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Gagging, inability to breathe when eating. Any suggestions?

Several times (6 - 8) in the last 4 months I have randomly experienced gagging followed by an inablity to breathe. It usually lasts about 3-5 miniutes before my ablity to breath slowly returns and the gagging subsides. I'm in my mid fifties and this is the first time I've experienced this.
I have noticed one of the following events have triggered these symptoms:
1) It usually occurs when I'm eating and some food hits the upper/back part of my throat causing a slight irritation.
2) Sometimes I will just be sitting/relaxing and feel a slight tickle in the back of my throat, again causing slight irritation.

This should be no big deal since these minor throat irritations have happened countless of times in my life - I'd just swallow a couple of times or give a little throat clearing gurgle or cough. Recently, however, within a minute or two after I first feel this tickle/irritation in my throat, it begins - an involuntary forced gagging, couching, watering eyes, followed by an inablity to breathe. In desperation to take a breath, I try to force myself to inhale. It would take 5+ secs just to strain to inhale not even a half breath and several secs to exhale. It's as if my windpipe has been completely closed off. I can hear myself wheezing as I try to take a single breath. The gagging is very annoying by itself. It's the suffocating feeling that makes me panic during these episodes since I am unable to take a complete breath for what seems like several minutes. Any suggestions.
Asked On : Sat, 20 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  21
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Diseases and Conditions
General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi, it appears to be due to brnchial constrictions due to allergy of the foods you have at that time, probably due to allergy to that substances, they are called allergens, and when you have it again you will definitely have this feeling.
I to my patients with such symptoms prescribe theophylline, levocitrizine, and omeprazole.
Other possibility is the gastric irritation, due to irritant foods, theu will cause closure of the gastroesophageal sphentre, and may feel like inability to breathe. thank you.
Answered: Thu, 27 Jun 2013
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