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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Hard to breathe and hard to swallow

12/14/2009

Question:

I notice my airway seems to become smaller. It bothers me when swallowing large pieces of food. Seems like my tongue thicken also. Is it caused by stress? Is there a remedy?

Answer:

This is not a straight forward presentation.  I would need more information before I could even guess at the problem.  If this is something that comes and goes, it probably can be treated and resolved.  A thorough history and complete head and neck evaluation will probably lead to the diagnosis.  One thought that comes to mind is the possibility of allergies.  Some food allergies will present similar to this.  Allergy testing would be a quick way to make that diagnosis.  It would be my guess that once your throat and voice box are evaluated help for this problem can be decided.

Good luck with this problem.

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati