Why Constant Throat Clearing Sometimes Defies Treatment
Constant throat clearing is generally not painful, it seldom if ever affects swallowing, and at worst it is a condition that is more than anything else, annoying. It can be annoying to the person who is affected by it, and can be annoying to those nearby, who have to listen to it constantly. Since constant throat clearing is very often a chronic condition, one would expect it to be symptomatic of a serious underlying condition of one kind or another.
Several Of The More Common Causes – It is true that constant or chronic throat clearing often is symptomatic of some underlying condition, but it is seldom symptomatic of a serious underlying condition. The five most commonly known reasons for constant or chronic throat clearing are post nasal drip, acid reflux disease, allergies, sinusitis, or asthma. Some of these conditions can be serious at times, but just as often they are not. Unless they can either be cured or effectively treated however, the constant throat clearing they may be causing is apt to continue.
Sometimes the throat clearing ceases to be merely symptomatic of an allergy or some other disorder, and crosses over the line to become habitual. The person who is affected may no longer think of it as being anything abnormal, but rather comes to regard it as a fact of life. When that happens, the affected individual may no longer consider seeking treatment for the condition. Meanwhile, that person's spouse may be going crazy listening to the seemingly never-ending guttural sounds.
Not The Same As A Chronic Cough - One of the problems with constant or chronic throat clearing is that it often is very difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. When someone has a chronic cough, the reason behind it is often correctly diagnosed in a short time. This isn't always the case where constant throat clearing is concerned. While the throat clearing is often symptomatic of one of the five conditions noted above, there can be other reasons, reasons which often remain unknown. To make matters even worse, medications that are quite effective in treating chronic coughing very often have little or no effect when it comes to treating chronic throat clearing. What is known about throat clearing is it is an attempt to clear the throat of excess mucous. The mucous is usually not infected. There's just too much of it. What is not well understood is why some individuals generate more mucous than they need. If the answer to that could be determined, it might be possible to find a cure for most cases of constant or chronic throat clearing.
Gunshot Wounds - What is somewhat vexing is the fact that it is known that disorders such as acid reflux, post nasal drip, and sinusitis can cause one to have to clear one's throat constantly. If acid reflux is the cause, and it is cured, the throat clearing problem should go away. Sometimes however, the disorder, in this case acid reflux, is successfully treated, but the need to constantly clear one's throat may go away, or it may not. The logic behind this is something like: “Gunshot wounds cause bleeding, but not all bleeding is caused by gunshot wounds. Your bleeding is not due to a gunshot wound, so I don't know how to stop it.” So it is with constant throat clearing.
There is no doubt that acid reflux, post-nasal drip, and allergies are responsible for many instances of chronic throat clearing, and since that is the case, a person with a throat clearing problem would be wise to have any possible cause looked into. It would also be worthwhile looking into the medications one is taking, especially if those medications have been taken for a long time, since medications have sometimes been known to cause chronic throat clearing. There are also a number of rather rare conditions that are known to cause throat clearing, but attempting to find out if one of those conditions is present could be a lengthy, and often quite expensive, process. Some people have had extensive testing done, and have spent significant sums of money, to seek relief from a throat clearing problem. In some cases, the culprit was found and dealt with. In other cases, the culprit defied efforts to treat or eliminate it. In still other cases, and perhaps in most cases, the cause could not be found.
A Ray Of Hope? - There is perhaps a ray of hope that a measure of relief from this annoying condition is possible. Several years ago, a report came out of Queens Medical Centre University Hospital in the United Kingdom about a study that had been done on the problem of constant or chronic throat clearing. It was found that one of the better remedies appeared to be ice-cold carbonated water. While not a cure, two-thirds of those tested nevertheless reported that drinking ice-cold carbonated water markedly improved their condition, with those having the more severe cases of constant or chronic throat clearing reporting the most improvement. Unlike many medications, ice-cold carbonated water is very refreshing, and usually doesn't taste bad. A measure of relief is not the same as a cure, but is better than no relief at all. The ice-cold carbonated water approach may be worth a try.