Head and Neck Surgery Center
ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Frequent Throat Clearing Might Be a Sign of A More Serious Condition

For some reason, throat-clearing is one of the most effective ways to grab people’s attention. One ‘ahem’ and all eyes and ears are on some folks. This is why frequent throat-clearing can be a pet peeve of some. Unfortunately, it can also be a sign of a serious condition.



If you often experience some hoarseness in your throat that prompts you to clear them every now and then, you might want to check this out.



Reasons for Frequent Throat-Clearing

There are tons of reasons why some people are compelled to clear their throat very often. Usually, it’s a symptom of a more serious condition like the following:



Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)

Also known as silent reflux, this condition pushes up stomach matter to your throat which makes it uncomfortable and makes you clear your throat several times. It’s a lot like acid reflux but it doesn’t usually cause heartburn so it’s less noticeable. The only telltale sign, really, of this condition is the fact that it causes frequent throat-clearing.



Tourette syndrome

Excessive throat-clearing can also be a manifestation of the neurological disorder known as the Tourette syndrome. This condition causes physical tics and vocal outbursts of various kinds.




Food allergies can also make you want to clear your throat often. Sometimes, the residue of the food you’ve eaten can tickle your throat which will then prompt you to clear it often.



Postnasal drip

This condition is caused by the body’s excess production of mucus which can then drip down your throat from the back of your nose. It can then create a discomfort in your throat which will then make you clear your throat every so often.



In most occasions, postnasal drips are caused by allergies, viral and sinus infections, cold weather, pregnancy, spicy food, dry air, and some medications.

  • Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder with streptococcus (PANDAS)
  • This condition is usually a complication of strep throat or scarlet fever in young children. Motor tics are common manifestations of the condition and it sometimes come in the form of chronic throat-clearing.
  • However, there are also many cases where excessive throat-clearing is done as a habit. Some folks usually do it subconsciously when they’re stressed or anxious.
  • How to Stop Clearing Your Throat Excessively
  • If you’re starting to get conscious with your habit of frequent throat-clearing, you might want to know that there are ways how you can make it stop. Here are a few examples of the best ways to go about it:
  • Treat the underlying condition.
  • By treating the condition that’s causing your excessive throat clearing, your throat won’t have to feel uncomfortable and you won’t feel the need to clear it all the time anymore.
  • Be more conscious about your habit.
  • There are some instances wherein there’s really no underlying cause for you to need to clear your throat so often. So in these cases, make a conscious effort to stop your habit. Catch yourself when you’re trying to move your throat. Be more self-aware and actively fight this rather annoying habit.
  • Drink more fluids.
  • To ease the discomfort on your throat, drinking fluids can be of help.
  • Find an alternative habit.

If you tend to clear your throat too often as a habit, you might want to switch it to something else. Experts recommend the following as alternatives:

  • Swallowing twice
  • Sucking on a sugar-free candy
  • Yawning
  • Coughing



Since ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for the appropriate ENT services.




HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services


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