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Friday, November 21, 2008 christine84c, Community Member, asks

Q: Throat closing!

LAtely my throat gets a feeling like it is closing...a strong tickle and tightness. My eyes start watering badly and if I cough to clear it I start to choke. I usually cannot talk and it lasts for about 2-3 minutes, if I have something to drink is helps it. What is this? It happens at all different locations, when I am not eating, and I cannot afford to go to the doctor! HELP!

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Answers (1)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
11/21/08 4:03pm



Thanks for your question.


Two causes come to mind when I read your question and your description of your symptoms.


The first is an allergic reaction.  This could be to medication, food, clothing, animals...pretty much anything.  In some cases this can be life threatening.  You should see a physician, specifically an allergist, who will ask many questions and perform a serious of skin tests in an effort to identify what you are allergic to.  Antihistamines can help block such a reaction, and, if necessary, a serious of "allergy shots" might be prescribed to desensitize your system, and reduce or eliminate the attacks.


The other possibility is anxiety attacks, which in some people can be manifested by the throat muscles contracting and causing the symptoms you described.   This is usually not life threatening, but can be a frightening experience. 


Again, a physician's evaluation would be needed to help define exactly what is going on, and which one of the two scenarios fits your situation.  In the case of anxiety, there are several drugs on the market with little to no side effects that could be used to provide relief.


I hope this has been helpful.


Martin Cane, M.D.



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By christine84c, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/16/12, First Published: 11/21/08