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    • #27713

      Hi Forums Community,

      I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the likes of spring for many of us! I know Mark previously wrote a topic on allergies, so I am aware that what I’m writing about today might be linked to that since spring is upon us.

      A couple weekends ago I drove to my hometown to visit my parents, who I hadn’t seen since Christmas. My Mom noticed and mentioned that I seem to be clearing my throat more than normal. I don’t think I’m coughing more, but rather a quick clearing of my throat. I know this is something that happens as IPF progresses, but I’m wondering if there might be another reason for it.

      I haven’t had PFTs done recently, so I don’t know if my disease is progressing but I don’t feel notably worse. I am a little more congested the last couple of days, but I wasn’t back when I visited my parents so I don’t think it is any type of cold or viral infection. I’ve heard sometimes sinuses can become inflamed for patients with lung diseases, I wonder if this is the case for me.

      I am curious and wanted to ask if others have noticed an increase in clearing their throat, and whether it was caused by something specifically? 

      If so, were there any remedies that helped you with this?

      Many thanks,

    • #27745
      Pam Mckee

        Could be allergy drainage. It makes me clear my throat.  I use a prescription nasal spray to prevent it.

        • #27748
          Libby Fisher

            Sorry, I forgot the last question you asked about remedies…  A lot of people recommend the neti-pot or neti-squeeze bottle to flush you nasal cavities with a sterile saline solution.  I never found good results and it often made my ears more clogged.  I have found a natural nosespray on Amazon that really works!  It clears everything.. if your throat clearing is the result of post nasal drip, this should really help. Clear Revive nasal spray…a bit of a menthol sting at first but then after a few minutes, you can really blow your nose well and clear out the “gunk”.  There are many options on Amazon for natural nose sprays… some are available in drugstores like the Bio Allers one for sinus/allergies.  A basic saline spray can be used like a neti-pot but it’s a lot simpler ..just spray generously in your nostrils…do lots of sniffing and then blow well.

            I’d love to hear how you’re doing in a couple of weeks…we who live in cold climates can look forward to Spring really arriving!!

            • #27779

              Hi @travelingnana

              Thanks so much for sharing this information with me! I think I am going to try some of the nasal rinses/remedies you mentioned on Amazon and see if that  helps, before engaging with my doctor. I love mint so I don’t imagine the sting of the menthol will bother me but good to know. Thanks again for sharing, I’ll report back on if it is helpful. It very well could be some allergy issues I’m having!

          • #27775

            Hi @pammckee,

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. It certainly could be allergies, I agree! It is allergy season where I am so I might give it a few more months before I raise any concerns with my doctors. Now that my Mom pointed it out though, I’m a lot more aware of it and I do think it is happening more often. Strange…

          • #27838
            Carlo De Pellegrin

              I did not know that throat clearing is a sign of the progression of the disease??? Can someone comment on this for me please? I am clearing my throat much more in the couple of  weeks but attributed it to spring seasonal allergies.

              • #27850

                Hi @carlo,

                Good question and I think it is important to clarify: I do not know if increased throat clearing could be caused by disease progression. It actually seems a bit better now for me than it did when I wrote this post, so that leads me to think it was due to something else like allergies, a virus, etc. It’s a good question I want to ask my pulmonologist next time I see him though because a few people have shared an increase in shortness of breath and I’d just like to understand this better. If anyone finds this out, or discusses it with their doctor, please let us know!

          • #27755
            Kathleen Ryan

              Hi Charlene, I appreciate the topic because I’ve been having the same symptoms. I didn’t realize that throat clearing is a sign of progression of the disease. I’ve never brought it up to my doctor because I didn’t feel it was important. Thanks so much for the info.

            • #27756
              Ida Anker

                I started Ofev in January 21 after being diagnosed with IPF in October 20.  I believe my cough has disappeared more or ledd, but the throat clearing is still there. Furthermore, dryness in the throat is also a typical symptom for me. I drink loads of water but it is still there. My next check up is schedulded to be April 19th, so a bit worried if the throat “thing” is a symptom of progression.




                • #27773
                  Kathleen Ryan

                    Ida, thank you for clarifying. I hope you have a positive answer when you have your next appointment. It seems that gerd or sinus issues are somehow all connected to IPF. I think it’s a shame that more isn’t known about this disease.

                  • #27781

                    Hi Ida,

                    If you get a chance to ask your doctor in April what his/her thoughts are on the throat clearing as a sign of disease progression, do you mind letting us know? Sorry to hear you’re also dealing with this!

                • #27762
                  Janey Henderson

                    How strange. I too have noticed I’m doing that, particularly first thing in the morning. I use a saline spray in my nostrils which seems to help. If that doesn’t work I have been known to have a bourbon, for medicinal reasons only.

                  • #27763
                    Bob Rawlins

                      Hi everyone,

                      This a great topic.

                      I struggle with keeping my nasal passages clear and believe being on oxygen 24/7 doesn’t help much either?

                      I do take 2 allergy medicines all year!

                      I also use nasal sprays like fluticasone most days!

                      it helps but try using Breathe Right nasal strips! It makes me have much clearer nasal passage and less throat clearing and coughing.

                      it’s not fun I know, but hope this might help


                    • #27766

                        I started with the clearing 2 years before I had a positive diagnosis.  I have a solid cough, productive most of the time…  my last CT shows a rather agressive progression since last year. I’m still here…. lol…  Clive

                      • #27768
                        Ben Robinson

                          I have the throat clearing also.  I think it may have to do with the proximetry of your fibrosis to your throat areas.  I noticed some indications of that in myself.  If prednisone heals my inflamation the throat clearing goes away and has mostly gone.  It is apparently related to the inflammation which prednisone attacks.  I have PF autoimmune not IPF.  I dont have the cough except from the oxygen toxicity in my smooshed up capillary/alveolar units.  There are 200 types of these diseases i hear and i am a more rare odd one.  it is still bad because i was not treated properly early on at Johns Hopkins.  I found Manuka Honey to be excellent for the throat clearing and some warm tea.

                        • #27782
                          Christie Patient

                            Sort of unrelated, but I just got off the phone with my mom who just came from her two-year post-transplant appointments. She has had increased nasal congestion and some coughing (not like the PF cough though thankfully) over the past few months. CT scans showed some inflammation in her lungs and she has a high Eosinophil count right now which suggests allergies. I will have to pass on some of these suggestions to her to see if they help!

                            She is also investing in some air purifiers from Blueair (on sale right now!) per the recommendation of her doc. Might be worth looking into for those of you also suffering from allergies and congestion.

                            • #27817
                              Nancy Borlo

                                Just curious how old your Mom is. I am starting the transplant process and am worried that my age may be a disqualifier


                                • #27827
                                  Christie Patient

                                    Hi @nancy-lynch-borlo, She Was just barely 69 when she had her transplant. The “age” qualification for transplant listing is kind of a misnomer. It actually has very little to do with your chronological age, and more to do with your physiological age, ie the overall health of your body. Lots of factors can prematurely age you (smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, etc), and on the contrary, lots of factors keep your body young! An active lifestyle and healthy diet, not smoking, etc. Part of why there are so many tests to get on the list is to determine if someone is healthy enough to handle surgery, accept the transplanted lungs, and thrive afterward. It’s definitely worth pursuing and asking your doctor about, even if you are older. ?

                              • #27785

                                Awesome, thanks so much for sharing @christie-patient! I’m also really grateful for the amazing dialogue on this thread about what helps others and how they’re dealing with an increase in throat clearing. This platform is amazing for support, thank you everyone for taking the time to share your strategies with me. Here’s hoping it is just allergies!

                              • #27797
                                Donald Salzberg MD

                                  Hello everyone:

                                  Thank you for all these helpful comments on throat clearing. I also have this issue and brought this up with my pulmonologist. He feels it’s mainly a PND (post nasal drip) issue but I’m not so sure. He recommended Flonase mist. I have it all day and has caused a lot of hoarseness. I tried Mucomyst with zero benefit. It does wax and wane and is aggravated with foods (??dairy??). I have sleep apnea and use CPAP. I would expect my throat mucous (if due to PND) would be worse in the AM but that’s not my case. Maybe GERD is a role player here??  My PFTs and symptoms and SpO2 have been stable since my IPF diagnosis 2.5 years ago but the throat clearing is worse. I’ve never read it’s a sign of progression but many with interstitial lung conditions have this mucous-producing gene. I will pursue some of the suggestions made. I’m also going to try this product called AirPhysio (to help with mucous). Janey I laughed at your medicinal recommendation—maybe a good Long Island Ice Tea ???
                                  Doctor Don

                                • #27841
                                  Jerry Genesio

                                    Charlene – I also use a prescription nasal spray (Ipratropium .06%) that dries my throat as well as my sinuses, but I have noticed more throat clearing lately. I was on a .03% formula but it stopped working and my VA physician increased it to .06%. I have noticed that a get a lot of relief from a menthol lozenge. I was diagnosed with IPF in January 2020.

                                    • #27896

                                      Hi Jerry,

                                      Thanks so much for sharing this information! I’m beginning to think it is post nasal drip from allergies vs. any sign of IPF progression, thankfully. I can’t be certain about this, but just how I feel. In this case, a nasal spray might be helpful for me to look into! I’ll talk to my doctor about it. Many thanks for sharing 🙂

                                  • #27859
                                    Pam Mckee

                                      There are mouth washes that keep the mouth from drying out. Check the pharmacy. It’s near the lister one. After them they get into the more medical mouthwash.
                                      FluticasonePropionate relieved throat clearing and mucus about 90%. It’s prescription.

                                      • #27944

                                          Fluticasone propionate, sold under the brand names Flovent and Flonase among others, is a steroid medication. It is available as a retail over the counter product. I found it is cheaper by prescription unless you have to pay your doctor $100 in order to see him and get a prescription. Other brands, including Equate are also available. Check the strength on the label… they may vary.

                                          • #27954

                                            Thanks Ron, this is helpful information! I’ve heard of a few people recommending Flovent actually. I’m going to look into it further. Thankfully, the increase in throat clearing seems to have ceased a little bit (not a lot and definitely not gone entirely) so I wonder if it was made worse by something more temporary like seasonal allergies? I think I’ll still try a remedy though, as it hasn’t gone away entirely and I’d like to see if I can decrease it even more.

                                      • #27862
                                        Cheryl thomas

                                          I have to clear my throat alot. This started several years ago. I was dx last June with IPF, but looking back on my CAT scan from 2016 I had interstitial lung disease. Never saw a physician about it. The throat clearing has definitely increased often tom6es with phelgm. Worse after I get up in the morning. Thought mine was definitely related to the IPF. I see my pulmonologist next month and I will ask him.

                                          • #27881

                                            Please let us know what your Pulmonologist says @cburcik! My throat clearing is dry (no phlegm) but oddly enough has increased too, and I’m not sure if it is allergies so I look forward to talking to my doctor about this as well and comparing notes.

                                        • #27863
                                          Carlo De Pellegrin

                                            Cheryl, I look forward to the  comments from your  pulmonologist.

                                          • #27923
                                            Virginia Currie

                                              I was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis and after the lung biopsy, my mucus production increased, wheezing started, post nasal drip, shortness of breath and desaturation.   I was started with oxygen after lung biopsy.  Prior to that my occasional coughing was controlled by Neurontin or Gabapentin.  I’m so miserable because with increased ambulation or talking will exacerbate these conditions.  I use albuterol nebulizer, pulmocort nebulizer, Flonase nasal spray, saline nasal rinses, and I just added Azelastine nasal spray which is an antihistamine. I use Hycodan once or twice a day.  I use also Ativan 1 mg PO at night.  Sleep is uninterrupted by cough but during the day, I have more frequent episodes.  I’m on medical leave. My baseline was functional without the use of oxygen and medications like prednisone and Cellcept prior to a lung biopsy to determine if it is IPF vs Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. My recovery is lengthy.  I wish I can go back to work as a bedside RN.  My doctor wanted me to leave the bedside.  I’m miserable.

                                              • #27963

                                                Hi Virginia,

                                                Thanks for writing, it is nice to hear from you again. I’m so sorry to hear of your terrible symptoms; this disease is so cruel. Do you find that the Neurontin or Gabapentin help with the cough at all? I would imagine, by the sounds of it, if they help at all, it isn’t enough. Im sorry your on medical leave too, that is so hard. Would you consider a transplant to improve quality of life? Leaving work due to a medical condition is so unfair and so hard. I hope your recovery from the biopsy continues in the right direction and you can go back to doing something you love.



                                            • #27932
                                              Nigel Wright

                                                I also spoke a about this exact problem when I last saw my consultant in the UK and he made appointment for me see the staff at the ear nose & throat dept It was a Speech Therapist and a nurse who saw me – strange I thought – but she was very knowledgeable in this area – clearing throat and coughing !

                                                What she said it was a multi issue problem – that is there is more than one event going on
                                                1 You have a trigger that makes you cough. In my case I have two triggers
                                                A  — I have IPF Interstitial Lung Disease so when I am short of breath I cough
                                                B  — I have a lot Phlegm which I cough up
                                                2 Repeat coughing from these triggers causes an irritation in your throat which makes you cough more – similar to scratching an itch you end up scratching the area more and make it hypersensitive

                                                3 Over time this can lead to ILO Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction This is a disturbance of the breathing cycle which should open the voice box when breathing and close when eating food but with ILO the vocal cords together with other throat muscles squeeze together when breathing leading to more coughing. The nurse used an endoscope inserted through my nose to examine my throat and confirm acute irritation and ILO

                                                The secret is to break this cycle This is achieved through a breathing technique and doing the following — small sips of water – increase non caffeine drinks 6-8 glasses /day – warm fruit juices – fresh pineapple and papaya juices for thinning out mucus
                                                If Mucus is a persistent problem  then one of the most effective treatments is Bromelain which is a protein – digesting enzyme mixture from the pineapple plant – BUT take care and discuss with your doctor before taking it as it can react with other medicines

                                                • #27934
                                                  Kathleen Ryan

                                                    Hello, Nigel. Thank you for the great information! Very helpful!

                                                  • #27961

                                                    Hi Nigel,

                                                    I’d like to echo a few others and say thank you for sharing this information with us re: increased throat clearing! I am looking forward to discussing this with my doctor, but your summary was also very helpful… thank you! I love fresh juices, including pineapple, maybe I need to re-locate to Hawaii to have access to them 😉 Oh, how I wish someday. Many thanks again for your detailed description and summary of conversation with the speech therapist, I appreciate it.

                                                    Take care,

                                                • #27943

                                                    Keeping hydrated is certainly a good thing but doubt it has more than a minimal effect on keeping your nasal passages moist.

                                                    Humidity probably plays the biggest part in keeping them moist. Also, altitude could play a part. When I moved from near sea level in Maryland to 6500 and later 7000 ft elevation in eastern Colorado in 1990 I suffered extremely dry, crusty passages for the first year or so. Overtime I seemed to acclimate and moisture returned. Last year I moved to 2800ft in western Idaho and acquired a very wet, almost runny nose! It is slowly adjusting to more normal a year and half later.

                                                    • #27955

                                                      That makes sense too Ron re: considering elevation. Thanks for sharing your story and this idea with us. I haven’t moved in a number of years, not even from the same house I reside in, so I can’t imagine that was something that triggered my increase throat clearing, but something to keep in mind for others for sure.

                                                  • #27950
                                                    Nigel Wright

                                                      Hi Following my post on trying to break the cough cycle I have had some success but its not instant. In my case when I start coughing it degenerates into a coughing spasm of constant coughing for 5 -10 minutes which irritates the throat more and produces this dryness at the back of the throat Now when I feel like coughing and its productive in clearing mucus I will have a couple of coughs then stop and breath slowly with pursed lips like saying chew – this stops the coughing cycle Then I will take a drink or suck soothing cough sweet anything to break the cycle Its not perfect but the main aim is to stop that coughing spasm and reduce the throat irritation slowly it does getter better buts its a long haul

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