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What causes pressure in throat while sleeping?

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Posted on Thu, 31 Jul 2014
Question: When I go to bed at night I can no longer sleep with the pillow touching my throat because it feels like it is squeezing my throat. I can only use a flat wore out pillow or no pillow at all because of this. Anything fluffy puts pressure on my throat. I never had any trouble with fluffy pillows before. Is this normal? What might have caused this?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
may be due to ther reasons

Detailed Answer:
Hello madam and thanks for the query,

A fluffy pillow cannot put enough pressure on your throat and cause difficulty in breathing.

I feel that probably you are feeling breathless on lying down but attributing it wrongly to the pillow.

There are some medical conditions that cause breathlessness on lying down, they have to be ruled out.

Conditions of the heart, conditions of the lungs like wheezing and COPD can cause breathlessness. You have to see a physician to rule them out.

Rarely panic attacks can cause breathlessness. If all examination turns out normal then anxiety disorder needs to be ruled out.

Regards,
Dr Rajkishori Godhi




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (34 minutes later)
I don't feel breathless. I can breath fine, but I still feel a tightness or pressure on my throat, as if it was being squeezed. The feeling is lower on the neck, like XXXXXXX apple and below.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (21 hours later)
Brief Answer:
few causes

Detailed Answer:
Hello Madam,

A large thyroid can produce obstruction in breathing.

An enlarged thymus or a thymus tumour also can produce similar symptoms.

Enlarged lymph nodes in the chest also can produce breathlessness on lying down.

Other causes of difficulty in breathing like wheezing and cardiac problems also get worsened on lying down.

You will need a complete examination of the neck and chest. Plaese see a physician for the same. You may need a chest X Ray, flexible laryngoscopy and USG of the neck.

Regards,
Dr Rajkishori Godhi


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (1 hour later)
I have had an enlarged appearing thyroid since I was little. Doctors were always wanting to check it but bloodwork was always normal. one even did an ultrasound but all was ok. Does one normally do anything about an enlarged thyroid? It doesn't hurt anything or cause illness right?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (45 hours later)
Brief Answer:
not to worry about thyroid

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Since you have got it examined by the doctors and all was declared ok , so you need not worry.

Only a grossly enlarged thyroid or a thyroid malignanacy can press upon the wind pipe and cause breathing difficulties. A moderately enlarged thyroid does not cause such symptoms.

Regards,
Dr Rajkishori Godhi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (1 hour later)
It was examined about 20 years ago. Does being enlarged increase the chances of a properly functioning thyroid devoping problems?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi (9 hours later)
Brief Answer:
get thyroid examined again.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Since you have got your thyroid examined many years ago, it is important to get it examined again to rule out diseases.
Enlarged thyroid is usually due to goitre.
Do not worry, get a physical examination of neck and chest.

Regards,
Dr Rajkishori Godhi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Dr. Rajkishori Godhi

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 708 Questions

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What causes pressure in throat while sleeping?

Brief Answer: may be due to ther reasons Detailed Answer: Hello madam and thanks for the query, A fluffy pillow cannot put enough pressure on your throat and cause difficulty in breathing. I feel that probably you are feeling breathless on lying down but attributing it wrongly to the pillow. There are some medical conditions that cause breathlessness on lying down, they have to be ruled out. Conditions of the heart, conditions of the lungs like wheezing and COPD can cause breathlessness. You have to see a physician to rule them out. Rarely panic attacks can cause breathlessness. If all examination turns out normal then anxiety disorder needs to be ruled out. Regards, Dr Rajkishori Godhi