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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have phlegm in throat. Why does my heart skip a beat?

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Dr. Prahlad Duggal

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 784 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 25 Nov 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: why does my heart skip a beat when I have phlegm in my throat?
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Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 3 hours later
Brief Answer: A stray signal to pace maker when phlegm in throat Detailed Answer: Hello, You have a pace maker implanted from which I understand that you must be suffering from heart block/bradycardia/arrhythmias. You say that your heart skips a beat when you have phlegm in throat. The possible explanation can be, when a person tries to extract phlegm, he/she coughs or does try to cough and this raises pressure inside the chest and this can be a reason for missing a beat. But actually the heart is adapted for this pressure and most of the times the heart does not skip a beat but may occasionally do so. A pace maker monitors your heart continuously and acts when it thinks it needs to give a beat to the heart. When you try to clear phlegm, a stray signal may get passed on to the pace maker and it can lead to a skipped beat. This does not happen as a rule always but can happen. If you are having this occasionally and are not having symptoms similar to the symptoms for which a pace maker was implanted in the first place like vertigo/syncope etc, there is nothing to worry. But if you are having symptoms because of this, do consult your cardiologist who will be the best person to look in to it. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications. Take care. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Prahlad Duggal 46 hours later
Good afternoon Dr. XXXXXXX Duggal, I have to apologise because I did not put my question to you correctly; the irregular heartbeat problem only occurs as the phlegm builds up in my throat Once I clear the phlegm by coughing I am fine again. The uncomfortable feeling I get with this skipping of my heartbeat is a reminder that phlegm has lodged in my throat. I hope this explains my dilemma a little clearer. I have consulted 2 cardiologists but neither can shed light on my problem? Yours, Brian. PS My pacemaker is use less than one third of the day. When I jog for example, my pacemaker is not required, sometimes for the whole day (according to my regular test analysis).
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Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: More pressure on thoracic ms and thus missed beat Detailed Answer: Thanks Dear for clarifying about the problem. You are stating an unusual problem. The possible explanations can be: 1. The build up of phlegm in the throat forces your thoracic muscles to work more to breath normally and that leads to changes in intra-thoracic pressure and thus leads to skipping of beat. 2. The other explanation I can think of is (this is not supported by literature and thus can be considered a guess in medical terminology and can not be supported by any level of evidence available in medical literature at present) that build up if phlegm in throat irritates your throat and that activates the nerve which controls heart rate and also supply a part of throat and mediates gag reflex. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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