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Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
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Dolla Bill Offline

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Post: #1
Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
Hello and how are you all doing? It has been a while since I was here. Regularly using my S9 Autoset and having AHI in the 2.1 range!

For the last two years I have been having a slight, but annoying throat condition. It is like I have a bit of phlegm in my upper throat that won't go away. I can't clear it.

For the past two years I have been seeing one of the top ENTs and also a top GI doctor. I have had tubes down my throat, I have worn monitors, have TV cameras down my nose and into my throat four times. Taken a range of medications with only marginal good effects.

The ENT says he cannot find anything, no growths, nothing abnormal. The GI doc says the same thing! I even had an MRI and they can't find anything wrong.

They had thought it was reflux, or silent reflux. I have tried numerous diets, no help.

The good thing is that I am very, very healthy, only the Apnea and a slight leaning to pre-diabetes.

I am really getting enough of trying to clear my throat!

Could it somehow be related to Apnea?
01-22-2013 05:57 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
Is it from swallowing air, perhaps?

One thing that occurs to me is that what you may be experiencing is due the softened uvula - it balloons and collapses a bit when you breath, creating a condition that feels very much like phlegm (and usually traps some as well) - and yes, that is apnoea related - one way to test this is to start playing a digeridoo - after a week or two, your mouth and throat tone up somewhat and if the condition stops, then there you are. You don't need a full blown digeridoo to do this, sanitary piping will provide the right length and width to simulate the same conditions.
01-22-2013 06:03 AM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
I've been fighting that exact problem for the past 15 years or so. I've been checked for reflux. Antacids, proton pump inhibitors, etc. don't help. I got allergy shots, which fixed my allergy problems, but didn't help my throat. These problems are actually what finally made me take a sleep test. I have apnea, but CPAP didn't fix my throat problems.

With me, it feels like weak acid mucous draining out of my nose and sliding down my throat. Sometimes when I lie down to sleep, I'll get phlegm building up in my throat and I have to cough.

I've had very little success with finding any cause or relief.

One thing that helps a little is to increase my minimum APAP pressure above where my AHI level goes to essentially zero. It's not a cure, it's more like low minimum pressure makes it worse.

Occasionally, I get something like mild flu symptoms. They will slowly get worse, and then they eventually develop into something like full flu, then go away. When it goes away, my throat problems tend to go away almost completely for a while.

Sometimes, antibiotics seem to help, sometimes they don't.

Sinus Rinse helps a bit.

I sort of think there's some kind of infection in my nose or sinuses, but can't seem to get the doctors to figure it out.

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01-22-2013 07:19 AM
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zimlich Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
Sounds like postnasal drip to me. I think that would be easy for the doctor to miss- I think it's ususally self diagnosed by symptoms. Some sudafed or other decongestant/expectorant may help. Keep well hydrated. I have the same condition myself, but it usually confines itself to an uncomfortable lump in my throat.
(This post was last modified: 01-22-2013 09:18 AM by zimlich.)
01-22-2013 09:18 AM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
Hi Bill - good to see you here again - wondered what happened to you. Glad your AHI is low.

I've had some degree of this issue you described. I've been drinking a large glass of ice water with an ounce or two of lemon juice in the morning and it seems to help somewhat, at least for me. Perhaps the acidity is doing something for me, who knows... Thinking-about

Coffee

SuperSleeper
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.

01-22-2013 10:47 AM
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TheWerkz Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
Has anyone tried Mucinex (Guaifenesin) expectorant? The generic is pretty cheap.

Take it with a couple of big glasses of water for several days as often as the directions say you can.
01-22-2013 03:27 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
It would be interesting for them to look in there first thing in the morning once the mask comes off.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
01-22-2013 04:35 PM
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SPOUSE Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
I do not have sleep apnea (that is my husband). But I DO have this issue. The only thing that has helped me is to drink water before going to bed (but try to do it at least two hours before so you don't have to get up at night) and to use Mucinex (the timed release kind without the sudafed in it). You can also get liquid cough syrup which only has the one ingredient (guanifesin), which may be cheaper than the timed release stuff, but I find that the timed release stuff works much better.

I have it mostly when the weather is cold but it seems to pop up at other times. I used to use sudafed as well but figured out that I did not really need it for this purpose.

(01-22-2013 05:57 AM)Dolla Bill Wrote:  Hello and how are you all doing? It has been a while since I was here. Regularly using my S9 Autoset and having AHI in the 2.1 range!

For the last two years I have been having a slight, but annoying throat condition. It is like I have a bit of phlegm in my upper throat that won't go away. I can't clear it.

For the past two years I have been seeing one of the top ENTs and also a top GI doctor. I have had tubes down my throat, I have worn monitors, have TV cameras down my nose and into my throat four times. Taken a range of medications with only marginal good effects.

The ENT says he cannot find anything, no growths, nothing abnormal. The GI doc says the same thing! I even had an MRI and they can't find anything wrong.

They had thought it was reflux, or silent reflux. I have tried numerous diets, no help.

The good thing is that I am very, very healthy, only the Apnea and a slight leaning to pre-diabetes.

I am really getting enough of trying to clear my throat!

Could it somehow be related to Apnea?
01-22-2013 04:38 PM
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Dolla Bill Offline

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Location: Atlanta

Post: #9
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
(01-22-2013 06:03 AM)wilorg Wrote:  Is it from swallowing air, perhaps?

One thing that occurs to me is that what you may be experiencing is due the softened uvula - it balloons and collapses a bit when you breath, creating a condition that feels very much like phlegm (and usually traps some as well) - and yes, that is apnoea related - one way to test this is to start playing a digeridoo - after a week or two, your mouth and throat tone up somewhat and if the condition stops, then there you are. You don't need a full blown digeridoo to do this, sanitary piping will provide the right length and width to simulate the same conditions.

You may be onto something here. I have found that singing helps. especially belting out something like the Halllelula Chorus or Ghost Riders in the sky". Does seem to clear my throat! I like the sound of a digeridoo or a ney flute. Maybe I'll get one.


But the problem is about 3" below the uvula. And it is 24/7
01-24-2013 05:21 PM
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Dolla Bill Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Doctors say it is not reflux, what could it be?
Thanks for all the replies! We thought it was post nasal drip to start with. Got that ruled out early. Went hrough an array of pump inhibitors also. Then tried the post nasal drip again. No help.

It does not seem to change during the day or night. Constant.

Had an arrray of other tests run, the doctor said I was "Disgustingly Normal"! I guess that is good.

Will try raising the minimum pressure on the CPAP and drining ice water at night.

Thanks SS, hope that you are doing well.
01-24-2013 05:38 PM
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