Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2008 James, Community Member, asks

Q: What may cause fluid build up in throat that causes coughing to the point of choking and vomiting?

What may cause fluid build up in throat that causes coughing to the point of choking and vomiting, which in turn cause the air way to the lungs to close and prevent breathing?

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Answers (4)
Amy Thomas, Health Guide
6/10/08 2:09pm

It would be important to know the color and type of fluid (white, yellow, or green mucus vs. pink frothy sputum) to narrow down the causes of your cough, but a common cause of such symptoms is post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip is the accumulation of mucus and secretions in the throat; common causes include upper respiratory infections (common colds), sinus infections, and allergies. Acid reflux and asthma can also cause similar symptoms. You should discuss these episodes with your doctor, especially since they are causing breathing difficulties.

seafarers, Community Member
7/ 7/09 5:44pm

I'm having problems with my esophagus; with fluids building up

every few min. the mucus is clear! I've had this problem for about

four months when go to bed,  the problem stops!I experience the

problem all day never when I go to sleep! is there any medications

that might help my situation? I'm not coughing, and I don't have a sore throat! Thank You, Rashid Ali

Brendan, Community Member
8/26/09 3:54pm

I am having the similar problem. With a mucus build up in my throat. Have seen an ENT and GI specialist. My ENT put a camera down my nose and suspected it was ACID REFLUX more than ALLERGIES. MY GI specialist did an endoscopy and didnt find anything abnormal. 


I have tried ACIPHEX, PRILOSEC, & PRIVACID. Nothing seems to help, although at night BENADRYL and a COUGH DROP helps me sleep without coughing or clearning my throat. 


Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

Daniel_Boon1978, Community Member
6/21/10 3:59am

these symtoms are exactly what my wife has thanks you where very helpful

Daniel_Boon1978, Community Member
6/21/10 4:01am

these symtoms are exactly what my wife has thanks you where very helpful

SLP, Community Member
10/10/10 10:35am

This sounds like it could be aspiration related.  Aspiration is when food or liquid (or mucous) goes down "the wrong tube" and into the lungs.  In some people, the coughing reflex (in attempt to prevent the aspiration and "cough up" what is in the wrong tube)  is so strong that vomiting occurs.  The fluid may be the result of chronic aspiration/esophageal dysfunction/reflux/allergies, etc.  A physician may be able to help ID the cause of the fluid, but in the mean time... I recommend alternating bites/sips at meals, taking small bites/sips and eating slowly.  If the problem is reflux related, it may be beneficial to consume small portions at meals and remain upright for at least 30 mins after eating in addition to avoiding esophageal irritants such as caffeine, nicotine, and spicy foods. 






Your friendly speech-language (and swallowing) pathologist.

Mason, Community Member
10/12/10 4:13am

I am sure mine is caused by acid reflux which I have.  My guess is the acid runs up into my throat and I guess is it starts to dry and irritates me to the point where I wake up.  I then feel the need to cough it up.  It can get to the point where I can feel like I am choking as its breaking up.  The taste of the acid is also overpowering and can cause me to vomit.  I think the vomiting causes the remaining acid to break up faster and I keep vomiting and feel as if I am not getting enough air.  I have been successful in not vomiting recently by using mouthwash to get rid of the awful taste.  I also take small sips of water and chew ice to help break up the acid build up. 

demonicus, Community Member
9/23/12 10:26am

I have a similar problem, although not as severe. I believe it is a form of pulmonary edema.

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By James, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/03/14, First Published: 05/22/08