Sore throat /voice especially when talk a lot ( have bronchiectasis)

Dear all

Some of you may recognise my name as a "bronchiectasis person", today's question is..... does anyone regularly get a sore throat/ voice? I'm very prone to both but it's especially bad when I talk a lot. I don't socialise a lot but if in a social situation , my voice easily becomes croaky and throat very sore. Also get sore throats anyway without talking.Have mentioned it to my GP several times and he said I didn't meet the criteria to see an ENT, mainly as it comes and goes. I did have an endoscopy to look at my vocal chords 3 1/2 years ago ( as I'd seen another GP re a croaky voice , she thought it may be voice nodules) and result was it was just red.

I can't say I want to willingly undergo another endoscopy anyway and my instinct is it's perhaps due to the phlegm coming up from my lungs, post nasal drip and even a side effect of lansoprazole ( although my GP raised his eyebrows when I suggested that one).

When I post everyone is so helpful recounting their experiences, views etc so thought I'd ask you all about this problem!

Thanks xx

48 Replies

  • Hi winter, my guess is with your instinct. Also do you use inhalers? I have had years of sore throats, sore mouth, husky voice coming and going together or in turns. I take lanzaprozole but still think some acid comes up. I wash my mouth out thoroughly after inhalers and nebulising abs, I use nystan mouth drops and gel and mouthwash for dry mouth. It just goes on, round and round. I have stopped asking docs about it because they simply don't know and I treat it topically as and when.

  • Thank you littlepom for your reply. I think you've replied to every post I've done which I really value as know with years of bronch you're an expert!!

    Yes I use a steroid preventative inhaler ( seretide 125) and a Physio suggested it could be that ( which GP said no to). I do have a swallow of water but perhaps I don't rinse it around perhaps enough.. advice welcome on that?!

    I've not heard of nystan mouth drops and gel so will look up. Do you take when it's worse or as a preventive measure I wonder?

    Re mouthwash, hadn't thought of that. Suppose I imagined it would dry everything up more? Know it can stain your teeth if over used.

    Thanks again for reply xx

  • I have a good rinse with a fair amount of water for about 30secs after inhaler or abs nebuliser. I spit it out. Not swallow. Nystan is for thrush in the mouth but as you swallow it it can with the husky voice. I do it at night as a preventitive holding it in my mouth for a couple of minutes. You can use it up to 4 times a day when you have a sore mouth or throat. I have it on repeat.GP will say you don't have thrush because they expect it to look white but mostly it doesn't. The mouthwash and gel for dry mouth is biotene. No alcohol in it. This is where the juggling comes in because you have to use it when you are not using the nystan. It's all trial and error and constant readjustment.

  • Hi Winter,

    I went through similar problems with losing my voice, croaky voice etc.

    I was on Symbicort at the time and omeprazole. The Dr at the asthma clinic suggested I try double dosing on the inhaler for 1 month, double dosing on the omeprazole for 1 month, and double dosing on both for 1 month and see which either caused the problem, or helped reduce the problem.

    After 3 days doubling up on the inhaler, my voice went croaky and almost disappeared so I went back to the usual dose. When I doubled up on the omeprazole that seemed to reduce the problems and my voice was not so croaky etc.

    As my mother had throat cancer and lost her voice, my family thought I had the same, but I had some tests done and an endoscopy examination and they found that I was suffering acid reflux (GERD) and the acid was burning my vocal chords.

    Following this I was put onto Esomeprazole, I had to raise the head of my bed so I did not lay flat on my back when sleeping which all helped for some time.

    In 2010 I ended up having a 'Laproscopic Nissan Fundoplication' where the top of my stomach was wrapped around the bottom of my esophagus to help keep the valve at the closed to stop acid etc. going back up my esophagus.

    Image result for nissen fundoplication


    A Nissen fundoplication, or laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication when performed via laparoscopic surgery, is a surgical procedure to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatal hernia.

    This has helped a lot, I have very little problems with my voice getting croaky, I am not woken with problems at night. I do have to watch what I eat and drink, like no spicey foods, gassy drinks etc. but I have had no problems since. I am still on Esomeprazole but a lower dose, I have been through other inhalers and since last October I have been on Fostair 200/6.

  • Thanks so much TuckBox for your very helpful and long reply... much appreciated!!

    Very interesting to hear your experiment of trying to discover if the inhaler was causing the problem or related to reflux. I guess firstly o need to rinse my mouth more after taking the inhaler.

    Re reflux, very interesting again! I realise I've had reflux problems for some time. Was taking famotidine but when I moved to lansoprazole have noticed that I'm far less prone to the irresistible urge to cough due to tickle in my throat, though nothing there, very dry. But feel I do have this soreness. Croaky voice is about the same though.

    Through my own research I discovered that an alkaline diet is helpful as the problem can be due to pepsin which is activated by the acid. Anyway mentioned an alkaline diet to my respiratory consultant and he said .. yes, follow it. However, not always easy to know exactly what an alkaline diet is! Huge contradictions online. When asked my GP, he obviously hadn't got a clue and said it's hard to know what it means and there's nowhere reliable to look!!

    If I get really fed up suppose I can pursue the endoscopy again to see if the reflux isn't being treated properly.

    Again thanks lots for all the info 😊!

  • I had 3 endoscopies. They found nothing but a sore eosophogus! Which is why I had them.I think that it could be a combination of the acid reflux and the inhaler which agrees with TuckBox.Maybe upping the lansaprozole (which I take in dispersable form at night) and using nystan plus good rinsing might help. Let us know.

  • Yes sounds right.

    Suppose a part of me is reluctant to up the lansoprazole dose as I know you become quite dependent on it i.e. hard to then lower dose due to rebound. If you need the higher dose then no problem. I say this as before I was on lansoprazole I was trying different reflux medication, doses and when I lowered dose the reflux was worse than originally!!

    Know all this trying and seeing is what we have to do though! Xx

  • Ps silly question !! But expect it was an ENT you saw for endoscopies? X

  • no private gastric man. I couldn't swallow as well as sore throat.

    The gastrocopies, test of the muscles and valves in my gullet and 24 hr acid test. all found nothing. It took an emergency admittance to local hospital because my sore eosophagus split and there was blood - yuk! to find that all I needed was two 30 mg lanzaprozole to suck every day. That was 2012. in 2015 I halved it to one at night and fingers crossed seem fine. I eat very bland food now and stay away from acidy things like tomatoes and certain fruits.

  • Thanks.

    I've had private consultations as well. Am passionate re NHS but if it weren't for going private I'd still be in a mess here. When I changed GP due to huge problems with old GP ( long story have told on here).. I asked him if I should return to the small NHS hospital here and he said "no." Feel slightly embarrassed re using private but I have few extravagances and getting the best for my health is vital!

    Seem to have opened up another topic.. unintentionally!

    If anyone is reading this with strong views ?! To repeat, I'm passionate... more than any thing..on excellent health care for everyone .. but in my case with a small hospital and closures of all sorts always being threatened, I make a journey when needed for private! X

  • Wish I could go private the NHS is falling apart even the staff are not coping ,Perhaps the priminister needs to pull a few million out the empty money pot which suddenly grows money when they need it lol Surely the heath of our nation should come first x

  • They say that turmeric helps with acidity in stomach. I did take some,was fine with it, but I could not really BV advise on this.As you say, trial and hopefully not too many errors is for everyone to explore. It's a very private thing.a delicate balance to be achieved. Mic

  • It certainly is Mic. A game of hide and seek.

  • You haven't ever found certain food make you sore have you? E.g. Natural

    yogurt, which I have a lot, can make me sore. Mention this as wondered if it suggests reflux not controlled. X

  • About alkaline diet. I think it may help with stomach acidity. But please don't be fooled by people who say it makes the blood alkaline. This isn't possible. If you could turn your blood alkaline, you would Dr IE, because there's a fine balance that is maintained in our blood. However, food that doesn't irritate the stomach can help. The Lansoprazole tells the brain to stop pumping acidity in the stomach, hence it's healing quality. The acid in our stomach is hydrochloride. It's very powerful. That's why it needs to be stopped with Lansoprazole.

    You are doing well, Mic

  • Did you see an ENT initially then or a gastroenterologist? X

  • You've not ever found certain foods make you sore have you? Mention this as have found natural yogurt, which I eat a lot, can make me sore.

  • Winter, the physio when I was in hospital prescribed a back rest so the mucus wouldn't come up during the night. I have arranged it to be as comfortable as possible and can sleep a good night sleep. I have a bottle of Caledonian water by my bed. This helps when my throat is dry. You're doing the right thing.


  • Thanks again.

    Will write all that down! Xx

  • Hi Winter,

    It was voice clinic that I first went to, after they did the endoscopy and tried voice therapy for a year or two. They sent me to the gastroenterologists who did more tests and decided to do the fundoplication. They did not do a full wrap as I have an allergy to mushrooms and if I mistakenly eat any I can be violently sick, and this would risk undoing the operation.

  • When you say voice clinic , did you see an ENT then ? Haven't heard of voice clinics?

  • I live in London, between Guy's & St. Thomas' hospitals, there are so many specialist clinics between them I'm either at one hospital or the other.

  • Oh I see. I live in the " sticks" in rural North Devon. Do t have that choice!!

  • Sometimes you can make that choice. In NE Kent we are given NB the choice of going to several hospitals.G4S is our transport and it's marvellous.

    I went to the Brompton hospital in 1994. That's when I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Ty hey took me for a while, but then referred me back to Canterbury. Now my pulmonary nurse has discharged me, because she finds I am too well, and I hardly see my consultant.its all done through my GP now. It's a bit concerning. But this is the new development in cutting funding in the NHS.

    I still had marvellous treatment for a herpes on my cornea. But still, I can see the difference in care now and a few years ago.


  • Winter, if you take Lansoprazole, have you got a reflux from your stomach? This may be the source of your sore throat. Lansoprazole controls the production of acidity in the stomach.

    Take care what to eat. Try to eliminate the food that irritate your stomach. I take on my own volition some Jarro-zyme, an over the counter medicine that helps greatly with digestion. I only take this when I have acidity. This has cut the reflux.

    If you take inhalers, make sure you rinse your mouth and throat after the puffs, as thrush can develop and cause pain.Ask your doctor to be referred to a pulmonary nurse.She would be down to earth and explain what you need to know about lung problems. Don't worry about asking questions to your doctor, you need to know and he is your doctor, so engage with him.

    Hope it helps, Mic

  • Thanks Mic.

    I'm on lansoprazole as reflux could be not helping my respiratory and throat problems and now know that is the case.

    Thanks for advice.. everything is helpful! 😊

  • Hi Winter, I also have bronchiectasis and frequently have a sore throats and lose my voice. I see ENT regularly and the voice issue is related to inflammation caused by infection also in the sinuses and going down into the throat. It can also be related to excessive mucus going into the throat. I find it improves when I am treated with antibiotics however everyone is different and I would push for a referral to ENT. Best wishes

  • Thank you Lollybre for reply.

    Yes have thought the mucous going into my throat is a factor. Although I've had a septoplasty, that nostril still gets blocked up so have mucous going by down my throat.

    Am sure my GP will be ok about me seeing an ENT if I see him again. He implied I could see someone privately but not on NHS ( and I have Bupa although feel a little embarrassed about it being passionate about excellent health for all but has been a big help to me, especially getting bronchiectasis diagnosed after having problems for over 2 years undiagnosed!) and to think about it. So I will try afew things, think then brace myself for an endoscopy! Thank you again x

  • I too have bronchiectasis. I had sore throats, disappearing voice and aching throat/neck. I would get thrush too. I also used to bring up blood. I found all this affected my mood a lot as I found it all worrying.

    I wanted to stop taking omeprazole.

    This is what worked for me:-

    I time the use of my inhalers just before I clean my teeth (ventolin won't give you thrush), or give my mouth a really good rinse if my timing is out. If I miss doing it I can feel thrush coming on. I had a strange reaction to the thrush medicine so was very keen to avoid it. Salt water rinse and gargle if mouth is beginning to get sore. I do it straight away a number of times during the day.

    I started Buteyko (classical method) which reduced my need to use the acapella by about 95%. If I need to clear my lungs I do! This really helped the sore throats and disappearing voice. I just don't get them anymore.

    I talk a lot less than I did. It seemed a real problem at the time but it made such a difference that I pursue this as much as I can. I keep my mouth shut unless talking, eating or laughing - breathe through the nose only. If I talk a lot I get weary and my voice begins to go.

    I don't eat after 7 at night. I stopped over eating! My weight is very stable. I eat slower than I did. I chew food more than I did and don't go to bed less than four hours after food.

    my lungs bleed a tiny bit if I have to do some throat clearing - about once every 3 or 4 months.

    I had my throat and nose looked at by ENT a few times with no satisfactory solution.

    Maybe something here might help.

  • Thank you very much for your reply Lizzab. It makes me feel better just to know that someone else has been " pulled down" by it. I too know if I'm in

    a situation where I'm talking more I will really suffer with throat and voice. Apart from that I'm an getting such a problem with sore throats without talking much.

    GP said it could be related to allergy but I think it's not a simple as that.

    You said like Littlepom to rinse/ gargle more after inhalers which I probably need to do for longer than I have been doing. Also I will try your suggestion of extra times in the day.

    I did try to initially be very strict about not eating for 3 hours before bed but I have lapsed abit recently so again I need to be stricter about that. I often have a lie down in the day which is then harder to be as strict though re not having eaten for a long time!

    Re thrush. GP has looked in my mouth but said it looked fine. I think have read you can get thrush further down where GP wouldn't be able to see? How would I know what thrush feels like lower down I wonder?

    It's so good to know you've " sorted" the problem though. I've had throat/ voice problems ever since I've had bronchiectasis and never got to the bottom of it. So light at end of tunnel is possible 😊! X

  • Yes my GP also said you can get thrush further down. She said that this may be caused by the nasal spray I use too, (chronic rhinitis), but once again it (thrush further down), has been eliminated with a good rinse of the mouth and a warm water gentle sea salt gargle.

    Unfortunately still trying to find a permanent solution to the chronic rhinitis.

    Soreness is my experience of thrush. That's what it feels like at the start and gets more to hurting he worse it gets.

    Sore throat would also be thrush...a bit vague I know.

    I really hope you find a solution...there will be one I think, somewhere. Keep going!!

  • I was using a steroid nasal spray but now use sterimar nasal spray ( respiratory consultant recommended this). I know that salt can dry your throat up though so feel gargling with salt water may , in my case, make it worse . Have even wondered if the sterimar spray which I take 4 times a day doesn't help. Respiratory consultant said it will help with bugs going into lungs so that's a must!

    Will plod on. Have a nice weekend x

  • Might be worth trying gaviscon. Take it before lying down. It puts a film over the surface of your stomach contents and also has some carbonate to reduce acid. I don't use it myself but the wife does.

    I have asthma and brochiectasis, and have had keyhole surgery to correct a very large paraoesophagal hiatus hernia but apart from the complications and immediate after effects I don't have many problems in that area. Still on omeprazole 20 mg twice a day.

    Post inhaler rinsing (sirdupla & ipatropium) consists of a glug to take the pills. No thrush/voice problems (so far, famous last words? )

  • Thanks Ipogle. So grateful to people taking the time to reply!

    Yes do have gaviscon and have taken. Not really helped but could try more.

    Am trying to rinse better after inhalers 😊

  • Hi Winter, you've had excellent advice here, so no need to add to it. I just wanted to let you know that I also find talking difficult, when I have a flare up. In fact, when I'm reall sob, talking ( and especially talking on the phone) wears me out completely.

    When I first started nebulising Colomycin, I had a very husky voice and sore throat. But with lots of rinsing etc., my body adjusted to it.

    Regarding thrush, it can certainly be there without you even knowing. Thrush can cover the whole of your oesophagis and can also get into your lungs. If this is the case, it will show up in sputum samples. With the meds we take, thrush is a constant risk.

    I think the whole sinus, blocked nose, postnatal drip thing also contributes in a big way.

    I find gargling wth TCP helpful when I have a sore throat but if my voice goes, I just have to give it a rest. Sipping honey in hot water also helps.

  • Thanks Billiejean.

    Again good to know I'm not the only one who gets fed up with the voice going! Like you the best thing is to give it a rest... not easy if I'm with family as I talk a lot!!

    I've not tried gargling with TCP, guess I thought anything other than water may be abit harsh if it's red already but if it helps you, I could try.

    Likewise haven't tried honey in hot water which I can do.

    Am sounding like a parrot but it's so helpful getting replies on here with these ongoing problems. I don't actually know anyone with bronchiectasis or these associated problems so it makes you feel ... you're not the only one!! X

  • winter2013


    I don't get the sore throats but I do have a very croaky voice most of the time, sometimes it sounds week and woeful. I went to ENT and had endoscopy to look at voice box, specialist said it looks fine no nasties on it or in it, go & see the "voice" dept, so I did. He suggested I purchase (from Amazon) a very cheap steam inhaler made by medisure only about £3.00 use it after you have taken your meds especially powder based ones. Then do some voice practice using hard vowels, M----M, I-----I, O----O, A----A. Read emphasising the vowel in each sentence. There is quite a bit of informative stuff I could send you if interested, please let me know I'll scan it & send it over. Haven't got any remedies for the sore throat tho' sorry.


  • Thanks IKeith!! Well no one has suggested that before. Will investigate!! 😊

  • Ps have just ordered it from Amazon... brilliant £3.33 and free delivery! 😊

  • winter2013

    Please let me know if you want the voce practice papers, it's all helped me somewhat.

    The instructions for the steam inhaler are enclosed within the inhaler box. Hope it helps you but please pesevere.


  • Thanks lkeith. If I'd like them is it difficult for you to forward the practice papers? Would it be possible to send them on the message?

  • winter2013

    If you do want them, send me your email address, I can scan them & send as an attachment, provided you have a printer it should work. I may have to send them from a small local printers as my own printer is a bit temperamental above 1No sheet. Try it ,if it does you good.


  • winter2013

    I've just read today's post by mrsmummy, about email addresses etc, just to put your mind at rest I am not one of the dodgy members, just trying to help.


  • I know!! 😊

  • Hi, I have had a similar problem, after being at a wedding or some other event such as that where you strain your voice to speak over loud music and speak a lot more than normal I tend to lose my voice, it gets very husky and then goes for a couple of days after, not sore but tiring and just annoying. I tend to have quite a loud voice at the best of times! I thought it was connected to my bronchiectasis but apparently not, just a strain on the vocal cords - there is a fancy name but I can't remember what it is. My husband thinks its great as he gets a few days peace!.

    Best advise I can give is always rinse your mouth thoroughly after using puffers - I usually brush my teeth as I hate the taste of them and cut down the time you are at functions. Also give in and rest your voice when it happens.

  • Thanks Lilyanne

    Yes that is the best advice!! Interesting you say it's not connected to bronchiectasis as have had prone to the problem for years.. pre bronchiectasis, it's just got worse.

    My husband likes the break and his advice is " don't talk as much!" Not always helpful advice though as sometimes it's unavoidable 😂!

    Thanks lots for your reply! Xx

  • Hi Winter !

    I'm new to all this & I realise you may have solved your voice/throat problem by now. However, I couldn't help noticing you said you were on Seretide. I changed to that on the recommendation of my (otherwise helpful) asthma nurse as she said it contained a preventative dose of antibiotic(?) which would help reduce my usual terrible winter chest infections/pneumonia. It did seem to do that but I gradually got huskier & huskier, couldn't sing, which depressed me, and eventually started to lose my voice when speaking. Since the asthma spray was the only change in my several medications at the time, I deduced it to be the culprit & asked my Dr to change the scrip. It worked! I'm now on Clenil (by mistake I think because I was on Becl whatever before & they're both brown) but I'm 100% sure Seretide was the culprit. Hey! I can sing in the shower again !

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for that Cha / net. Very helpful as haven't really solved throats problem. Have made a note of Clenil!

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