Foreign accent syndrome and lots of mucus

Apparently I sound like I come from one of the former Russian states at the moment . Has come in handy with cold callers when asked if I am lady of the house I say no I am the cleaner and the phone gets banged down !

Fellow community users who have had my syndrome have been very kind coming forward with their experiences and I took great comfort from the knowledge I am not alone in the strange and sometimes scarey world of a brain injury.

I was wondering if anyone else has suffered from excess mouth mucus / sore throats / swallowing problems since brain injury ?

I seem to have constant phlegmn / thirstyness and problems with sore throats and reflux .

Also very thirsty for water and tea but have found that alcohol sets me off like a Roman candle - I feel angry and can not see reason!

Would be grateful to hear other people's experiences.

Thank you in anticipation.

16 Replies

Hi Writer, I am plagued with sinus problems, making balance problems worse because it interferes with my ears. My throat doesn't get sore but I also have swallowing troubles sometimes I can start coughing and choking for no reason!

I find that tiger balm or Vicks helps with the congestion, rubbed on my chest or back of neck, on my temples too.

Your GP should be able to help xxxxx


Thank you Kirk. Sorry to hear how you suffer.

I will use a decongestant and will talk to my doctor.

Wishing you a happy weekend !



I have some problems with my swallow, in fact recently I had a nasty chest infection which was thought to be caused by aspiration of food. I ended up being admitted to hospital with it.

I also get sore throat as I have a slow/intermittent CSF leak, which drips down the back of my throat.

Wow, your accent issue must be distressing for you. You must get a similar reaction to what I get when I mention that I can taste the colour yellow!

Take care



Dear BD

I am so sorry to hear of your distress and infections.

How kind of you to share your troubles with me.

Interesting about your sore throat - I will check up with my GP.

How fascinating that you can taste the colour yellow - I am sure like me you get a mixed reception!

I don't think that unless you have suffered a Brain Injury or work in that area you can understand how complex the brain is and that a brain injury can trigger the smallest and strangest symptons in the sufferer !

It's good to talk !


Alison xxx


Hi Writer. I don't have BI (unless you subscribe to the theory that ME causes liw level, diffuse inflammation of the brain) -yet, anyway (see how I come through my annie op before I make that too categoric a statement), but recurrent sore throats are all part of ME - it is the HPA axis dysfunction which is usually blamed; and I do find on flare- ups I have problems swallowing: never been quite sure whether this is a muscle weakness or neurological signalling problem - to the extent where I have at times lived for a couple of weeks on Slimfast/Complan.

Can't help with the Russian accent though. I am useless at all accents apart from French, in which I sound (apparently) like a native. So if my speech is affected post op, as I have been warned it may be, it will be interesting to see what surfaces!


Yes, Writer, I have the swallowing problem. Sometimes it's like a paralysis, and I'm stuck with a mouthful of liquid or food, and cannot swallow with all the will in the world.

But worse by far is the premature swallowing where I'm unprepared (still chewing) but it happens spontaneously and sometimes enters the windpipe, which can be scary.

I also can relate to the excess mucus/phlegm which surprises me after giving up smoking 3 &1/2years ago.

No change of accent though ! ................ I must say that sounds quite an exotic symptom, but not unheard of. :-/ x


Yes Cat: VERY rarely I have trouble swallowing saliva. Only VERY occasionally, it's weird: I keep trying but the swallow doesn't happen. And yes: not concentrating then food/liquid goes down wrong way into windpipe and I choke. Little bits of apple often catch me out and get stuck coz wan't thinking/doing, was 'somewhere else'.

So did cheap copy cornflakes = went too soggy in milk and all floppy and several times (before I realised had to bin them) one got stuck and couldn't breathe/clear it = scary.

Derr: I MUST concentrate as eat, but like everything else = it varies!


I remember walking with my friend, both of us aged 16, and she gave me cough-candy. We were laughing and the candy lodged in my windpipe, so she swiftly pulled me to the ground, grabbed my legs and turned me upside down. :o

The candy dislodged immediately & I could breathe once more. When I asked where she'd learned that trick she reminded me she'd started a nursing course and had recently been taught first-aid for choking babies/children.

I've never forgotten it and used it with my own children a few times. :p

We just need to perfect our handstands !!

Take care Muddled. xx


Hi dear Cat

Interesting to hear of your symptoms - how frustrating and scary to swallow food that then goes into your windpipe.

It be must be awful to be hungry and thirsty and not be able to swallow '

I can swallow and then food seems to get stuck on occasions which is very frightening and then makes my throat even soarer.

Last week at a wedding reception my reflux really let me down. We were toasting the bride and my reflux kicked back and I spat water all over the person sitting next to me ! I was mortified but managed to laugh about it later !

Last night could not bring myself to eat anything as I felt if I forcd it down with painful throat and chest , I would be sick !

Hey Ho !

Happy Sunday



Well, since my brain injury I've had tonsillitis on a virtually annual basis. Laryngitis rears it's ugly head every couple of years or so too. I am permanently congested, literally 24/7. Singularly I keep the Kleenex company in business.

Although I don't seem to have swallowing problems aside from when I have those illnesses, I do often seem to get the sensation that food is trapped in my throat and only a severe coughing fit seems to shift it. That's all well and good, but the one occasion it occurred with hot coffee in my mouth was pretty traumatic.

Oh well, life goes on...


Dear Baron C

Horrible sensation choking with liqud in your mouth - let alone hot coffee !

Congestion 24/7 is wretched - I agree about the use of tissues !

Thank you for sharing your physical troubles - helps me to understand mine !

Happy Sunday

A x


Hi Writer,

I still get ill just as much as i did pre-bi than I do post-bi which ain't that often at the moment I've got a bit of a cold which maybe leading to bronchitis, I hope not though,

I've had swallowing problems since I was really little, I hated it when it happened in primary school, it usually happens if I am eating something hot so just put it down to the fact that it was a shock to my system but then when i got in to high school it was with anything hot or cold, this all started pre-diagnosed bi, I say that because there are 2 incidents in my life that could have also been classed as a bi before my tbi but aren't, I don't really have the other problems apart from the funny accents I come out,

Just a question off topic, your name on here is writer, so do you write and if you do what types of things do you write, as you can tell by mine I write but haven't had anything published as of yet,

Take care,

Siobhan x


Hi Siobhan

How difficult it must have been for you to have the swallowing issue as a child / teenager .

Where your parents and schools aware ?

Yes have written in the past. Public relations , copywriting , freelance journalism . My field where antiques, interiors and art.

Have also written press releases for charities , friends etc when in need!

The whole media workd has changed - difficult to get work published in print.

My advice is to start a blog - lots of free sites - word press great - build up your followers .

There was a woman wh moved from London to the North and wrote a blog about it and got a book deal.

What is your chosen subject or do you want to write on many different subjects ?



Hi Writer, I'm really sorry I've only just seen this reply,

I never thought about mentioning it to my mum or the school didn't think I had anything wrong with me so never mentioned anything about it, it wasn't until the admin on this site put up a post about swallowing problems due to a brain injury did I think it was connected to something in my past,

That sounds like quite a lot of work but very rewarding once it's been published,

I've joined word press I think, I'm not 100% sure but usually everything ends up in my e-mail so will check in there :) I know an author who is helping me get published and an author from canada who is helping me get my shorter work published in kindle form because that confuses me, he's tried explaining what happens and how you get your work published but explained to him about my difficulties and he just said that he's help me free of charge, I still offered to give him a share but he said it's fine, because we bounce ideas of each other, I also write for fanfiction a website for people who like to write about tv shows,

I write mainly fiction, when I was 6/7 it was about animals going either missing or going on adventures and it was through their eyes, got in to teenage years and it was more about feelings and emotions, in my last year of high school we had to write a story for coursework and it had to be about a teenage lad that lost his 4 year old little brother from a hit and run (it was based on a poem we read) and I put my own personal experiences in to the story as the year before I lost my little sister and I nearly got top marks but some teachers didn't think it was fair I got top marks for my story against people in higher classes even though my teacher said it was by far the best story from all the classes, but oh well I ended up with an A for that piece of coursework, I now want to write sci-fi/adventure stories,

Sorry for rambling,

Take care,

Siobhan x


Hi Writer,

I did have a lot of digestion/reflux problems in acute illness.Horrendous cauldron stomach so lived off Ready Brek and Gaviscon for a few weeks ! I remember the acid reflux made my throat sore and swallowing was affected.This did improve.

Still get times in the month when I am excessively dribbly mouthed ,then exceedingly dry,which coincides with great thirst and burning tongue.I suspect there can be a subtle change in chemical/hormone balance that affects us . I generally seem to have more allergy type symptoms,mucus,blocked ears etc and skin probs,excema that is worsened by the hotter weather and sebhorrea,as my scalp is uber greasy these days.

No language changes but had a few days of myoclonus in diaphragm ( spasms, 4 beats then a pause ) which causes a stutter and makes you out of breath and nauseous.So glad that didn't stay long ! Thankfully a lot of my worst symptoms were short lived : )

Often stutter now but it is more a cognitive short circuit and if I pause and silently mouth the word I can sometimes correct it : )

Interesting that your speech pattern has changed again- I am wondering if it will go through a few different phases before getting more like your original.

I was only an occasional drinker before so don't miss it .It seems that a lot of us find that alcohol affects us more potently after injury.My last half a cider made me laugh like a loon for 10 minutes then promptly put me to sleep-hence I don't bother now !

I would say go with the flow, at the moment.You are still very early in recovery and may find that things continue to change/improve as time goes on.

Take care, Angela x

1 like

angelite, you say 'myoclonus in diaphragm' = I've had that (if IS that?) = there and in loads of various places. But yes, weird, scary and very odd in chest/by heart, my heart feels like it flutters occasionally but been told ECGs normal.

When heart worst at start GP suggested 24hr monitor but little while later when I asked for one he refused, no reason given and this doesn't appear in med records I've been given = like so MUCH more. Did he CHOOSE to not write so much or what?


You may also like...