Throat clearing psychology

This study investigated the relationship between depression, somatization, anxiety, personality, and laryngopharyngeal reflux LPR. We prospectively analyzed patients with symptoms with LPR using the laryngopharyngeal reflux symptom index and the reflux finding score.

Seventy nine A significant correlation was detected between the presence of LPR and total scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 5.

What can cause frequent throat clearing?

LPR was significantly more frequent in those with depression than in those without A multivariate analysis confirmed a significant association between the presence of LPR and depression odds ratio, 1. Our preliminary results suggest that patients with LPR may need to be carefully evaluated for depression.

Laryngopharyngeal reflux LPR is retrograde movement of gastric contents into the larynx and pharynx leading to a variety of upper aerodigestive tract symptoms. Many of the symptoms related to LPR are nonspecific, such as voice change, chronic throat clearing, chronic cough, globus pharyngeus, and dysphagia. Most patients complaining of these symptoms do not show specific abnormalities on a laryngeal examination.

The present study investigated the associations between depression, somatization, and anxiety and the presence of LPR in a routine clinical practice to better understand the relationships between depression, somatization, anxiety, and LPR. Patients with chronic laryngeal signs and symptoms suspected to be reflux-related and who visited the Department of Otolaryngology-HNS, the Catholic University of Korea between April, and June, were assessed for study eligibility.

The institutional review board of Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital approved all protocols and the study design, and all patients gave written informed consent.

The reflux symptom index RSI is a self-administered nine-item questionnaire designed to assess various symptoms related to LPR Table 1. Each item is rated on a scale from 0 no problem to 5 severe problemwith a maximum total score of 45, indicating the most severe symptoms.

This study used the following measures to investigate the associations between the presence of depression or somatization and symptom severity in patients with LPR. The BFI consists of 44 items; higher scores represent higher levels of each personality trait. The statistical analysis was performed using SPSS v. The chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, multiple logistic regression analysis, multiple linear regression analysis, and correlation analysis were used, as appropriate, to detect significant associations among the distribution of categorical values.

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A total of patients participated in the study [ However, no differences in the presence of LPR were observed between those with and without somatization, anxiety, or personality traits Table 1. LPR-related symptoms are commonly presented to otolaryngologists. Globus sensation, throat clearing, cough, and other nonspecific symptoms are different presentations that may be related to LPR.

The most commonly reported physical findings of LPR on fiberoptic endoscopy are edema and erythema of the larynx. Many studies have evaluated the psychological influence in patients with non-specific upper aerodigestive tract symptoms, particularly globus. Globus has been thought to be a definite hysterical symptom, as it is strongly associated with depressive illness responds well to antidepressant therapy.

Globus symptoms in men indicate a much more profound psychological problem than those in women with the same complaint. However, studies investigating the relationship between LPR and psychological factors are rare. A recent cohort study found that one-third of patients with LPR suffer from anxiety and significantly reduced social activities compared with those in controls.

Throat clearing and cough causes - Ohio State Medical Center

The relationship between psychological distress and GERD is complex and poorly defined. GERD may contribute to psychological distress, and in fact, psychological distress may contribute more significantly to poor quality of life than do symptoms. In a meta-analysis by El-Serag, persistent GERD symptoms despite medical treatment were associated with decreased psychological and physical well-being.Interviewer: You have this feeling like you have to constantly clear your throat.

Katherine Kendall's a laryngologist.

throat clearing psychology

What's going on? Kendall: That sensation usually starts from an irritation in the larynx from a cold or a cough, or another exposure. The feeling goes on after the original problem has resolved, and it's like scratching a mosquito bite.

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The more you scratch it, the more it itches. So I generally recommend that patients try to stop throat clearing. Interviewer: So, generally, it's not caused by anything other than just a habit. So what do you do? Kendall: I recommend substituting the response with a throat clear with something other than a throat clear, such as a hard swallow, a sip of water, chewing gum, or even snapping a rubber band on the wrist.

Kendall: Three months should do it. If not, an individual should seek care from a laryngologist. Announcer: To find out more about this and other health and wellness topics, visit thescoperadio.

Find a doctor or location close to you so you can get the health care you need, when you need it. Subscribe on Itunes. Download Podcast. Interviewer: And how long until I see some results?

For Patients Find a doctor or location close to you so you can get the health care you need, when you need it. Related Podcasts.Most people clear their throat from time to time. Sometimes, it is in response to irritants, other times it is just a habit. However, frequent throat clearing may be due to a medical condition. A person may clear their throat often because it feels like something is tickling or stuck in the throat.

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These sensations can occur even when nothing is there. In this article, we explore some possible causes of frequent throat clearing. We also describe when to see a doctor and general treatment options.

The sinuses, throat, and nose all produce mucus that a person usually swallows unconsciously. When mucus starts to build up or trickle down the back of the throat, the medical name for this is postnasal drip. Causes of postnasal drip include infections, allergies, and acid reflux.

A person may also notice additional symptoms, such as:. Treating the cause of postnasal drip is the best way to reduce throat clearing and other symptoms. Treatment options may include:. Other tips for relieving postnasal drip can include staying hydrated and using decongestants, nasal sprays, and saline irrigation methods. A specific type of reflux called laryngopharyngeal reflux LPRalso known as silent reflux, often causes frequent throat clearing.

LPR involves acid from the stomach flowing back up the esophagus and into the larynx and pharynx, leading to throat irritation. These include:. Swallowing problems can result from neurological issues or structural abnormalities inside the body. Difficulty swallowing can also lead to throat irritation and frequent throat clearing. Doctors commonly prescribe angiotensin converting enzyme ACE inhibitors to treat high blood pressure.

These drugs can cause nasal congestion and postnasal drip, and a person may respond by clearing their throat frequently. Currently, no studies have indicated whether throat clearing is a common side effect of ACE inhibitor use. However, research suggests that up to 15 percent of people who take these medications develop a chronic cough. The underlying cause of the cough can lead to nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and frequent throat clearing.

Anyone who experiences a concerning or bothersome side effect of a medication should speak with their doctor, who may suggest changing the dosage or switching treatments. Tics are sudden and repetitive twitches, sounds, or movements that the person cannot control. According to a studythroat clearing is one of the five most common symptoms of tic disorders. Their cause is unclear, but these disorders appear to run in families and occur more often in males.

When abnormal growths — such as polyps, nodules, or cysts — grow on the vocal cords, it can feel as if something is stuck in the back of the throat. Causes of these growths can include:. First, a doctor usually treats the underlying cause of the growths. They may later recommend surgical removal of a growth that is large or does not respond to treatments. Some people require speech therapy. Diagnosing this is the first step toward appropriate treatment.

throat clearing psychology

Throat clearing usually only requires treatment if it is becoming bothersome or causing discomfort. The best way to reduce or prevent the symptom is to address any underlying causes. Throat clearing is a natural response to irritation in the area or a feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat.

It can also be a conscious or unconscious habit.Clearing the throat can be traumatic to the vocal folds vocal cords. The vocal folds may become inflamed and there may be some localized irritation. In sum, repetitively rapping the vocal folds together is potentially damaging and this alone can be sufficient to cause a voice difficulty.

For example, throat clearing is a commonly associated with of functional dysphonia. Frequent throat clearing is a self-destructive, repetitive cycle. Mucus throat secretion builds up on your vocal folds. So…you cough! This blows the mucus off your vocal folds and your voice recovers for a few seconds.

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But the benefits are well worth it. The first step is to simply take a normal sip of water. Just take a sip. And see if that has helped to remove the desire to cough or clear your throat. For this, take a small sip of water and hold it in your mouth. Now place the palm of one hand at the top of your chest, resting on your sternum breast bone. Lower your chin slightly. At the same time, gently push down on the top of your chest.

For this, take in a relatively deep breath and, again, place the palm of one hand against the upper chest on the top part of the sternum. But remember, you must not cough at the same time. This has the effect of blowing any gathered mucus off the vocal folds.

Now, as this is quite a drying technique, you will then need to take a small sip of water immediately afterwards to lubricate your vocal tract. But do not cough or clear your throat!

Whilst these steps are not overly difficult to perform, breaking the habit of throat clearing can take quite some time.

It can be helpful to ask someone you trust to gently alert you if they hear you clearing your throat. This can act as a gentle reminder that you need to practice these steps for ridding yourself of this potentially harmful habit.

In other words, if you perform a swallow maneuver without anything in your mouth no liquid or foodyou can only do this a maximum of three times in succession, Try it and see! So, if you are attempting any of the above ideas e. This way, you will avoid any unnecessary strain. Drinking plenty of water for a healthy adult, up to about 8 glasses each day can help to thin the mucus.

Also, eating too many dairy products may thicken the mucus. Stop Throat Clearing! Graham Williamson.

What can cause frequent throat clearing?

Categories: Voice. Related posts:. Voice Production. Diaphragmatic Breathing. Common Voice Difficulties.You're sitting in a quiet place like a library, religious service or lecture hall, when the silence becomes interrupted by the guttural tones of someone who is frequently clearing his or her throat. Mind you, this is no mild "ahem. And it continues, without any coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing or other outward signs of a cold or allergies.

Excessive throat-clearing is more of a symptom than a diagnosis, says Dr. It usually starts with a physical component, such as acid reflux or an upper respiratory tract infection. But then it can become behavioral when it becomes habituated, he explains.

So, how can you tell the difference between garden-variety throat clearing from a cold, sore throat, or seasonal allergies and the chronic kind?

If it lasts less then two weeks in general, that's situational, says Song. If it's greater than three months and it's there all the time while you're awake, that's chronic throat-clearing. Two of the most common causes of frequent throat clearing are laryngopharyngeal reflux, or LPR, and seasonal allergies, explains Song. Reflux from the stomach, which may or may not be acidic, comes up through the esophagus and into the back of the throat, where it can irritate the voice box.

People with LPR may also have post-nasal drip, an excess of throat mucus, or the feeling like something is stuck in the throat, but nothing is there. With allergies, an environmental trigger whether it's pollen, ragweed, or mold is causing itchiness and inflammation in the nose and throat, which forms one continuous airspace. It's tickling the throat creating a desire to clear it.

People with allergies or reflux are also producing a dry, sticky mucus that's leading to a phlegm-filled sound when the throat is cleared.

Sometimes asthma can make the throat irritable and hypersensitive. Chronic throat-clearing may also occur in a condition known as vocal hyperfunction, where friction along the length of the vocal cords from straining to speak or explosive coughing, forms small ulcers or masses.

Occasionally, excessive throat clearing is a side effect of people taking blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors, so you'd need to switch to a different drug.

Treatment for the problem depends on the cause. There are medications to ease reflux, allergies, and asthma. Voice therapy can help break the throat-clearing cycle of vocal hyperfunction. If you're persistently clearing your throat and it doesn't go away, have your doctor check it out.

throat clearing psychology

Most of the time, people are aware they are doing this and it can disrupt their lives, Song says. But sometimes, a spouse brings the person to the doctor's office because the throat-clearing is driving them crazy, he points out. Body Odd. Cari Nierenberg. TopicsBody Odd. First Published Oct 7am ET.Chicago, IL, Nov. But for some, throat clearing is much more than a bad habit; it's a chronic condition that requires treatment. Simply put, chronic throat clearing is the repetitive urge to rid the throat of an irritant.

Most chronic throat clearers have no idea why they do it or when it began, but those around them know one thing for sure: it's constant and it needs to stop. Chicago allergy and breathing expert, Brian Rotskoff, MD, has spent many years researching the complexities of chronic throat irritations and is one of very few throat clearing and chronic cough experts. Each week, new patients travel several hours - sometimes as many as six - to his Chicago offices, seeking throat-clearing remedies.

Ironically, the urge to clear one's throat is a reflex designed to help the throat by ridding airways of phlegm and other irritants. But a constant cycle of throat clearing does more harm than good.

Like a chronic cough, throat clearing causes inflammation and nerve damage, both of which spark the desire to clear one's throat and fuel the damaging cycle. Often there's real damage to the throat and vocal cords that must be addressed," clarified Dr. At onset, throat clearing can be caused by a wide range of physical conditions.

Anything from stomach acid to chronic sinus infections to anatomical issues or intricate neuropathies may be to blame. Isolating the origin can be very complex, compounded by the fact that patients usually have a great deal of inflammation and damage by the time they seek treatment. They've consumed their weight in throat lozenges and despite repeated trips to their primary physician, there's just no relief," explained Dr. Rotskoff urges patients to seek diagnosis and proper treatment; without them, patients can severely and permanently damage their vocal cords and the nerves of the throat.

Stop clearing your throat and start clearing your calendar. An appointment with throat clearing and rehabilitation expert, Brian Rotskoff, MD, is a small step that can yield a big improvement. Subscribe via RSS. Subscribe via ATOM. Clarity Allergy Center Logo. Register Sign In.It feels like mucous or something that makes me clear my throat all the time. I do this throughout the day.

He also said it can happen to people who have reflux, which I also do not have.

throat clearing psychology

His only other thought was allergies. I have been taking Zyrtec for a week now, and it hasn't improved. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Thank you! Thank you all for the advice thus far! I look forward to getting more advice. For now, I guess I will sigh try going dairy free for a few days, as someone suggested. That will be hard for me, as I drink milk and eat cheese.

Someone else suggested my throat clearing problem might be from a dairy allergy, which I kind of have. I was allergic to milk, but over a year ago, I went to a chiroporactor who does N. But maybe I am still a little allergic to milk? I will drink almond milk for a few days yes, I can do that!

Repetitive cycle

Thanks everyone! You can ask the ENT for Clarinex not the store brand type the type they give is much stronger I didn't have allergies for years and then bam My boss used do do this and it was, indeed, psychological. It did drive us crazy but you could certainly hear him approaching your office!

Try some weak relaxant not sure the spelling is right and see what ahppens, just to break the cycle. Good luck. I think the dr is full of baloney to say that it couldn't be from dairy products! It very well could be IF you're allergic to them!

Relationship between Depression and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Try eliminating one food group at a time Good Luck! If you've ruled out all sources of possible irritation, is it possible it's become a habit? Something that started out subconsciously and now just continues? Just an idea. I know that some medications cause a dry throat and a side affect can be throat clearing and a nagging little cough. My mother in law's doctor suggested keeping lemon drops on hand to keep the throat moist.

You can try getting some of those and see if it helps. If you catch yourself wanting to clear your throat, maybe try getting a drink of water and see if that helps too.

Consider that it may just have become a "reflex" action that you do because you've done it for so long.


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