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Waking up choking on saliva
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Mrs_pip posted:
I am 32, not overweight, nonsmoker, no health conditions known. For the last few weeks I wake up at least once choking on my saliva, it seems. It doesn't matter if its a long overnight sleep or a short nap. Sleeping position doesn't seem to matter either. I'm not ill, have had no change in health or diet or anything. I wake up suddenly coughing as though I have inhaled liquid. I do frequently choke on my own saliva while awake, but never while asleep until now. Usually it happens when I'm about to talk, I do notice it seems to happen to me more frequently than others.

Worth looking into or I'm just odd? Thanks!
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Yes, this is an odd symptom, but definitely worth looking into. I would like to help you out, but I really don't have a clue what is causing your sudden overproduction of saliva to the point of choking on it. Hopefully, a good ENT may be able to find an underlying reason.

In the meantime, try an antihistamine (assuming you can medically take them). This could dry up the faucet a bit...
 
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Mrs_pip replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thanks, I will definitely get it checked out. It seems to happen once a night about an hour or two after I fall asleep. I wake up as I begin to cough and it's definitely one of those "went down the wrong tube" type coughs.
Thanks for replying!
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Mrs_pip's response:
Another possibility would be REFLUX. While it may appear that you are choking on saliva, some of that liquid could be stomach contents. Reflux symptoms are much more prevalent when we are supine.
 
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kgeish01 replied to Mrs_pip's response:
I have been going through the exact same thing. Everything that you said happened to you is exactly what is currently happening to me. Around an hour after sleep I wake up choking on my saliva. I have scared myself, and my husband many nights. I am going to go to my doctor about this. I hope you got some help.
 
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terria32 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I am 32 also and this also happens to me, its been happening most my adult life. Whenever I fall asleep on my stomach, I wake up in a fit of cough, what can it possibly be?


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