5/10/12

Constant Throat Clearing: Causes, Solutions

An ear, nose and throat doctor explains causes of constant throat clearing, and what can be done about this.

Constant throat clearing isn’t just a nuisance to you if you suffer from this, but it’s also a nuisance to all the people around you who hear it.

“Chronic throat clearing is from acid reflux,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology; one of her specialties is sinus surgery.

“Acid from the stomach comes up and irritates the back of the throat,” continues Dr. Silvers.  This results in swelling.  “The mucous drips in the back of the throat causing post-nasal drip," continues Dr. Silvers.  "This mucous is protecting the throat from the acid which will otherwise cause throat ulcers.  

"The mucous is annoying, however, and causes an individual to clear their throat constantly, or intermittently to speak, depending on how bad the reflux and how much protective mucous is produced as a result.

"Stress is a big contributing factor to acid reflux," adds Dr. Silvers.  "Stress will increase the production of stomach acid and the acid can reflux up.”

Tourette's syndrome can also be a cause of the constant or frequent clearing. Symptoms of Tourette's syndrome can be very mild and are often misdiagnosed as other conditions.

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