British Lung Foundation
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Does anyone get a feeling of having something permanently stuck in their throat with copd?

First of all Hello to everyone. I'm female, 51 and was diagnosed with copd 5 years ago (after spending 18 months having been told I had Emphysema).

I've had recurrent episodes of chest infections, but now I'm getting a continuous feeling of needing to clear my throat. I also get really bad earache, sore throat and swollen glands. My GP says that it's all connected. I have one good day and then about 3 bad ones, where I have no energy at all. As I'm in the middle of a move (due to a marriage breakdown) any help or advice to feel better would be very much appreciated.

9 Replies


What treatment have you been given to help sort out the problems with earache etc. Ear nose and throat problems are "seperate" from lung problems but ENT problems can cause flare ups of your copd - has anyone ever told you about post nasal drip? Where mucous in the nose etc drops into the back of the throat - and can lead to chest infections. That's why it's important to get ENT problems looked into and treated. Don't just put up with it - also this time of year with spring here there is then the looming prospect of pollen/hayfever.

Hope that helps - call the BLF Helpline - 03000 030 555 - if you want to discuss.




Hi Mark

Thanks for answering. I've never been told about the post nasal drip and I'm not receiving any help with the ENT problems. I had an appointment a few months back, and basically was told that there was nothing evident for the symptoms I have. They wanted to put a camera up my nose and into my throat, but I had a chest infection at the time and couldn't handle it.

I've have been pretty down the past few months, due to the marriage breakdown (hubby had been serially cheating for over 2 years, unknown to me!!), and I've noticed that the symptoms get worse when I'm having a bad day. My throat can feel red raw one day, with my glands very swollen, then the next day I'm fine. But this constant feeling that I need to clear my throat all the time is horrible. Also it gets worse when I go to bed. The other night I was coughing so badly that I was also retching at the same time. Quite frightening when you live alone. I honestly thought I was going to choke to death!



Have you given any thought to the possibility that it might be stress related? It's not uncommon to let ourselves get run down when bad situations are going on as it all takes its toll on the immune system.

Just a thought but yes, I can appreciate probably frightening for you with being alone. Is there anyone, a friend maybe, that could stay with you for a while until you are feeling a bit better?




Hi Lorraine

I think that stress will be making it worse, but I also think that I'm getting a lot more mucus now than I used to. I'm also in the middle of moving, so stress levels are pretty high! I don't really have anyone who can stay, but I always have my phone beside me at night. Not that I'd be able to speak to anyone while choking, lol. x


Hi Squid

Sorry to read about your problems. I have the same problem and get relief from a saline (non-medicated) nasal spray which I use liberally up each nostril as often as I need it. It both eases my throat and also dilutes the mucous so that it can be either swallowed or coughed up. Also saline is good to fight infection in the mouth and throat. Best regards, Martin


Thanks Martin, where do you get it from please?


Sounds like a thyroid issue, not a drip issue.


so sorry you are having such a tough time and hopr you will soon be feeling brighter with a fresh start. seems that immune system weakens when we are down too. Just wondered if your doc or chest consultant should see your throat - I didn't think I continued to have a problem and just casually mentioned it after I nearly choked on a bit of food. result am to see speech therapist. apparently muscle at back of throat can be strengthened through exercises . also I had feeling of something in throat a while back - turned out to be fngal infection that then also affected my lungs. x


You need to ho to a Pulmonologist. The only way you know for sure if u have copd is by having a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) . A GP can't diagnose this as far as I know. I've had copd for 16 years and am now very severe. You have to have a pulmonary doctor. And, before u go, don't forget to go on the Web and check his credentials. To clear your throat frequently is a symptom of post nasal drip, which is what I have.


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