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what causes gag reflex response,hoarseness and dry cough when sufferong from ear infection?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 784 Questions
I went to an ENT almost a year ago b/c I have an EXTREME deep inner ear itch (ongoing for years but getting much worse). Nothing relieves the itch. I do not have any other allergies. With it, I feel tightness in my neck below that ear, and it feels like there is an object (that is getting more pronounced by the day) in my throat. I can taste the wax taste, and am constantly trying to swallow what feels stuck with no success. Recently I have been getting a gag reflex response, hoarseness, and dry cough. Last year when I had a CT scan, it showed normal. I am going back in on the 16th (Jan 2014) due to the extreme discomfort and obvious feeling of something in the throat, where the ear canal is. It seems to rub on my tongue and I can taste it as well. Any idea what this might be? I do not think it is allergy related as antihistamines do not work. Thank you.
Posted Sun, 19 Jan 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 9 hours later
Brief Answer: GERD or LPR, Post nasal drip Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for the query. Your problem seems to be of reflux and many a times the acid reflux touches the upper pharynx also. The Eustachian tube opening lies in the nasopharynx (topmost part) and laryngophargeal reflux (LPR) can irritate the whole of pharynx. Your symptoms of something stuck up the throat, gag reflex, hoarseness and cough can be associated with LPR. This will give and irritation in the throat and can also give irritation deep in the ear (the area where the inner XXXXXXX of ear seem to meet the pharynx). The other reason can be the post nasal drip in which there is trickle of mucous/discharge at the back of nose in the pharynx. This trickle goes from the posterior and lateral walls of pharynx and thus can produce such symptoms. Your CT was normal and I suppose it covered the sinus area and it was clear, so, I have kept this as second possibility. The next possibility can be of allergic irritation in the upper pharynx which can produce such symptoms and it is not always that excessive sneezing or other signs of nasal allergy are there always. In this scenario, I would first start you on proton pump inhibitor + prokinetic + antacid along with local anaesthetic syrup before meals. Your local doctor will know about these drugs. I would also recommend that you avoid spicy oily food, tea, coffee, alcohol and stress. You can try this remedy for couple of weeks. If symptoms don't improve, I would order for endoscopic examination. You can discuss with your doctor about this test. Hope this answer your query. Feel free to ask another query. Regards
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