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Symptoms of cricopharyngeal spasm - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 2685 Questions
User :   My daughter is 15years of age. She's got cricopharyngeal spasm. She's on aterax and tripelene. She never described the symptoms as a lump in the throat.
She said her throat closes up. What i've seen is she starts coughing, then it is difficult for her to breath air back into her lungs, sounds like she's choking, but she knows how to control it now. What i want to know, if it's part of the symptoms?
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   dr xxxx here
Doctor :   let me read your query
Doctor :   yes, this is definitely the part of the symptoms of cricopharyngeal obstruction
User :   Why does it occur?
Doctor :   this is due to abnormality in the smooth muscles in the throat, which contract abnormally and contract, obstructing the airway
Doctor :   this obstruction, causes symptoms like breathing difficulty of sudden onset
User :   she won't die, the muscle will always loosens?
Doctor :   yes, the muscle relaxes and the airway opens,
User :   Can her vocal lessons worsen it?
Doctor :   but the symptoms will be giving a sense of discomfort usually
Doctor :   what do u mean by vocal lessons?
User :   She sings beautiful and have vocal lessons once every week, she also belongs to a choir?
Doctor :   thats not going to have any issue here
Doctor :   but during her lessons, or while singing, she may have episodes of respiratory obstruction, ..
User :   When she drinks something cold it also happens?
Doctor :   yes , any abnormal stimulus, to the muscles can put into spasm
User :   I heard that it started from a respiratory tract infection?
Doctor :   the way to go ahead, is to relieve the obstruction, if possible, by laryngoscopy (endoscopic surgery, depending on the findings on examination)
Doctor :   viral infections, can cause muscle weakness and cause such symptoms, but they are not that common
Doctor :   this is usually due to inflammation
User :   Her physio therapist says that my daughter does not use full lungs to breath, is this caused by cricopharyngeal spasm?
Doctor :   due to the obstruction, she may not be able to fill her lungs completely,
Doctor :   hence she may be having shallow breathing
Doctor :   she would need, opinion from a ENT specialist, who may choose to do a laryngoscopy, and evaluate to check and correct her problems
User :   how many months at longest it will take to disappear, I took her, and he said her thyroid gland also bit enlarge?
Doctor :   at her age, thyroid enlargement could be physiological and not needed to interfere with that
Doctor :   probably never, is not corrected surgically
User :   will she have it forever?
Doctor :   but with surgical correction, the issue can get corrected within days
User :   What do they do?
Doctor :   they will cut out the affect muscle fibres, or soft tissue flaps causing the problems
User :   Thank you Dr i understand better!
Doctor :   you are welcome
Doctor :   thanks for consulting me here
Doctor :   bye for now
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