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Mucus build up in throat after speaking continuously for some time. Related to polyps? Family history of throat polyps

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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My dad is 82. 5 years ago he had polyps removed from his vocal cords, they were benign. This week he had many polyps removed and they were found to be cancerous. He goes to the oncologist Wednesday. For the past few years, I notice that when I speak continuously for more than say 10 minutes (long sales pitches) I get a build up mucus in my throat and then I decide to stop speaking and listen. Could this be related to polyps. Should I find an ENT to take a look down my throat? Can a regular doctor look down my throat at the vocal cords or does this require a special tool and procedure? Thank you.
Posted Fri, 14 Sep 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 3 hours later


Thanks for the query

The tiring of voice with buildup of mucus in the throat could be the features of laryngo-pharyngeal reflux (LPR). LPR is secondary to regurgitation of acid into the throat.

The symptoms of vocal cord polyps are hoarseness and breathing difficulty, which you do not have. Throat cancer is not genetic related; the common predisposing factors are smoking and alcohol consumption for a long period.

Pertaining to the present problem you must be having LPR. Acid when it regurgitates from the stomach into the throat, causes burning of the mucosa of the throat leading to inflammation of the throat. Inflammation of the mucosa in turn induces swelling in the mucosa of the throat giving rise to foreign body sensation.

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

My suggestions to you are:
1. To drink plenty of warm water
2. Avoid coffee/alcohol/stress/retiring to bed immediately after taking food.
3. Try taking medicines such as proton pump inhibitors (Esomeprazole, Pantoperazole) and prokinetics (Domperidone).
4. Voice modulation - giving short pause after each sentence can reduce tiring of voice.
5. If you are not better with the above measures you can consult a good ENT specialist for throat and laryngeal examination.

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
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