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Trouble swallowing,discomfort,abnormal epiglottis

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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i am 23 i am 5 "9" 175lbs. i am having trouble swallowing i feel as if something is stuck in my throat it has been like this for three days now and it now causes discomfort when i drink fluids. the first day it came out of no where and i reached back into my throat and felt something back there when i actually saw it realized it was my epiglottis i had never seen it before is that bad that it would pop up now? also the first day i had no discomfort when i ate or drank .
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get a videolaryngoscopy done. This will confirm the diagnosis.

2. Feeling or seeing the epiglottis is not abnormal. You have never tried to look or feel that far into your throat till now. There are many normal structures that people see for the first time and worry about. A normal throat looks nothing like most of us imagine.

3. Since this is an acute onset, it is probably a sore throat. At your age, nothing serious should be wrong. It will usually be an infection, acid reflux or post nasal drip. After examining your throat with a laryngoscopy, your physician may order neck x-rays, barium swallow or endoscopy to rule out foreign bodies, swellings and so on.

4. I am assuming that you have no change in voice or fever, breathlessness, gagging, retching, vomiting or a possibility of a foreign body (eg. fish bone). In view of the particular difficulty in swallowing liquids as against solids, neuro-muscular conditions should be ruled out. Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) to solids is usually due to mechanical obstruction, which you do not have.

5. It is possible that something you ate or acid reflux has caused esophageal spasm. You will require medication to treat this if it persists. You may investigate this dysphagia only if it persists.

6. It is also possible that when you initially felt your throat, you caused abrasions on the delicate mucosa (lining) which will require a few days to heal. These minor abrasions may be responsible for your sensation of something still stuck in your throat.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Wish you a good health.

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