Have you ever felt a lump in your throat, and you don’t know why? Have you encountered difficulty swallowing or even breathing? You should know that you are not the only person to whom it happens.
Different problems in the throat area can bring this uncomfortable and worrying feeling of closing the throat. Allergy, gastroesophageal reflux, and inflammation of various kinds can be part of the multiple causes, which you will learn in detail below.
If you want to know all the causes that answer your question about why the throat closes suddenly, this article by FastlyHealwill interests you.
Table of Contents
If you are one of those people who suffer from changes in the weather and when spring arrives, you have to take out your tissues, and the reason why your throat closes is likely an allergy.
Usually, this symptom occurs in those allergic to certain foods, such as shellfish or peanuts. But it can also happen when you inhale a flower deeply, for example, due to pollen.
In addition to the feeling that your throat is closing, you may feel other symptoms such as:
- Clear nasal secretions.
- Itchy throat, eyes, or nose.
- Swelling of the tongue or lips.
- In severe cases: shortness of breath and noises when breathing.
Therefore, if the cause of why your throat suddenly closes is an allergic reaction: the treatment of this problem can be done with anti-allergy drugs and corticosteroids. Acute cases require immediate hospitalization due to the risk of drowning.
Prevention is essential to prevent these pictures from appearing:
- Avoid processed foods.
- Avoid dairy.
- Consume fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and honey (if you do not have an allergy).
Gastroesophageal reflux is the rise of acid from the stomach to the esophagus and the airway. It is much more frequent than is believed.
It can cause different symptoms, including:
- Feel that the throat closes suddenly.
- The sensation of having something in the pharynx.
- Pharyngeal discharge.
- Burning in the throat
- Recurrent sore throat.
- Recurrent rhinitis or otitis.
- Asthma and breathing difficulties.
The most common way to treat reflux is to “turn off” symptoms with antacids or reflux medication. But, if the habits that cause this problem are not corrected, medication side effects and complications will appear.
Among the habits, it is essential to correct:
- Do not lie down immediately after eating.
- Eat moderate amounts.
- Dine early and light.
- Avoid dining on hard-to-digest foods.
- Drink liquids away from food (half an hour before or two after).
- Avoid carbonated drinks.
- Avoid tobacco.
- Reduce the consumption of coffee and alcohol.
- Combine foods properly to prevent them from fermenting in the digestive system.
Learn more about this cause in Gastroesophageal Reflux: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.
Anxiety or stress
Who has not ever suffered from anguish or nerves and has felt it directly in their body? It is a common reaction when facing an unpleasant situation. The problem appears when this becomes habitual or very often.
Due to anxiety, you may have symptoms such as:
- The sensation that the pharynx closes (it is the typical “lump in the throat”).
- Tightness in the throat or chest.
- Palpitations or tachycardia .
- Accelerated breathing.
- Shortness of breath from anxiety.
- Stomach ache.
- We need to evacuate.
It is normal to have these sensations in a specific dangerous situation since it is how our body prepares itself for fight or flight. The real problem appears when these sensations are part of the day-to-day, that is, when situations in everyday life generate bodily reactions of this type.
If that is the case, it is convenient that you analyze what is happening in your life and what is the problem that is generating such an imbalance. And if you feel that you cannot do it yourself and you need the help of a professional, you can turn to a psychologist to help you understand what is happening and how to feel better.
If this is your case, we recommend you read the article How to control anxiety and nerves.
Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing or eating and can be caused by different causes, including:
- Inflammation after radiotherapy.
- Excess alcohol
This is one of the most common causes if you wonder why your throat is suddenly closing.
Suppose the sensation that the throat is closing is persistent and is accompanied by difficulty swallowing. It is advisable to see your doctor since it is essential to rule out the possible reasons for the problem.
In the case of radiotherapy, it is expected that the sensation will improve over time. Still, it may be necessary to administer some treatment to facilitate feeding and hydration.
Of course, correcting habits is extremely necessary to obtain an improvement.
Obstructive sleep apnea
It is about the appearance of pauses in breathing while the person sleeps and one reason why you wonder: why my throat closes suddenly or why I choke while I sleep. It is usually accompanied by snoring and occurs more frequently in any of the following cases:
- Overweight (not necessarily obese).
- Obstructions in the airway (nose, throat, larynx most often).
- Laxity in tissues.
- Drink alcohol before sleeping.
- Eat large amounts before going to bed.
- Gastroesophageal reflux.
- Rhinosinus diseases.
- Neurological pathology (for example, cerebral palsy).
This interruption in breathing can be mild or seriously interfere with a person’s quality of life. You are associating tiredness during the day, drowsiness, and lack of concentration.
The solution to obstructive sleep apnea will depend on its cause.
- If it is inflammation, when it improves, snoring and apneas disappear.
- If there is overweight, it is essential to correct it. Adopting healthy habits such as exercise and improving your diet are keys to obtaining long-term benefits.
- In some cases, surgery is necessary, especially when there are anatomical alterations such as deviation of the nasal septum, lax palate, pronounced base of the tongue, etc.
- In other cases, it is necessary to use a device that by pressure helps to incorporate air into the respiratory tract. It is called CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure, for its acronym in English.
Nasal and paranasal inflammation
Inflammation and infection problems of the nose and sinuses, known as rhinosinusitis, are one of the probable causes of that choking sensation in the throat and why you wonder why your throat is suddenly closing.
Swallowing mucus causes breathing difficulties, but it also causes inflammation of the pharynx, leading to difficulty swallowing, a choking sensation, or a blockage in the throat area.
You may also feel other symptoms such as:
- Clear, green, or yellow nasal discharge. Both in front and down the throat.
- Nasal obstruction.
- Lack of perception of smells or flavors.
- Headaches, face, or throat.
- Itchy nose.
To solve this problem, the practice of nasal washes with seawater or sea salt is beneficial. Depending on the case, it may be necessary to resort to antiallergic drugs, corticosteroids, antibiotics, and, in some cases, surgery.
Foreign body in the throat
One of the causes of why your throat suddenly closes can be this, especially if you are eating when it happens. A piece of food may be stuck, such as a thorn.
It can be a severe condition with an immediate medical requirement, or discomfort in the area may persist for several days, with the feeling of having “something.”
If you think this may be your case, it is essential to go immediately to a health center since there is the possibility that this foreign body may move into the airway.
In the later stages of pregnancy, when the abdomen becomes prominent and puts pressure on the stomach and chest, this sensation of closing the throat, shortness of breath, or even choking may appear.
Treatment will depend on the frequency of this choking sensation in the throat:
- If it is sporadic and you do not feel more discomfort, you should not worry.
- But if you notice that it is something commonplace or that it does not allow you to rest, you should consult your family doctor.
Eating small portions, taking a short walk after eating, and not lying down immediately can help. Avoiding carbonated drinks and hard-to-digest foods is also essential.
General health problems
Different diseases can cause a sensation of shortness of breath or suffocation, especially those related to the lungs or the heart. These include lung diseases such as:
- Chronic obstructive lung disease.
- Infections: pneumonia, pneumonitis, bronchitis.
All of them usually have associated symptoms such as:
- General discomfort.
On the other hand, cardiovascular pathology can also manifest itself with a feeling of suffocation in some cases:
- Decompensated heart failure.
- Ischemic pathology (acute myocardial infarction, angina pectoris).
You can also have palpitations, chest or neck pain, shortness of breath, or cough.
It is essential that you go to a professional if you notice other symptoms such as:
- Frequent shortness of breath.
- You see that your skin becomes more bluish or dizzy.
Treatment will depend on the cause. Resolving the underlying conflict will improve all symptoms, including sudden shortness of breath.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why does your throat suddenly close, we recommend that you enter our Ear, Nose, and Throat category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.