Swallowing problems at night....

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/14/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
For the past several months I will wake up on occasion and feel like I can't swallow. It's a panicky feeling, but I can "clear my throat" and swallow. Two months ago due to burning throat, burping, and sour taste in my mouth my doc started me on pantoprazole. He thought the night time swallowing issue might be related to an enlarged thyroid (normal labs and ultrasound), but last night, after not having a swallowing issue for weeks, I woke up at 4 am, having trouble swallowing, and with a serious burning sensation in my throat. I'm thinking that my reflux may be laryngeal, and if it is could that be causing the swallowing problems? I'm going to ask for referrals to a gastro and maybe an ENT as well, but I'm wondering if anyone else experiences these kinds of swallowing problems during the night. Thanks.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/15/2008 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I don't have swallowing issues at night, but I do/did frequently have episodes of gasping/choking awake in the middle of the night. Mine turned out to be LPR, the type of reflux that affects your throat, or at least, that's what they seem to be. If it's that type of reflux, a GI doctor may not be able to diagnose it. I know I've had two EGD scopes done all the way through my stomach, and they've come back fine, but it wasn't until my ENT did a throat scope that we found signs of reflux. The reason, apparently, is that the EGD scope just breezes right by the larynx and doesn't start checking out anything until it enters the esophagus proper.

The burning is consistent with LPR, or so I've been told, but I never had any burn with mine.

Definitely check with your doctors and see what they have to say. And of course, if they don't find anything, a sleep study might be a good next step.

Good luck!


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/16/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, percycat. I actually had a sleep apnea test done a few years ago (due to snoring) which showed no apnea. I truly think this is a laryngeal reflux and perhaps my perception is that I can't swallow but it's more choking/gasping. I am going to see if I can get an ENT referral, Thanks again!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/31/2011 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi njam,
I know this is an old thread, but I have had this problem for several years, and it's kind of scary, so I know what you mean about a "panicky feeling".
I thought maybe I had some nerve damage, or was getting MS or an illness that would cause motility problems.
I have had reflux and talked to doctors about this partiular symptom, but none seemed to be familiar with the problem.
My symptoms are like this:
I wake up in the middle of the night, I try to swallow, but I can't, it's like nothing is working, my throat feels completely numb. Then after great effort, I can swallow.
The thing is, I never have a problem swallowing food or liquids.
It seems that my throat is dry when this happens though.
My best guess is that it's related to reflux.
I did have the 24 Hr PH monitoring test done and unfortunately, that night I didn't have any symptoms, so nothing was confirmed.
If you found any other information about this problem, please let me know.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 12/31/2011 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   

njam hasn't posted in over 2.5 years. I am going to start a new thread for you.

Welcome to Healing Well.

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11
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