Have you ever felt a weird sensation causing your throat to tighten, as if it was closing in? This could also make you feel that you cannot breathe, and may even escalate into a panic attack. The reason behind why your throat feels tight can be due to several different reasons, related to your environment, along with your physical and emotional state. If you have experienced this situation first and have always wondered, “Why does my throat feel tight” have a look at the following reasons that could be causing it.
Causes Of Throat Tightening And Their Treatments
1. Acid Reflux
When the acidic fluid from your stomach rises and reaches your esophagus (food pipe), you feel a burning sensation known as heartburn and acid reflux. When you experience acid reflux, the feeling of burning in the throat, or experiencing tightness and obstruction follows. Sometimes the acid moves up to the throat and you may even be able to taste the hot acidic fluid in your mouth.
- Acid reflux is a common digestive condition and the treatment includes dietary and lifestyle changes.
- Foods that contain high amounts of acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, garlic, chillies and citrus fruit should be avoided.
- Each time the acid influx causes your throat to tighten, relax your head on an elevated level, keeping the acidic fluids from rising.
- While antacids are a quick fix for heartburn and acidity, long term problems must be reported and consulted with your physician.
The psychological condition of anxiety is known to morph into physical ailments, and is usually associated with the tightening of the throat. If you suffer even from mild anxiety and wonder “why does my throat feel tight”, the anxiety tends to make the condition escalate, making your throat even tighter. Increased heart rate, shortness of breath and sweating are often accompanied by the tightening of the throat.
- By drinking some water, you subconsciously give your body that the throat has not closed in, it also helps get rid of the lump in your throat by hydrating the throat muscles.
- It is suggested that involving yourself in physical activities such as jogging, helps in reducing the impact of the panic attack. It helps your muscles relax and diverts your attention from your body, thus relieving you of the built up stress.
- Drinking herbal tea such as Green tea of Kava (decoction) also causes you to relax physically and mentally.
3. Thyroid Condition
The thyroid gland, which is situated right in the region of the throat, has often been associated with the tightening of the throat. Swallowing food and water can become difficult when there are nodules in the thyroid gland, making the esophagus rigid and constricted. If you encounter the feeling tightening on your throat frequently, in could also occasionally be a tell-tale sign of hyperthyroidism.
- The problem of hyperthyroidism is a medical condition and best treated with the right guidelines suggest by your physician.
- Although hyperthyroidism is not strongly related to the tightening of the throat, your doctor may advice you to improve your thyroid hormone levels by taking synthetic thyroid hormone supplements.
- If nodules are detected in your thyroid glands, the physician will provide a treatment depending on the effect of the nodules on your health and their size.
- Unless the nodules that causes obstruction in your throat is detected as cancerous, your doctor will provide a regular synthetic thyroid hormone replacement.
4. Food Allergies
A certain type of allergic reaction can be triggered by the consumption of a number of foods. The common food allergies are caused by dairy products (lactose intolerance), wheat, seafood, eggs and different types of nuts. If you are naturally allergic to such foods often experience swells and constant itching on their lips and feel tightness in your throat. In severe cases of allergic reactions, the tightness of throat may follow shortness of breath, wheezing and complete blockage of the throat passage.
- When you experience tightening of the throat every time you eat a particular type of food, consult your doctor to find out whether you are allergic to the food group.
- In case of ready processed foods, read the label carefully to look for the foods that causes an allergic reaction in your body.
- Over the counter antihistamine such as Benadryl have been known to be effectiveness in reducing the effects and symptoms of throat tightness.
- In case of severe allergies, your physician may also provide you with an allergy kit for emergency situations. This kit usually contains an EpiPen, which allows you to give yourself an injection of epinephrine in case of drastic allergic reactions.
Additional Health Conditions
Apart from these common causes that give you the feeling of throat tightening, there are additional medical reasons to it.
- Common Cold: Influenza or common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. This common medical condition is often diagnosed by the symptoms of runny nose, coughing, tight throat and fever. Most of these symptoms should go away in a couple of weeks, however, some chronic cases which causes the condition to last up to 3-4 weeks.
- Medicinal Allergy: Some people are not only allergic to the natural foods and ingredients, but also to medicines, which causes rashes in their throat, leading to the feeling of tightness. Wheezing and shortness of breath is often experienced, along with increased heart best and sweating in some cases. Consult your physician and report the medicine which causes your throat to feel tight, so that they may replace them.
- Strep Throat: The pharyngitis infection causes due to the streptococcal bacteria, which invades the pharynx and the tonsils occasionally, casing strep throat. Fever, sore throat and swelling of the lymph nodes is among the symptoms of this disease. This infection causes about 37% sore throats in children and about 5-15% in adults all over the world.
When To See The Doctor
Although the occurrence of tightness in the throat is quite common, chronic throat tightness can be life threatening. If you have been diagnosed to be allergic to certain foods, medicines and insects, and yet you come in contact with them causing your throat to tighten, you should visit your doctor immediately.
In most of the cases, tightening of throat is does not put your life at risk and can be cured easily. The next time you ask yourself “Why my throat feels tight”, just give this list a look to find the causing agents, and contact your medical supervisor for consultation.