The Culprits of Chronic Throat Clearing

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Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Throat clearing ranges from a subtle "ahem" to a more forceful and phlegm-full straining of the throat. For many, constant throat clearing becomes habitual and, left untreated, persistent throat clearing can harm the throat and vocal cords. At Clarity Allergy Center in Chicago, Dr. Brian Rotskoff specializes in everything from asthma to childhood nasal allergies, from pediatric to adult sleep apnea, and everything in between. More uniquely, chronic throat clearers and coughers are among the patients who achieve the greatest relief in his care.

"Often it's the spouse of a throat clearer that pushes them in my door," says Dr. Rotskoff. "It's like chronic snoring--because it's pain-free, those around you are the most bothered." But, as Dr. Rotskoff helps patients understand, there's a lot more to frequent throat clearing than annoying noise. Some patients report that their throat clearing started with a cold or upper respiratory infection, while others are unclear of the onset and simply cite a constant tickle. "Throat clearing is a symptom, not a condition," explains Dr. Rotskoff, who attributes his success in treating constant throat clearing to thorough diagnosis.

Like a chronic cough and even nasal congestion, throat clearing is the result of something affecting the throat or airways. When throat clearing persists for several months or more, the condition becomes cyclical. "Your throat and vocal cords take repeated abuse with constant clearing," says Dr. Rotskoff, "The resulting inflammation only reinforces the urge to clear and the cycle continues. Even if you don't feel discomfort there can be lasting damage to your throat and voice."

Throat clearing culprits

Dr. Rotskoff helps patients explore the root causes of their chronic throat clearing and coughing, which may include:

- Asthma

- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) causing post-nasal drip, thickened mucus, or itchy throat

- Chronic sinus infections

- Laryngeal sensory neuropathy

- Acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)

- Side effects from blood pressure medication (ACE inhibitors)

Laryngeal sensory neuropathy is a very common cause of a chronic cough and throat clearing. "Essentially, the nerves leading to the voice box and larynx become hypersensitive and the cough or clearing are more frequently triggered," Dr. Rotskoff explains. When this happens patients may need medication to calm the nerves and allow healing in order to break the cycle.

"Patients may look at the list of throat clearing causes and think they can diagnose themselves, but often conditions are intertwined and it can be difficult to isolate the treatment needed to quell the constant clearing. We've had great success helping patients overcome chronic throat clearing and coughing to prevent further damage to the throat," concludes Dr. Rotskoff.

Stop your chronic throat clearing with the help of Brian Rotskoff, MD at Clarity Allergy Center. His three Chicagoland offices are conveniently located near Arlington Heights and 60646, 60657, 60659, 60076, 60068, 60714, 60056, 60055 and nearby Chicago towns. For more information visit,, or call, 773-877-3500.

Source: Clarity Allergy Center