Medical Questions > General Forum Topics > General Q and A Forum

Choking on water - throat closes

Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....
User Profile
Like most people, I have swallowed water down the "wrong pipe." However, in the past 6 or 7 years - I have had an experience where a drink goes down the wrong pipe" and I literally cannot breath. This is distinctly different from other experiences I have had where water went down the wrong pipe -- and different from what I have witnessed in others. I cannot cough and my throat seems to completely close -- I can gasp somewhat -- my instinct is to breath in, but I have found it works better to try to exhale. On 2 occurrences -- it got so bad I began to feel a tingling in my body. Eventually, the muscles in my throat seem to loosen a bit to where I can get small amounts of air in and out; within a minute it frees up completely. A couple of times, my son did the abdominal thrust maneuver - which did force air out -- and seemed to help. It doesn't happen a lot -- perhaps 7 -10 times in that six year period. It's happened with water, iced tea, soda - so that doesn't seem to play a role (more with water, but that's probably because I drink water more than anything else).

Any thoughts on causes -- interventions (e.g., inhaler to open throat, "epi-pin" etc.)
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper caseym
|

replied July 19th, 2009
I hope you get an answer for this - I am having a very similar issue!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 16th, 2009
Allergic Reaction to Water
I have the same problem. I just drank some water, choked on it, had the same problem, and wanted to see if anyone else had an answer that would help. I happens particularly often for me when I am surfing and I choke on some water. I told one friend about it and he said he gets it too. It seem like it has been happening for the same amount of time as you...6-7 years, and I am 31 now. An answer would be awesome. It feels like an asthma type reaction. I had a severe allergic attack about 10 years ago due to serious dust and was woken up from my sleep. I used somebody's inhaler and that fixed it. I never used an inhaler before or after.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 16th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
You might want to see your regular doctor or an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT) about this if it is really bothersome. Your throat may not be closing all the way when you swallow. This happens a lot to people when they get older. They'll put thickeners in the water, milk, etc. so it isn't as easy to choke on. However, since you guys are so young, maybe something is abnormal with your throat. But I would think that if that were the case, it would happen more frequently than once or twice a year.

If it's not terribly bothersome, maybe just mention it the next time you are at the doctor for other things. In the mean time, make sure you aren't inhaling when you eat or drink, especially through your nose. Don't talk at the same time, either. If this happens while you surf, wear nose plugs and keep your mouth closed when the water hits you.

Also, be aware that this just happens to people sometimes. It may not be anything abnormal.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied November 5th, 2009
Experienced User
Vocal Cord Dysfuntion Can mimic asthma
Do u suffer from any form of hearburn Question , gerd, Question or relux problems Question , luvcomp i developed the same symptons and after 2 years it was confirmed that i have vocal cord dysfunction Shocked glance lifepreserver . you need to see a speech therapist as well as an ent to check everything doctor . My cords will close when i am active, frightened, or chemicals to. and coming into a warm house from the cold. Now you can't die from vcd sunny , but you can from asthma gosign . Vcd u choke on spittal, on water drinking to fast. If your asthmatic you may have a combination of both. gosign doctor the sooner you know the sooner you can get it fixed, rainbow rainbow ww
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 8th, 2012
Choking on water/food
I have the same problem...if I don't pay very close attention to what I'm doing when I eat I get this panicky sensation that I'm going to choke and when I drink water I feel the same way. I sometimes have episodes where the water irritates my vocal cords somehow and I can't breath very well...sounds like I'm trying to breathe through a swizzle stick (feels like it too).It's damn scary when it happens. I have to force myself to relax or I can't get air until I almost pass out.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied February 9th, 2012
Experienced User
U should see a ENT, ur young to be going thru this and ignoring the issue while your young can make it much worse for you as you get older. Also an endoscopy can show if you have some blockages in the throat, esophagus. please see a specialist asap and do the work. my friend is in her 40's ignored this issue and now is 90lbs and dying of cancer, because there was a growth hidden.. eat on the good days well.. ok good luck
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 15th, 2012
I actually first had an episode while drinking orange juice after just getting out of bed . I was only in my twenties at the time , and I Am now forty. My throat locked up for the first time . It seemed like an eternity , seconds I guess.I started to gasp and choke like I was drowning. The liquid came up through my nose and mouth. THe next day i went to see my doctor , he had tests run on me and didn't find anything so he suggested that I drink out of a straw. Well look at the time line and I'm sorry to say I still occasionally have it but now waking coughing and feeling like I cannot breathe while sleeping. One thing I did discover is that I might have acid reflux. I'm a late snacker of spicy foods and acidic foods , so I try not to eat late . I would really like to know why do I still have the occasional choking In the day when drinking any liquids.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 11th, 2012
what's actually happening
It's called Vocal Cord Dysfunction. Look it up.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 28th, 2012
I have also experienced this, yesterday While eating a cracker I choked on a small crumb and my throat completely closed up, I could not inhale any air for a few seconds, although it felt like it was much longer, panic set in, this is the worst attack I ever had and it really frightened me, after a few seconds my throat started to open up slowly but just enough to get a short breath of air, after a minute or two, my breathing slowly returned to normal, last time it happened I choked on my own saliva and my throat completely closes up, it's a very scary experience.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 1st, 2013
I've experienced this a few times, today was the first where I was "just" drinking water. During prior experiences, there had always been food or some substance I could trace the response to. It feels like the foreign substance lands in the very rear of my palate, almost in the region of my epiglottis. There doesn't seem to be enough of whatever it is I've introduced to actually block my throat. It's more like its presence causes a temporary paralysis in the area, and my airway becomes obstructed.

It is terribly frightening! I had the tingling, etc., others described--I assumed it was because I was close to losing consciousness. Only after going against what seems like you SHOULD do--coughing, back slapping by my wife, abdominal thrusts, etc.--have I been able to relax and regain my breathing.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 15th, 2013
I have had this happen many times where I am gasping for air and my throat seems to close up after i drink water. i figured out if I breath through my nose when I get the panic feeling, I don't choke and don't panic. I still cough a lot, but never feel like i cant breath. This has always worked for me, so just try breathing through your nose. Hope it helps!
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank jackat for this post: Sjivani 

replied September 24th, 2013
Breathing through nose works, if the choking is caused by liquid touching the base of the throat.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 24th, 2013
Breathing through nose works, if the choking is caused by liquid touching the base of the throat.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 19th, 2013
Choking when taking a small amount of liquid
This just happened to me last night i was taking my last drink of wine about a thimble full then all of a sudden i was choking the noise when i was trying to breath was horrible. i was running about the house like a headless chicken then i ran outside hoping to get air but it continued for what seemed ages although probably a minute or so. eventually i could breathe again but then i began to retch and was bringing loads of air out of my stomach this has happened to me about half a dozen times over the past 5/6 years its very scary when it happens. incidentaly i am in my early 60s i dont know if age has anything to do with it as it also happened a couple of times when i was in my 30s and 40s.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 13th, 2013
Choking
It is helpful to read this, I have just had another choking fit and googled choking. I had major jaw surgery in my late thirties, lots of problems and certain my problems are related to this. I have had some terrifying choking fits and go into panic, and have done it on water, very spicy food, frozen drink, soft tea dunked biscuit. I am now in my early sixties, just frightened the life out of my daughter, who left for work in tears. I had the most severe episode with a fragment of shell in a clam sauce in a London restaurant. Paramedics were called as it went on for ages, seemingly and the noise I create of trying to breathe gets louder and louder. The manager performed the Heimlich manoeuvre which seemed to push air upwards, I had a sore throat for days. After several attacks I saw a specialist and had an X-ray after swallowing a dye fluid. He said there was nothing wrong and I could not choke on water. He said that the noise comes after the larynx closes but there is a tiny gap creating the loud noise and the worst that could happen was to pass out and the body would automatically relax allowing you to breathe. I have told people this but panic sets in for me and any observer and it takes a while for my body to return to 'normal' - I am sure I am not!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 13th, 2013
Chocking on fluids
I feel a wee bit better now that i have read your report
Caseym. I am now more careful when drinking any fluids i take it slower especially if in company and we are talking or laughing i try not to swallow until completely relaxed.

It can be quite frightening at the time as you say ,not sure if i would like to pass out though.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 23rd, 2014
about this choking on small amounts of drinking water
Does anybody know what causes this? and if it can be prevented?any treatment? doctors say its all in her head,she cannot choke while drinking water but I was there when it happened to my mother and its damn real and scary
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 30th, 2014
throat closing when choaking
Its laryngospasms. Google it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 30th, 2014
Its laryngospasms. Google it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 30th, 2014
its laryngospasms. Google it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?