Why do I have to clear my throat so much?
November 20, 2009 8:23 AM Subscribe
Why do I have to clear my throat all of the time? When I'm speaking, my voice often becomes croaky to the point where I can't speak normally without sounding like Tom Waits on his deathbed. This is normally resolved by me clearing my throat rather audibly (ahem-uh-huh-hem!), after which I can speak fine again. I might have to do this five or six times in an hour long presentation. I'm not spitting out or swallowing phlegm, my voice is just unusably scratchy until I clear my throat. Occassionally, clearing my throat does nothing, and I'm left with a voice that can barely speak. This happens with my normal conversations, too, not just presentations.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My occupation sometimes requires extensive public speaking (hence the anonymous), but I still have the problem of having to clear my throat even when I don't have a lot of speaking to do.
Gargling with salt water seems to improve my ability to speak, as does drinking tea and sucking on lozenges. If I sleep well, there is a slight improvement, sometimes.
Is the throat-clearing serving the function of removing phlegm? Should I see a ENT? Have you had similar problems? How did you manage the problem?