitis.  Mine starts as a stabbing tickle in one of my Eustachian tubes, it's the only way I can describe it.  Like Skershaw, it is the same type feeling as when a q-tip goes too far down in the ear canal.  If I am at work I go to the restroom down the hall because when I have these attacks they are very loud and distracting.  I will cough several minutes, sometimes to the point where tears are running down my face, and then I'm ok.  I ran across an interesting ailment called "Arnold's nerve cough reflex."  Basically, this is where your vagus nerve, which controls many functions in your body, and branches in the area where I feel the stabbing tickle, becomes hypersensitive to the point it sends signals to the brain that there is something in your throat that needs to be coughed up, when in fact, there is nothing there.  It usually starts after a person has had a cold or viral infection, and is caused by damage to the vagus  nerve.  Usually the nerve will repair itself but it's my understanding sometimes it does not, hence the chronic cough.  It is a type of neuropathy and apparently they are having some success in treating it with gabapentin, a drug commonly used for other types of neuropathy.  You can find tons of information on this by googling.  Posting about this in the hope in might help someone, because I am convinced it's what is wrong with me.  

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by bacupcake, Mar 14, 2015
I am very grateful to find these comments after two days of constant, though intermittent, "episodes." I can feel a sudden pinprick of a tickle in my throat and a violent coughing fit is inevitable. I've alternated popping loratadine (or letting it melt, which helps faster/more), citrizine (generic of Zyrtec), mucinex, Alka Seltzer nighttime cold/flu, Theraflu nighttime, and constant honey lemon drops. Inhalers (need new ones...I just got samples, ad dr. said if I have asthma, it is a light case)

It all disrupts EVERYTHING....sleep, as has been mentioned--I am afraid to go to sleep for fear of dying from it; teaching....I suddenly have an episode and have to run off as the whole episode is convulsive and embarassing; eating...I can swallow the LEAST BIT of something wrong and it results in a choking/gasping for air that had me seeing stars one time. I was probably close to passing out.

I'm miserable. I think, well people have a lot worse, big baby, so quit whining. But seeing all these comments makes me realize that I'm not alone and it IS a big deal. As I write this, my throat is sore from all the coughing, and I am SO tired from the two days' battle I've had with this.

I've had double pneumonia before and had to complete a few days of training to  become a teacher. I wonder if I'm just more susceptible to lung issues now?

I am also depressed about it. It is true that I would rather have this than cancer, yes, but this is a chronic, lifelong problem that really diminishes my quality of life. I am just tired of fooling with it, and know it's not going away. It is getting worse: Ihave allergy issues, also...and it's just too much. I am feeling the effects of the Benadryl I've taken, and my ears are ringig (have been all day).

Let me TRY to go to sleep! Help, Lord...oh, no...I feel that tickle starting. Grrr. Thanks for letting me vent!

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by Romax123, Mar 18, 2015
Ugh. I've had this for years. Had to walk out of movie last night. I call them allergy attacks though I know there is more involved. Asthma, allergies, reflux I have it. It usually starts with an intense tickle back to my little punching bag (uvula). It's like someoe is tickling the back of my throat with their finger. Cough drops, water, and breathing through the nose helps but sometimes it just hads to run its course. You get panicky and the worst is when someone keeps asking if you're ok.

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by Vaff, Mar 18, 2015
Check this out, you guys.

As everyone else mentions, controlling, holding your breath, and minimizing the coughing are THE BEST NATURAL REMEDY.  This is the best way for your vagus nerve to heal (as much as possible) and just to keep your sanity in the meantime.

For those of you that want to try a homeopathic solution that you can start yourself, please see this website:

I have posted a few times in this thread and have been dealing with this since I got sick almost a year ago.  The good news is that it has gotten better, albeit very slowly and gradually.  For those of you with a job that requires you to speak a lot (teachers etc...) you might want to take a long break from your job as the prolonged use of your voicebox could slow the healing, especially if it's triggering more attacks than otherwise.

Good luck all! And to those of you in despair, please hang in there; it does get better!!

Avatar universal
by justintimejohnnie, Apr 22, 2015
My five year old has this..lots of research points to pertussis..I suspect for long time sufferers you have week er immune systems like a smaller child or after a cold or  thus...

Sign of pertussis described as "apnea", although accurate, is also misleading because it emphasizes the inability to breathe rather than the gasping attempts at breathing. A better description would be periods of "gasping breath" or of "suffocation". As recorded by Holt 100 years ago in his description of pertussis [3], the experience of difficult breathing is the main feature of the illness. He wrote, "Those old enough to describe their sensations tell of a sense of impending suffocation, the suffering from which is almost indescribable." Another problem with the violent paroxysmal cough, gagging, and the whooping sounds, is that in the adult these occur at night, and therefore the physician does not observe them at the time of the examination. Their absence during daytime is due to continuous clearance of secretions by the upright patient and breathing through the nose, thus avoiding the sudden irritation to the upper airway and the occurrence of these signs. In addition, these symptoms are most dramatic during the first week of the illness because, thereafter, the patient learns various activities to avoid them. Because of this learning process, by the time of the visit by our patient to the emergency room on day 10, the actual "whooping" was confined to 2 to 3 sounds with each paroxysm at night. All of the classic signs and symptoms had been converted to a "fear of falling asleep".

Once the characteristic of periodic gasping for breath is identified in the adult with suspected pertussis, the differential diagnosis turns away from identification of other causes of suspected bronchitis and/or pneumonia, and towards excluding other causes of paroxysmal dyspnea, such as laryngospasm from reflux, esophagotracheal fistulas, obstructive sleep apnea, panic attacks, congestive heart failure and asthma.

All of the classic signs or symptoms of pertussis were present, but they were not reported by the patient, as he tried to relate to the physician the resulting effect, which was his fear of falling asleep. When this fear was reported to several different physicians, the physicians simply noted that sleep disturbances occur during respiratory infections [9], that cough is often more severe at night [2,8], and that some adults have anxiety reactions to illness [10]. The idea that the patient was communicating the same thing that pediatricians observe, but using a different language, was not considered.

It is our opinion that in the 21st century it is time to review how and when we may use new technological developments for early diagnosis of this disease. Diagnosis by PCR, and treatment of pertussis, can and should be initiated within days of the onset of the illness. The recent attention to the prolonged illness due to pertussis [7] should not be used as a differential diagnostic point, primarily because antibiotic therapy is effective only when the diagnosis is made early in the illness. Considering diagnostic testing only in patients with at least 3 weeks of cough is not appropriate medical care. The main limitation to early diagnosis at present is the cost and lack of availability of the special diagnostic tests in many laboratories.

Present guidelines for managing patients with suspected pneumonia [11], or with acute bronchitis [12] do not encourage specific testing for treatable organisms, nor use of antibiotics, unless the chest X-ray confirms pneumonia [11], hospitalization is considered appropriate [11], or the case appears during "documented outbreaks" of pertussis [12]. Instead of rejecting special testing early in an illness, analysis of each patient's need for organism-directed treatment should be made and the cost or test availability issues evaluated. This can only be determined by obtaining a careful, detailed medical history. There would have been a strong vote from our patient in favor of early comprehensive diagnostic testing. Many weeks of an illness that caused major sleep disturbance, anxiety regarding an unknown prolonged illness, sequential use of different antibiotics because of uncertain diagnosis, and inability to work, far exceeded the costs of the laboratory tests.

The case is presented to remind physicians of the signs of pertussis, and to call attention to the fact that adults may direct attention away from the classic description of the disease. Symptoms of cough and fear of sleep in an adult should place Bordetella pertussis infection high on the list in the differential diagnosis. Early identification of the illness by clinical symptoms should allow rapid confirmation by PCR technology and initiation of proper treatment.

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by justintimejohnnie, Apr 22, 2015
The above post w as taken fon this website

and should be faxed to doctors because obviously they haven't got internet.

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by crs9683, May 05, 2015
Anyone here develop laryngospasm after being prescribed benzonatate (commonly know as Tessalon)???

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by Nettie1967, May 17, 2015
About 90 percent of you are describing symptoms of Reinke's Edema of the vocal chords/folds.  It is not a diagnosis that many doctors in the U.S. are prone to make because your insurance companies don't like it.  Why? Because depending on the severity of it's advancement, it is nearly100 percent treatable with a simple laser surgery that costs much less than your thousands you are spending on medications that treat the symptoms instead of curing your illness.  You are welcome.

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by firepro, Jul 28, 2015
Hi, found this forum/link and I am relieved to know that I am not alone. AS I WRITE THIS, I AM STILL SICK. IT STARTED AROUND JULY 4.

First, to crs9683 - My story is to follow, but when they put me on the Benzonatate (Tessalon Perles) (supposed to aid in coughing, but did nothing for me) it did not cause laryngeospasms, but I really thought that the Promethazine DM (Phenegran DM) did. Afterall, I didn't start vomiting until I started taking the Promethazine DM and then, the gasping for air started. That said, the Promethazine DM is a combination medicine. It works like an antihistamine and the cough suppressant side works by shutting off the part of your brain that would trigger coughing (cough center). It never made any sense to me why they would think this would work on what I have. I read that you would need to cough some to get rid of it.

I started out coughing with congestion and drainage which got worse (sometimes dry and sometimes you could hear the mucus) due to getting it from my daughter. She only had a cough. About a week went by. I called to get in with my doctor and of course he couldn't get me in so, they put me in with his nurse practitioner (I am a new patient and I'd never even met her). The cough was violent and often accompanied by chest congestion. She was with me less than 10 minutes. She left so fast, I couldn't find where to check out. She prescribed Amoxicillin and mentioned an upper respiratory infection. I believe she's the one who also prescribed the Promethazine DM. After about a week, no change with anything. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't work, nothing. The coughing was so violent that I started throwing up my dinner (you take the Promethazine DM at night).

I went to MedExpress...don't do that. I was still violently coughing, had chest congestion, vomiting from the coughing and now gasping for air after coughing fits. I now had right-side chest pain. I was tired, achy and needed help.
They prescribed a Z-pack (Azithromycin)(Zithromax), gave me a breathing treatment there with Albuterol, prescribed Benzonatate (Tessalon Perles) and Predisone and did a chest x-ray. It was negative for Pneumonia.

After two days of still gasping for air, I went to the Emergency Room. I also went because I was having the worst chest pain I had ever had just on the right side. It hurt so bad, but I couldn't cry because the coughing fits would start and I wouldn't be able to breathe. I laid as still as I could in bed the night before and refused to move. Worst experience ever. Took 14 hours (about 7 hours just to be seen) in the ER! They took me off of the  Z-pack (Azithromycin)(Zithromax) (said it wouldn't help me), said to keep taking the Benzonatate (Tessalon Perles), more breathing treatments and gave me an Albuterol inhaler. Never diagnosed me. I was still gasping for air, still violently coughing and vomiting from coughing. Although the coughing fits have lessened, they are still there.

My mother had called me in a panic and said that she saw a commercial for Whooping cough and that I needed to watch videos, etc. I searched this on YouTube and sure enough, that's what I sound like (the adults). I was staring at the same gasping for air. It was early AM, I immediately called my doctor's office back; (even if it was too late to help me, I had read that with Whooping cough that the rest of the family would need an antibiotic as a preventative measure) they weren't open so, I left a message with the stupid answering service. I told them I had trouble breathing, I had violent coughing fits, congestion and vomiting from coughing and chest pain. No one ever called me back. You would think that when you tell someone you're having trouble breathing they would care... I called them back and they reluctantly got me in late afternoon.

My doctor put me back on the Z-pack (Azithromycin)(Zithromax) that the ER took me off of, said to keep taking the Prednisone (ten days) and to stop taking the  Benzonatate (Tessalon Perles) and Albuterol breathing treatments and said they would not help me. He then put me on the inhaler Asmanex Twisthaler (Mometasone Furoate Inhalation Powder) twice per day. He had it there so, he must be helping out a drug rep. buddy. I don't have asthma and never have. I don't really have allergies either. He wouldn't test me for Whooping cough and doesn't care that my chest hurt so bad and still does. He just said it must be viral. I reminded him that I had gotten this from my daughter, but that she only had a cough; not the rest of this hell. I had told him that she was given a Z-pack and that she's still coughing. SHE'S STILL COUGHING TODAY. He said well, if that didn't help her, it's viral, but yet he put me on the Z-PACK! I guess to attempt to shut me up. I must say dairy (milk, yogurt, dressings), etc. make the congestion worse and cause more coughing fits. I am still gasping for air. Everything irritates this...dry air, hot air, perfumes, dust....The Asmanex Twisthaler (Mometasone Furoate Inhalation Powder) twice per day seems to help for some reason. Again, I don't have asthma.

It's still hard to talk for long periods of time, walk for long periods or eat a lot at once. Cold air's hard to work like this.

I really believe this is Whooping cough and is VERY SLOW to go away. Maybe if they had just put me on the Z-Pack in the first place and not Amoxicillin. I am afraid that this coughing, congestion, gasping for air and chest pain are permanent now. I need someone to just listen to me. Four doctors later/switching meds around and this is still here. Going on a month now. I have wasted about $170 on prescriptions that they have switched/stopped. Not to mention the co-pays and bills that will soon be coming.

After finding this forum, I did see where the gasping for air after coughing fits could be a laryngeospasm. I further found that I could have vocal cord dysfunction/damage. Laryngeal spasm caused by vocal cords constricting due to irritation caused by fluid (post nasal drip in the back of the throat). I don't know why the doctor(s) (4 of them) couldn't test me for Whooping cough and just keep me coming back. I can't breathe right. Anyone had success with an ENT? I mean, I just got sick out of the blue with a cough, congestion, drainage... won't go away. I am tired of the doctors and their blah attitude.

Is there anything else I could ask my doctor? I will have no choice soon, but to go back. I don't want to just calm myself with this gasping for air, I want this cured. I should not be sick a month later. I am finishing the Z-Pack/Prednisone. I am scared to think what will happen with this inhaler is gone. I don't have asthma, but I can talk for longer periods of time with it. I however, do not need the side effects of it just because they don't know what to do and they might keep me on it a lot longer.  

Avatar universal
by wildeman, Aug 16, 2015
I have had this sa me laryngeospasam happen 100's of times since I turned 18, now 48. Same as most of these no known prognosis. I have had it start just by swallowing wrong to numerous episodes when sick with any kind of cough, nasal drip. I have learned over the years when it starts coming on I stand straight up tilt my head back staring at the ceiling behind causing my airway to open slightly. The breaths are still laboured but nothing like the trying to draw air through a brick. Staying as calm as possible help. I hope this helps someone.  Ben Wildeman

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by lorilynn86, Sep 11, 2015
This board is a life saver in just knowing so many people have the same thing as me. I ended up at our walk in clinic then the ER who gave me arithromiacin and steroids.. not sure if  thats what helped me but spasms happen less during the day. It seems my morning routine of inhaling steam with euqalypus ,drinking lotsa water and hot tea with honey gets me feeling a little better. This combination makes airway moist so when I do cough it is productive (not dry) and helps to bring the mucus up.I still have minor spasms but theyre easier to handle than the more severe not real hopeful my doctor will know anything this morning but I have written much down from the advice here. I think it will b a guessing game as everyone is different... I think I would b in a mental hospital had I not found this board with the breathing tips and just the support of knowing im not alone with this condition. Thank you!!!!

spasm when trying to hack it up but I feel I have to , that the mucus in my lungs is the problem.  if my lungs!!! I went through thru 4 days of terrifying spasms, happening just about every time I coughed and then on the 4th day of the steroid and arithrimicin, the spasms lessened. Now for the last 3 nights I get bad ones at night. Im afraid to go to sleep and am echausted. I had the week off work and I cant imagine going back as I am a homehealth worker who is in many different houses where there are pets and many irritants and part of my job is house keeping. Plus I have to talk to people and the wek ive been home "sick" I havent talked much because I get the dreaded tickle in my throat.I seriously thinking I ewnt to just quit and move in with my parents until this is figured out! Im 47 and have a 16 year old and 20 year old living with me . Haha

Avatar universal
by KMCooper, Sep 30, 2015
by KMCooper

Thank you so much for beginning these posts...came to web, looking for help after a Dr. visit where I felt he did not listen to my deep concerns. He said lungs clear and did do pulm function tests and breathing treatment and gave me rx for new Proair inhaler, but when asked what to do when I get another attack he just said to try to relax and breath slowly or to go to ER! I seem to have 2 types of awful throat closures; 1 w/colds (scary spastic cough where you can't catch your breath in between) and 1 can come while healthy w/some trigger and that is a total throat closure. I looked forward to reading all of these posts, because I too know it is a combination of reflux affecting throat, as well as sensitive esophagus/larynx. Since I have been on Flonase for the last year, it seems the allergy/environmental irritants have been less of an issue. I share your fear, with this episode, of going to sleep. It is a scary thing not knowing if you will wake up gasping for breath. I wanted to share that for that tickle that may trigger coughing episode, found Chloraseptic max throat spray seems to have helped. Keep the posts coming and hoping we can all share anything that we find can help us try to live a normal, long life!

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by gailsteve, Oct 15, 2015
I too had one of these terrifying episodes this morning. After battling for a few weeks with a bad chest, I went to the doctor and was prescribed various medications. I woke up, started coughing, and the couldn't breathe. I was literally gasping for air and thought I was going to die. My husband rushed me to the er where they nebulized me. Very strange because my chest exrays and bloods came back clear and there's no temp. Am on more meds but my chest still feels bad and I try not to cough because I'm terrified of another episode.

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by Grosby, Dec 18, 2015
Hi Everyone,

Back in September 2015 I suffered Coughing fits where my throat would close up and I couldn't breath for about 15-30 secs causing me to fall to the ground grasping for air. I've never had anything like this before and I've had asthma before.
Long story short I went to a specialist who has put me on a drug called Lyrica. It stops the brain sending messages to the throat to close up. Ever since I've taken it I haven't had a issue.
The specialist also advised me to make a lemon honey drink 3 times a day. The drink is 3 tea spoons of honey, squeeze 3 quarters of fresh lemon into a glass, add the squeeze lemon quarters to the glass and then hot water. This will sooth the throat and also has a natural antibiotic action.
Specialist also recommended I drink at least 2 litres of water a day, no alcohol, no caffine drinks and limited talking. ( don't yell and don't whisper just normal tone)

Its taken 3 months and I'm happy to say this has worked!!!

I'm from Australia and the drug is called Lyrica here.

Avatar universal
by GBLH, Jan 29, 2016
Hello fellow sufferers,
in 2008 VPFM wrote about having whooping cough as a kid and having his/hers begin with a tickle in the throat. It happens when the air is dry or after a cold.  This is exactly my story.  My throat closes.  Sometimes I can inhale through my nose, which I try to do to avoid aggravating the throat spasm. Occasionally this works.  I just read a post saying to look up at the ceiling to open the throat.  I will try that also next time. Mostly the throat spasm lasts 15-30 seconds.  It feels like forever and I always wonder if this is the time I won't recover.  I had whooping cough at 14 with no treatment for it in 1954. That spasmodic coughing began, feeling exactly like the whooping cough after I'd had 3 children and was close to 40.  It seems to have gotten worse once I got into my 70's.  It never happens again the same day. It usually doesn't happen more often than monthly. My friend, a nurse, discovered it happened more often when I had eaten a lot of peanuts or nuts. This was true.  So I avoid nuts for weeks if it happens and limit my consumption of peanut butter or power bars.with nuts. I actually went to a local Cough specialist and paid out-of-pocket to learn that there really isn't anything to prevent it.  He recommended a nasal saline treatment daily with the little Neti nasal pot.  His theory was that keeping the sinuses cleaned might help.  It didn't.  I hesitate to try Lyrica, because I have made it to 75 with no medications preferring naturopathic and homeopathic approaches.  Because that spasm mimics the whooping cough I had as a kid it is natural to wonder if there is any relationship.  Mine is not acid reflux, and it happened yesterday while I was seeing a counseling client with anxiety issues.  Very bad timing as my client looked terrified.
GB from Laguna Hills, California

Avatar universal
by GBLH, Jan 29, 2016
GBLH 1-29-16

An addendum:

I have spent 2 hours copying and pasting some of the natural (non medication)  suggestions for "laryngeospasam" on this thread from the past  into a Word doc.  There are amazing stories in this thread, some containing great tips.  I will now look up as well as inhale through my nose. I will exhale using the pssss sound without puckering my lips, allowing my belly to go in as I exhale and relax outward as I inhale to relax pull diaphram muscles downward opening up the lungs.(mimi111, Feb 12, 2010) and (kingy33, May 22, 2009 who offered the website  I am intrigued by Nancydah, Aug 28, 2009, who said she presses behind her daughter's earlobes, moving her jaw forward and gave the website: bud: Vaff, Mar 18, 2015 gave 2 websites to check: and for homeopathic remedies:

From RHSphd, Mar 23, 2009  I learned about "" Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) is a hidden, yet common, usually unsuspected condition of throat closure &/or choking sensation that can strike any age" and the website: bl2468, May 24, 2009 says his/her  spasm was diagnosed at lorengo spasm that can  be deadly

  I am completely fascinated with the post by abcOz, May 22, 2009, who blew, like blowing out a candle, into her husband's mouth giving him instant relief.  I am going to try to locate one of the old bulb devices that were once used for sucking mucus out of infant noses or the other kind that squirts warm water into the ears.  I am wondering if keeping one of these handy would blow enough air into the throat to stop a spasm.

y tara11150, Nov 12, 2011 says docs now think chocolate is better than cough drops.  That is great news for general use, but probably not in the middle of a suffocating throat spasm.  bl2468, Apr 06, 2012 keeps Strepsils handy to numb the tickle.  I'm not sure I can get to the Strepsils before the tickle becomes a throat spasm, but it is good to know about it.  silvergirl567, Nov 13, 2009 informed me that there is now an adult booster shot for whooping cough called TDap-get which I will look into. There were so many references to the recurrence of "silent" and undiagnosed whooping cough.  I do not feel my own spasms are related to active whooping cough (pertussis), because they span 35 years and occur after colds or when my throat gets dry.  But I thank everyone on the thread and hope that this incomplete summary of some contributors helps new people to the thread, like me.

Avatar universal
by Grosby, Feb 26, 2016
If you dont get any help with natural medicines i do urge you to try Lyrica. I havent had my throat close up since September last year 2015. Im still taking Lyrica until end of march then i can slowly lower the dose to get off it. Your doctor may think its strange to prescribe a drug normal used for people who've had knee construction as it stops nerve pain but it also prevents spasms. Im still drinking 2 litres of water a day and having honey/fresh lemon drinks to sooth the area. Im not drinking caffine drinks or alcohol.
Anyway good luck with everything i hope you find a solution soon.
From Grosby, Sydney, Australia  

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by Ritzy100, Apr 22, 2016
Ive been reading this thread for a couple of years since my spasms/attacks have started to recurr, although Ive suffered these types of attack since I was 25 (30+ years.)

I have racked my brain and observation skills to try and find a common denominator with my episodes but it just seems so terribly random, of course all my friends try to make suggestions like allergy to animals (wear a mask) as I work in a sanctuary and am surrounded by various creatures. But this is a common thread throughout my life and I have years where I dont suffer anything, so Im still at a complete loss.

All of the above posts have been super helpful to me in knowing I am not alone and that it is survivable, the best being:

1. Stand up and go outside - change of air and temperature really do help me
2. Lift face up to the sky - this seems to go some way to open up the airways
3. Grab a fishermans friend - I carry them everywhere with me and if I pop one in immediately I can avoid the spasm as soon as I feel the tickle
4. Dont panic - much easier said than done but is true, relaxing seems to make it pass quicker

All said and done I think the more knowledge and insight we all have on our condition the more we are able to deal with it, so I include a link to an interesting article

Good luck everyone, please keep adding to the thread, all input is valued by me and Im sure by others on the same merry-go-round :)

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by ambienkid, Jun 10, 2016
Hello everyone, So glad I found this site.  I have just experienced by 3rd episode of this scary occurrence this week and it had never happened to me before.  I am 70 years old, got a slight sore throat about one month ago and a weird sort of lingering cough.....not often, but very unusual feeling.  Then it happened that I felt my throat totally close up while trying to clear my throat of mucous.  It was the scariest, most terrifying feelin ever!  Within 24 hours, it happened again when I was awakened by the cough/throat clearing.  It lasts only seconds, but you absolutely know you are not taking in air.  Third episode this morning right after waking up while trying to clear my throat.   I visited the ER after the second episode, who diagnosed it as bronchospasms related to acute bronchitis/asthma.  I do not feel like it is lung/asthma related but totally an occurrence happening in the throat.  Thank goodness, it lasts only seconds......which seems a lot longer.  I am on anti-biotic, prednisone, sudafed and rescue inhaler.  I don't feel like the inhaler is helpful because it's in my throat and not really upper respiratory.  The ER ordered EKG, chest x-ray, blood work and chest CT to check for blood clot in lung.  All appeared normal.  I am really scared and concerned but also relieved that I don't seem to be the only one experiencing this.  However, in my mind, I keep thinking....."what if the episodes start lasting longer instead of just seconds.  What if it happens when I am alone"  That would totally freak me out.  I wish I could get this thing out of my mind, but so far haven't been able to.  Any suggestions? Help?  

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by Brynnybeagle, Jun 22, 2016
Hi I have just had my first experience of waking at 1am choking and unable to get a breath screeching for breath and unable to speak, my first reaction was to get up and hit my chest I know the episode only lasted about twenty seconds but seemed much longer. Eventually I regained control but have been left with a very sore and irritated throat. I called the nhs24 who sent paramedics, they checked all my vitals but we're not happy I still felt as though I had some obstruction in my throat. At A&E I waited five hours for a doctor to come and see me after sounding my chest and feeling my abdomen he went and spoke to his boss as he called him, the consultant reckons it to be reflux from my stomach which caused the attack this without even looking at my throat , does not Instill a lot of confidence. After reading this I will try not to panic so much if it reoccurs, hopefully not as it was a terrifying experience.

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by Brynnybeagle, Jun 22, 2016
Ambienkid I like you think it is related to my throat, I am 63 and like you all test were OK, I have found this the most frightening thing that I have experienced and am afraid to go to sleep and dread it happening again

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by Billdog3385, Jul 14, 2016
I also suffer from this condition. My doctor has prescribed two different antibiotics and a course of steroids with no change to the symptoms. I have now been referred to the heart clinic for answers !! Just glad to know I am not the only person with this. Updates to follow.

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by daveinoz, Jul 20, 2016
I've had something like this - on and off - since I was about 16 years old.  I'm now 49. I develop a tickle in my chest, which turns into a deep cough. At the height of a coughing fit, my windpipe closes over (not my throat - the blockage feels lower down) and  I can't get a breath.  When I try to breathe, all I get is this high pitched whooping sound.  Also I can't speak, only whisper.

The first time it happened I thought I was going to die.

On average now, it happens to me about once a year and there's no rhyme or reason to when it occurs.  I'm not sick otherwise.  My doctor 30 years ago thought it was some kind of asthma and gave me a Ventolin inhaler, which I never used because it happens so infrequently.

I've found that when it happens now, people around me freak out because I can't breathe and I'm making this terrible sound, but I'm fairly calm, which seems to help.  The best thing to do is go outside, try to relax and let your windpipe gradually open again.  Short, shallow breaths seem to help and as soon as you realise you can breathe - even just a bit - it helps you settle down.  The longest an attack has lasted is about 3 minutes in my case.  Most attacks are over in about 1-2 minutes.The first 30 seconds when you're struggling to breathe at all is the worst.

With the advent of the internet, I've done my own research and the condition sounds a lot like laryngospasm. I don't think it's related to GORD in my case, but I believe that anything that triggers a coughing fit could probably bring it on.

Doctors - in Australia at least - still seem largely unaware of the condition (it must be fairly rare) and there doesn't seem to be a reliable way to prevent it, unfortunately.

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by Snekcid, Aug 11, 2016
I have had a persistent cough for about 20 yrs have seen every kind of specialist and had numerous tests. The problem was eventually diagnosed as bronchiestasis which is a condition where the bronchi become clogged with mucus.  Mucus is normally cleared by fine hairs which move to convey it upwards where it can be coughed up. My condition has been stabilised by a breathing excercise.  Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few secs so that lungs are pressurised, breath out. After four of these give a good 'huff' to bring up mucus (this usually gives me a small coughing fit).  Repeat until no more mucus is expressed.
This works so well that sometimes I forget to do the excercise for a week or so.  
I'm just recovering from a bad cold/flu haven't been doing the breathing  excercise and have had a throat spasm for the first time.  I will get into the excercise and hope that it prevents another attack. Will keep you posted

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by Alconcalcia, Sep 02, 2016
Scary to see how many cases similar to my own there are. The last week has been a nightmare culminating in two incidents of choking through coughing and not being able to catch my breath for 15-20 seconds which led to my wife calling an ambulance. Routine tests like blood, ECG etc. showed nothing yet despite being otherwise quite fit, I am coughing like an 80 year old man on 60 cigarettes a day. It is not only driving me crazy but scaring me too. I stayed up last night until I could stay up no more, for fear of choking again. I have, however, worked out as theory that a doctor friend of mine says may have some mileage.

I had been wracking my brains over the whole trauma of the ambulance incident and I only just thought about this possibility. Back in February I got hit in the throat with a cricket ball travelling at high speed while at nets practice  - some guy cracked what looked like it should have been a full blooded square cut straight back at me. Well, it deflected off my collar bone and up into the right side of my windpipe. My concern at the time was whether I had broken my collar bone  - I hadn’t, but because it jarred my throat quite badly I wondered if the following could apply, if for instance, I subsequently got a cough or cold, as I now have. … (apologies for Wikipedia reference).If a tracheobronchial injury is not recognised and treated early, serious complications are more likely to occur; for example, pneumonia and bronchiectasis may occur as late complications.  Years can pass before the condition is recognized. Some TBI are so small that they do not have significant clinical manifestations; they may never be noticed or diagnosed and may heal without intervention.

If granulation tissue grows over the injured site, it can cause stenosis of the airway, after a week to a month. The granulation tissue must be surgically excised. People with a narrowed airway may suffer dyspnea, coughing, wheezing, respiratory tract infection, and difficulty with clearing secretions. If the bronchiole is completely obstructed, atelectasis occurs: the alveoli of the lung collapse……. Well an x ray taken Tuesday shows I have atelectasis and I can't account for why, when all other physical signs are normal, I am genuinely hardly able to draw breath when I start coughing. I had a couple of minor incidents this afternoon, but night time is worse. My feeling is that the injury may have been minor enough not to need treating then, but subsequent tissue growth could lead to problems when a cough is present.

I am at wits end really as no one can put their finger on the exact cause of my gasping and I have never experienced anything close to it. I am dreading tonight as already the choking is starting, even when sitting upright. When I try to breathe, air kind of gets trapped underneath and comes up as a sort of gurglng burp when I finally manage to breathe.

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by Alconcalcia, Sep 04, 2016
Update. Having considered all possibilities I finally stumbled across a few websites that describe the symptoms of whooping cough and have pretty much ascertained that that is what I actually have. The timeframes and characteristics of the illness tie in exactly with my own condition. I feel fine when not coughing and may not cough for an hour. I might then have a few nasty but not uncontrollable coughs or a really dreadful episode of a fit of coughing where I can barely breathe. And, having read about the outlook for an adult with whooping cough it seems I am consigned to weeks and weeks of this kind of behaviour, with the worst of it generally being at night. My wife and I are already exhausted and really concerned about how we are going to cope, given that we have two school age children too.

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by pinky6, Sep 19, 2016
I have a terrible coughing problem my doctor says I have GERD.mine starts as soon as i put food in my mouth,i dont even have to chew it or swallow it, then every now and again i get this ""feeling"" in my throat and i start loosing my breath,i feel like my air is being sucked in with a straw.i have a constant sore throat,last week we had pizza,about an hour later i had the most horendous coughing fit my throat felt like it was swollen nose runs,my eyes water ,down my face,until the attack has gone.

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by cap2423, Nov 28, 2016

This may be helpful.  Came across this on Youtube.

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by gfwood, Dec 02, 2016
I have a flu virus...clear sticky flem in throat fed by nasal drip, lying horizontal then getting up usually triggers the gag reflex when I try to swallow after clearing throat.  There is a method to this madness in trying to avoid it, but our reflexes act ahead of our plan.

I have had this flu for about 3 weeks and it is in the last week that I have had 4 bouts of total airway closure. Scary? Yes!  Flu is subsiding...I hope the same for the airway shutdowns.

All the best!

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by Sparkle1950, Jan 05, 2017
Wow so many people commenting.  This deserves looking into.  Here is my take on it.

I have chronic sinus, post nasal drip, constantly clearing throat and coughing - productive cough for the most part, but when I'm not hydrated, it seems like it triggers a hard coughing spasm - unproductive.  I have allergies, I have a cat and when I don't dust often, the dust is a player.  Thus the chronic sinus issues.  When I get a cold, it always goes to my chest and ends up bronchial.  Which is now.  Today I picked up an inhaler - they can't determine if I'm asthmatic but some doctors think it is an asthmatic cough.  I think it is allergies triggering sinusitis triggering chronic coughing clearing throat and when the mucous is too viscous, I.e., not hydrating as I should - it triggers a hard awful coughing spasm which can lead to vomit from triggering the gasometer.  Until today.  Today I was coughing so hard, I could not get air in.  I tried to control the cough for a few seconds to get in a tiny squeeze of air but not much.  My chest and upper arms suddenly started burning like little hot pins - I think I was on my as out as no air for 30 second. I raced into the kitchen to tear open the bag of the inhaler I had picked up that day -- got a few sprays in and eventually I was able to breath again and stop the cough enough to shove some cough drops in which seems to help.  I think the problem - allergies triggering chronic sinus....whatever it is - I will always keep that inhaler near me and when my cat dies, there will be no more cats.  I also dust every week and have a good furnace filter.  I think my symptoms fit some of your comments.  The acid reflux comes into my throat sometimes but it's not the same.  You know when your throat is being filled with acid.  My issue comes from the viscous mucous.

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by Sparkle1950, Jan 05, 2017
That was "gasometer"

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by Sparkle1950, Jan 05, 2017

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by Sakki66, Jan 10, 2017
I too have post nasal drip.  I am going to take allergy tablets (which will work like an epi pen)  my clamped throat  happens so randomly that apart from the coughing there are no other common factors.  I can have a reddish throat for a few days then cough once and it clamps.  It drains my oxygen  quickly which makes me dizzy and feel crampy.  My eyes water.  I am prone to having post nasal drip (mucous collection in my throat that makes me cough it up a lot. ) This can be allergy related?   My Doctor,  as I explained the attacks,  said for me to open my mouth.  Then said she couldn't see anything so couldn't treat me???  So I advised that getting to the Doctors whilst choking was a little  impossible.  She just shrugged asking "what do you want me to do?"  If I had answered honestly I would have been struck off.  So I left.  Now I will try periton tablets incase this is an allergic spasm.  Will keep informed.  

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by Sakki66, Jan 10, 2017
I too have post nasal drip.  I am going to take allergy tablets (which will work like an epi pen)  my clamped throat  happens so randomly that apart from the coughing there are no other common factors.  I can have a reddish throat for a few days then cough once and it clamps.  It drains my oxygen  quickly which makes me dizzy and feel crampy.  My eyes water.  I am prone to having post nasal drip (mucous collection in my throat that makes me cough it up a lot. ) This can be allergy related?   My Doctor,  as I explained the attacks,  said for me to open my mouth.  Then said she couldn't see anything so couldn't treat me???  So I advised that getting to the Doctors whilst choking was a little  impossible.  She just shrugged asking "what do you want me to do?"  If I had answered honestly I would have been struck off.  So I left.  Now I will try periton tablets incase this is an allergic spasm.  Will keep informed.  

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by Sakki66, Jan 10, 2017
.... Oh just to add.  I Had acid reflux for years until I found that I,  as well as 70% of the world,  am allergic to dairy and gluten. This proves to me it could be allergy related.  I get water infections a lot too.  Which is the same thing.  

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by Cradach, Jul 12, 2017
I have been tackling something very similar for a couple of weeks, note couple, 14 days.
I started off with a chest infection with light coughing and the lovely mucus build up. But after treatment my cough became more severe to the point that when coughing, my throats would close/seize/contract and only allowing air out. When trying to breathe in I was unable to for a good 30-50 seconds. I was suffocating and could do nothing. On my second coughing fit I passed out as I struggled to breathe in. Coughing out all air and the feeling of mucus build up on voice box. I woke up on floor covered in saliva and well snot! Charming I know. These two time prompted myself to the gp. At first the gp ( I am in Scotland) thought it was a severe throat infection till I had a coughing fit and again passed out on floor. I came to in recovery position on the floor. While I was out the gp called health board and informed them of a suspected case of Whooping Cough. I was swabbed and bloods taken.
Now on average I am having 5-30 coughing fits aday. Some more severe than others. I am confirmed case of whooping cough and a bad one at that. After 21 days being tested is useless apparently as the bug has died and the damage has been done. Now coughing, I have found that codine helps to ease the fits. Have been prescribed cocodamol and also a codine linctus cough syrup. I also am taking ibuprofen for the muscle pain. Now when coughing I have found that if you relax and let the cough happen and do not, I repeat do not breathe in through your mouth! Use your nasal airways!!!! I find that the throat closes at or just above the voice box so using the nose by passes that area and you can breathe. It's still not easy but it works. The main thing is to relax and do not over stress yourself or push to breathe with your mouth! I find also that there is a build up of clear spital or mucus on and around the voice box which can trigger the coughing. Also the back of the throats behind the epiglottis is has a swollen feel and is sensitive and reacts to certain movements or yawning triggering coughing fit!
Now apparently there is nothing that can be done or taken for this to help bar codine and small amounts. It will last estimatedly 100 days! Not a fun time! As I am still battling mine just now, I do hope that this helps some with their problems! One of the strangest and scariest things I've had yet! And it's just a cough!

Take care and relax and breathe slowly!!

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by CathySage, Aug 16, 2017
Ritzy100 - thank you for the link - I too had looked at this link while looking into this problem that I have developed. Another very good explanation for those seeking is a video
Only 2 weeks after a chest infection I was left with a slight cough - but every time I coughed or sneezed my throat completely closed over and of course I was panicking and making horrible sounds trying to breath in. This was happening over a period of 3 weeks when I went to my GP (I'm 43 and live in Northern Ireland) I told him I could demonstrate for him.... So I performed a voluntary cough and hey presto - straight away I was gulping and swallowing air as I couldn't inhale it!!.... He was very surprised and concerned and made my situation more urgent as he was able to see with his own eyes. He called the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Ward in the hospital and spoke to a specialist while I sat there (by this stage I was back to normal). I went straight over to the hospital and was seen straight away by the specialist he had spoken to, who put a camera up my nose and looked down my throat - only to find nothing amiss. The specialist said I was having laryngospasms caused by excess acid in my stomach coming back up and damaging my throat causing my vocal chords to become sensitive. He gave me casuals (Omeprazole, known as a Proton Pump Inhibitor) to take to help the acid, and Peptic Peppermint Liquid to take at night to coat whatever is in the stomach to prevent it coming back up to the throat as you sleep. So far a week later I am still being wakened from my sleep once a night jumping out of bed gasping for breath, but I do feel that I can cough slightly now without the certainty of an attack, and I also sneezed today and only needed 2 noisy gasps before everything started calming down - so definitely an improvement. What was scary is that I actually had one of these attacks in the car last week after I coughed (slightly), but it was quite a long attack and luckily I was sitting in very slow moving traffic as opposed to 60mph!!! I was so afraid of coughing or sneezing as anything at all like that was stimulating these attacks!!.... What if you took one in public, or at you work, or driving, or out for dinner, or drinks.....???? Very distressing for anyone to see that - and certainly embarrassing. Hopefully my symptoms are improving - I will keep you all updated.
For more info and symptoms etc - Google 'Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Gaviscon leaflet' - this is what I got at the hospital was was helpful. Helpful tips are to keep calm, think about what you are doing and try and deliberately inhale through your nose as you cannot breath through you mouth.

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by JMarieM, Aug 25, 2017
Hi all. Just stumbled on this website whilst looking up info re my cats prescription ! I have had laryngospasms for the best part of 30 years and concur it's pretty scary.   A tip that I ve only just discovered recently.  If you feel it coming on - say if you are coughing  or if you splutter having eaten a hot chilli etc , try to breathe through your nose - focus hard , it's not a natural thing to do but it does work and usually dispels it. Also too if you wake up having  a spasm at night concentrate again and try to breathe through the nose.  Apparently too breathing through a straw is meant to help but the nose works best for me.  Basically it reduces the air intake , and therefore quells the spasm on the larynx sooner.  I just realised the lady above mentioned this too.

I ve also had a cough problem best part of 8 years , that was formerly diagnosed as asthma , however in the last year , having had a fresh pair of eyes an ENT doctor look down my throat , seems I have vocal chord palsy , which means one of my vocal chords doesn't t move so when I breathe it obstructs the airway and gets irritated when it should move aside. Also a bit asthmatic too and a bit of acid also doesn't help.  Not a lot that can be done about it bar codeine and Fishermans Friends - agree they are great too , but at least I finally have some answers.

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by Msjbee, Jan 28, 2018
I want to thank everyone for your stories and how you cope with this. My husband and I were attending a wedding recently and he was trying to suppress a cough during the wedding. All of a sudden his throat closed and we rushed outside. I thought he might have choked on a cough drop. I was terrified. I gave him the heimlich and nothing helped. Just as I was running back into the wedding to ask if a doctor was in the house and praying like crazy, he was able to get a little breath and told me to give him a minute. He finally was able to catch his breath. We had no idea what was happening. He is in his early 50s and never experienced anything like this. And we now have a plan for what to do if this ever happens again (breathing in through the nose, out like through a straw, trying to stay calm, etc). Thank you all so much for sharing your stories so that I could find this website that night as I searched through the internet for an answer. Because of all your posts, I was able to rest (a little) the night of the out-of-town wedding without being so frightened.

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by Markwhite69, Feb 18, 2018
I’ve had this happen twice now, once on a train six months ago and last night in bed.. The first time it happened I had eaten a sausage sandwich quickly and then caught a train to London, twenty minutes into the journey I started to get a tickle in my throat, I tried to cough a few times to get rid, but suddenly my throat closed and I couldn’t breath, my mate sitting opposite me was ******** himself. Lucky my nose wasn’t blocked and after about 30 seconds I stopped panicking and started breathing slowly through my nose.. I said to my pal, imagine what would have happened if it had been blocked.. Well last night I woke up with a tickle cough again, but this time I did have a blocked nose.. I went to the bathroom to blow my nose and my throat closed again... I truly thought I was going to die, I couldn’t breath at all... I panicked and tried  as hard as I could to breath. I opened the window to get fresh air in, i kept saying to myself, stop panicking, when I did stop, I started to get small amounts of air through and then after 5mins I was okay.. It was truly frightening, but I got through this by telling myself to calm down.. I’ve now put some straws in my bathroom, just in case it may help.. I suffer with acid reflux, but I don’t think that was the problem, but I believe it was the chilli I eat that night... ***@****

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by sapientiaeultio, May 03, 2018
I think a lot of different causes are in these posts over the years, mine goes back to the onset one of getting a cold that completely closes off your airways. I have a deviated septum that blocks off an ear canal and created a sinus infection. Usual antibiotics and home remedy of hot tea, warm compresses and peroxide in the ear. 2 days in I’m feeling better. I go to work and I noticed my throat started getting sore and I started coughing but didn’t think much of it because I’m on antibiotics and a steroid. The next morning, I woke up and couldn’t breathe. It was like I had tried to eat swallow half a loaf of dry bread. My throat and upper chest hurt so incredibly bad. I tried to take a drink and realized I couldn’t swallow. I was barely able to calmly breathe in gasps and got into a hot shower, thinking it’s sinuses. It did nothing. I was in so much pain I had to call my boyfriend to take me to the ER. There they did a ton of tests and came back I didn’t have any infection in my lungs, no blood clots or heart issues and all x rays came back clear. The gave me a breathing treatment and mild pain reliever which helped me breath enough to start coughing up some nasty stuff. But they can’t find anything wrong with me other than my throat is swollen almost shut and it’s not responding to any common asthma treatments. They sent me home with more steroids. Today I feel like my throat is swollen almost shut. It’s almost gagging at times. I have somewhat of a cough but my lungs don’t hurt, it hurts my throat to cough. I can slowly take a deep breath and my lungs are fine. My ears are still pretty infected, but I’ve never experienced my throat closed up like this before and I have chronic ear infections from the septum issue.
I started taking benedryl in case it is an allergic reaction. Not much difference. I’m desperately trying to find something to help. I’ve done hot tea, Vick’s, humidifier, anti inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen, and expectorants. I do have my tonsils but the doctor’s (I’ve seen 3 now) just say it’s enflamed and they don’t know why and send me on my way. It’s been almost a week. I’m exhausted and can barely sleep because I feel like I’m being choked all the time.
Does anyone have any ideas? Has anyone experienced this before?

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by firewater1, Jun 18, 2018
   I too think there are several different causes with the same outcome. I've been dealing with this for better than 5 yrs. My attacks normally happen during the warm weather months.  Possibly an allergy to something. It starts with a tickle in my throat which leads to hard coughing and then a blocked airway.  I was told by a fishing friend that if I went to the liquor store and bought a bottle of a drink called FIREWATER that  it would suppress the tickle and the tendency to cough. It hasn't prevented all of the episodes but it sure has stopped a lot of them. AT the first sign of that all too familiar tickle take a sip of the FIREWATER and if you didn't wait to long it will stop the tickle and therefore the need to cough.  I'm assuming that it numbs the area of the tickle. Too me anything is worth a try to prevent these scary episodes of not being able to breath.

  Hope this helps some of you.

   PS  Sometimes I have taken two or three sips. This stuff taste and smells just like red hot cinnamon candies.  Thinking of even trying them.  Good Luck

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by firewater1, Jun 19, 2018
  Thought that I would add that when trying to suppress these episodes I tilt my head back and breath through my nose as suggested by others on here. I do this after taking a sip or sips of the FIREWATER. Hope this helps some of you.

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by firewater1, Jun 20, 2018
  After eating some of the candies today I don't think they are hot enough or will work quick enough to stop tickle.  Therefore will keep a small bottle of the FIREWATER , I'm using a small vanilla bottle, with me at all times.

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