Throat Clearing

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Throat clearing in 10 year old

Dec 2009

We have recently observed our 10 year old clearing his throat a lot after eating sugary things - candy, maple syrup, etc. He doesn't eat much of this stuff, but when he does on occasion, it triggers a round of throat clearing that can go on for more than an hour. Has anyone experienced this and do you know why sugar might do this? He does have GERD (reflux caused by acidic foods), but sugar is not one of the things the dr. put on his off limits list of foods (which are things like citrus, spicy foods, greasy foods, coffee). And foods on his off-limits list don't trigger any throat clearing.

Sounds like a very common symptom of sugar reaction. Go on line to Dr. Nancy Appleton's site. You'll find a lot of info about the evil's of sugar (yeah, sorry's REALLY REALLY bad stuff). There are other natural sweeteners your child may be able to handle...agave syrup, xylitol, stevia. Good luck. sugar free mom

sugar CAN and DOES cause acid reflux. anon

Not sure if this is the issue with your son but I wanted to mention that repetitive throat clearing can be a symptom of Tourette Syndrome - several of my relatives do that.

Frequent throat clearing... allergy?

Jan 2009

For years I have had some kind of sinus(?) irritation that requires me to clear my ''throat'' quite frequently. It is actually not my throat so much: I think it is in the sinuses above the roof of my mouth. I cannot determine if it is an allergy to something I eat or something outside, or if it is an allergy at all. It seems to be the worst for 5 to 10 minutes when I lie down to sleep at night.

When I have asked doctors they have been pretty vague and I have never seen an allergy doctor. It is not a huge problem, just irritating.

Does anyone have this experience? Can you shed some light on what might be causing it and how I can reduce it?


I had a similar problem for several years, during and somewhat beyond the weaning of my youngest child. I consulted an ear, nose & throat doctor who determined that there was no sinus infection and no real cause for concern. He did make a few suggestions for managing the problem: avoid cold drinks; try inhaling steam or using Ocean (saline) spray. I avoided the cold drinks and got a little electric steamer and used it for a while. The condition gradually went away. Personally, I think it was related to nursing babies. Good luck to you. Anon

All I can say is that I can't wait for your responses - I have it too! And I vaguely remember that a high school friend had it and it was attributed to a food allergy - grain or gluten type allergy maybe. At the time, I either didn't recognize it in myself or I acquired the allergy later. I notice it most often when I have meetings right after lunch so at least for myself I am sure it' food related. ukkk ukkk

I have the same problem, and so does my brother and mother. In my case, it's definitely in the throat, and I think it's related to certain foods (dairy?) but I'm not sure since it's not always consistent. Doctors have suggested acid reflux, but I know it's not that. They've also suggested post nasal drip, but that doesn't fit either. (I know I drip, but it doesn't always cause the throat clearing need.) Since it's always after eating, I suspect a food allergy that causes a phlegm build up. It's annoying to me and I'm sure to the people around me. I can't wait to read responses and hope for some suggestions. anon

I had the same symptom for a long time. Eventually I was diagnosed with asthma after having an actual asthma attack. That coughing and clearing thing is mild asthma broght on by allergies. I am very surprised your doctor didn't know. You probably don't need any intervention at this point but I would get it checked out by a doctor who does know and can check your lung capacity, etc. know what you are going through

You might have a wheat/gluten or dairy allergy. Both could cause your symptoms. I'd recommend going off of each separately adn see if it clears up. Try it for 2-3 weeks each. My dad had a wheat allergy. When he went off of it his almost life time of throat clearing and dripping stopped within days. Wheat is in SO MANY THINGS you have to read labels. Wheat, Barley, rye, oatmeal all have gluten. Dairy would include all cow dairy. Some people allergic to cow dairy can do goat dairy (me)....but mght be best to give it all up at first. Good luck. gluten and cow dairy free and no symptoms

I will be interested in responses to your question because I've suffered from the same throat clearing as you describe. I don't have any diagnosis to report to you, but in my case, I think I was allergic to down. I used a down comforter and pillow for years, then realized that they might be causing the irritation. Once I got rid of the down, my symptoms improved noticeably. Now, I may have a little throat clearing at night, and during the morning, but it's nothing like it used to be. Also, I now use a neti pot once a day to flush my sinuses and that seems like it's helped as well. Anon

Hi - I have had a similar problem. It just came out of the blue and has hung around for the last 4 years or so. Your problem sounds like post-nasal drip. It is the mucus from your nose draining backward into your throat. This happens naturally, however, sometimes when the mucus gets thick or the cilia in your nose don't work well it creates a thicker blockage which causes you to have to clear your throat continually. It is very irritating, and can result in a sore throat and bad breath. Mine is the result of allergies gone awry. I have had relief from Nasacort (a steroid nasal spray) that takes about 10 days to work, and I have to keep it up every day for about 10 months a year. I also had an out- patient procedure called a turbinate reduction that the ENT can do for you which reduces swelling and mucus production in the nose. There are a number of other possible causes (acid-reflux as well as nasal structural problems). If I were you, I'd see an ENT and try to identify the root cause. In the meantime, a prescription nasal spray might be your best bet. Good luck! Anon