Everyone clears their throat from time to time, whether it’s because of some change in weather, things getting stuck in the throat temporarily, or trying to get another person’s attention.
However, there is a problem if it happens more often than we can count.
Are you aware that constant throat clearing could cause damage to your vocal cords and some other adverse health effects?
There is a lot more attached to regular throat-clearing than you know of, a lot that you will find out as you read this article.
What Causes Constant Throat Clearing?
Some people constantly clear their throat not just for a few days but also for months and years.
Such individuals can suffer chronic throat clearing for years with a lot of difficulties treating it.
Regular throat clearing isn’t a diagnostic alone but could also be a symptom of other disease conditions.
Chronic throat clearing is usually challenging to treat because it occurs because of different reasons. Some of these causes include:
In some circumstances, food allergies or sensitivity can cause chronic throat clearing.
Allergies can cause throat mucosa or excessive throat irritation to develop, triggering throat clearing.
Foods that are associated with allergic reactions in people are usually the culprit of such conditions. Examples of such foods are soy, rice, wheat.
Many people who complain about chronic throat clearing suffer from a disease condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).
It occurs when food substances from the stomach travel back up to the throat region, causing a lot of uncomfortable sensations and chronic throat clearing.
Most people with LPR experience other symptoms, such as heartburn or indigestion, alongside regular throat clearing.
Postnasal drainage is a condition characterized by extra or excess mucus secretion, which drains down from the nose to the throat, causing constant throat clearing, congestion, or cough.
A series of other conditions like nausea, sore throat, and bad breath often accompany it.
This is a condition in which substances traveling from the mouth get stuck in the esophagus.
This condition is known as Zenker’s diverticulum.
It causes food substances stored in the esophagus’s pouch and mucus to get stuck in the throat, causing a burning or itching sensation that results in constant throat clearing.
Side Effects From Medications
Some medications can cause the throat to tickle and itch. Examples of such medicines are blood pressure medications.
Studies have shown that individuals who use these medications frequently report a condition of frequent throat clearing.
If your medications are causing your throat to itch, you can always speak to your doctor to prescribe you a replacement.
Asthma is another respiratory condition that can cause constant throat clearing. It is a condition accompanied by the inflammation of the nasal passageway.
This inflammation irritates the goblet cells in the nose, causing mucus to drip down the throat, followed by a series of cough reflexes and chronic throat clearing.
Besides these symptoms, asthma can also cause hardness, throat tightness, and difficulty breathing.
Episodes of asthma may occur during the day or at night but are always accompanied by a series of throat-related problems.
Symptoms Of Constant Throat Clearing
Throat clearing is usually accompanied by a wide range of other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying causes and conditions attached.
Other signs that affect the throat can also occur because of chronic throat clearing. These symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry throats
- Frequent urge to swallow
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Hoarse voice
- Neck pain
- Pus covering the throat.
Aside from symptoms related to the throat region, chronic throat clearing can have some notable effects on the body system.
This is because something that affects the throat will also have some impact on the body system. Some of these symptoms include:
- An elevated increase in temperature or high fever
- Flu-like symptoms like a sore throat, fatigue, pains, and aches
- Lethargy or malaise
- Drastic unexplained weight loss.
Can Constant Throat Clearing Cause Damage?
If persistent, chronic throat clearing may lead to a cycle of irritation in the throat, ultimately causing hoarseness, discomfort, swelling, and affecting the vocal cords.
Although throat clearing is not strictly associated with many serious complications, it can affect your overall health and your standard of living.
However, failure to treat your chronic throat clearing condition might lead to severe complications or permanent damage to your health.
Some of these complications include:
Difficulty Or Trouble Sleeping
Imagine being unable to get enough sleep for days or weeks because of chronic throat clearing.
Sleepless nights cause fatigue, tiredness, weakness and ultimately can cause the body system to shut down.
Rheumatic fever is a disease condition that occurs following a series of untreated Streptococcus bacterial infections.
It may develop after strep throat or scarlet fever infection that is left untreated.
Rheumatic fever can lead to severe complications like inflammatory, especially of the heart, blood vessels, and joints, ultimately causing rheumatic heart disease.
Spread Of Cancer
Early signs and symptoms of throat cancer are chronic throat clearing, sore throat, and hoarseness that persists for an extended period.
If the underlying cause of your regular throat clearing is an early sign of throat cancer, then you are at severe risk of further complications.
Spread Of Infection
If your chronic throat clearing is left untreated, the infection causing it will continue to spread, leading to more and more complications.
Symptom of the diseases, if left unattended to would lead to progression of the underlying condition.
What Are The Possible Complications Attached To Constant Throat Clearing?
If you need to clear your throat constantly and repeatedly until the point where it develops into a sore throat and hoarseness, then there could be other things in play.
What could this be? What other complications could be attached to your constant throat clearing? Check the following line.
Cancer that forms on the vocal cords can often cause hoarseness or a change in the voice’s sound and pitch.
These signs are early diagnoses of throat cancer that should be examined.
Throat cancer is a type of cancer found in the larynx or pharynx linked to frequent alcohol intake or abuse and bacteria.
Besides the early symptoms like chronic throat clearing and sore throat, difficulty swallowing, voice changes, hoarseness, lump in the throat usually accompanies it.
If you experience any of such signs more often than usual, maybe after two or more weeks, then you should pay a visit to your doctor.
Remedies For Constant Throat Clearing
Before eliminating your constant throat clearing issues, you need to be sure that you discover the underlying causes.
First, you need to be sure that there are no medical causes or contributing factors attached. Medical issues must be accessed and treated by a medical professional.
Schedule a time and consult your doctor if other underlying conditions are connected to your constant throat clearing.
Sometimes the cause might be something simple and easily manageable by something as easy as a change in diet, e.g., people whose chronic food allergies cause throat clearing.
Staying hydrated is paramount in treating constant throat clearing. The importance of this act cannot be overemphasized.
Drinking sufficient water and fluids can be very soothing and also helpful in eliminating constant throat clearing.
It helps keep the throat moist, relieving or reducing the feeling of hoarseness or something being stuck in the throat.
A percentage of people who suffer from constant throat clearing have impaired breathing.
Their breathing may be shallow or laborious; they may have tension and constriction in the neck and throat region.
Breathing exercises can be helpful to such persons, and they will teach them how to breathe deeply healthily, eliminating tension from their throats.
Some lifestyle modifications can also be included to help relieve your constant throat clearing. Some of these modifications include:
- Eating smaller meals slowly. Overeating at a time without taking things slow can affect your throat and give you swallowing problems.
- Increase physical exercises and breathing exercises
- Sit upright when eating meals. Avoid eating while lying on your back.
- Keep your head elevated when drinking water or taking in any food substance.
- Avoid smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol.
I would like to remind you to pay more attention to the body system to wrap things up.
When you notice some irregular changes that have not been happening before, try to note those things and take the steps. What’s more?
Remember to pay a visit to your doctor when the symptoms do not go away after several remedies.
You also don’t have to wait till the situation worsens before paying that long overdue visit to a health care professional.
Healthline: Acid Reflux and Your Throat
Healthgrades: Throat Clearing