An ear, nose and throat doctor explains the causes of a choking sensation in the throat, and what you should do.

Have you been experiencing a choking feeling or sensation in your throat?

The most common cause of choking sensation, without a known foreign body incident, is acid reflux, ‘silent reflux’ with our indigestion or heartburn symptoms,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology; one of her specialties is sinus surgery.

“Acid from the stomach comes up and irritates the back of the throat,” adds Dr. Silvers.  This causes it to swell.

“This makes it hard to swallow and gives a feeling of a lump in the throat.

“Patients may describe shortness of breath, choking sensation or trouble swallowing.

“Stress is a big contributing factor to acid reflux.  Stress will increase the production of stomach acid and the acid can reflux up.”

Have you noticed that the choking sensation or feeling in your throat tends to subside or even disappear during times that you’re relaxed or absorbed in concentration? This is a tip-off that it’s stress-related.

An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 


Top image: Shutterstock/Asier Romero

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