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Have numbness and tightness in throat and collarbone. What could be causing this?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 1600 Questions
i have numbness/tightness in my throat/ collarbone. no pain. no difficulty swallow or breathe. no problems eating. no fever / no weight loss/ no bleeding anywhere. i dont not feel this is related at all to indigestion or stomache acids. movement of arm or body does not affect. the feeling comes and goes. the morning i sometime donot feel it, and mornings are always the least noticeable time.
Posted Sun, 18 Nov 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for the query

After going through the history, I do feel you are having laryngo-pharyngeal reflux secondary to gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD or acid reflux, is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach backs up or refluxes into the esophagus. The liquid that enters the esophagus (regurgitation) can damage the lining of the esophagus although visible signs of inflammation occur in a minority of patients. The regurgitated liquid usually contains acid that is produced by the stomach.

The reflux usually happens more in the night while lying down in supine position. Acid when it regurgitates from the stomach into the esophagus and into the throat, the mucosa of the throat gets burnt leading to inflammation of the throat. Inflammation of the mucosa in turn induces swelling giving rise to foreign body sensation.

The causes of reflux of acid are many, medicines, obesity, stress, food habits, smoking, alcohol, debilitated conditions, etc. Identifying the causative factors and avoiding them can give relief from this problem.

My suggestions to you are:
1. To drink plenty of warm water
2. Avoid coffee/alcohol/smoking/stress/retiring to bed immediately after taking food.
3. Try taking medicines such as proton pump inhibitors (Esomeprazole,
Pantoperazole) and prokinetics (Domperidone).
4. To lie down on semi-prone position and preferably on the left side.
5. There should be gap of at least 1 hour after taking your supper and retiring to bed. This is the transit time required for the gastric emptying.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have numbness and tightness in throat and collarbone. What could be causing this? 19 minutes later
i would like to give you more information, and see if you feel the same.

i do have common hearburn that i feel only in my stomache. it veries from mild to strong, but i would never call it severe. acid reflex into my throat/mouth, i notice rare to none. i do drink ALOT of coffee. 18 hours a day. perhaps 30-60 ounces per day. i drink anywhere from 20-50 ounces of water a day. this feeling of tightness is on one side of my throat only.

does this in any way remind you of sinus problems or cancer. thanks.
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 8 hours later

Thanks for writing back

Yes, I would definitely stick-on to the comments I made before. Please follow my instructions as mentioned before, you will definitely be alright.

I doubt any relation to problems concerned with sinus or cancer. If you still insist, get a CT scan of the neck and thorax done, it will confirm the presence of any mass in the neck or the upper thorax.

I wish you good health

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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