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J Laryngol Otol. 2007 Apr;121(4):354-7. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Ice cold carbonated water: a therapy for persistent hyperawareness of pharyngeal mucus and throat clearing.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery, Queens Medical Centre University Hospital, Nottingham, UK.


Chronic throat clearing or a feeling of 'something' at the back of the oropharynx or nasopharynx is a common cause for referral to otorhinolaryngology services. While treatment of an underlying causative condition might be expected to improve these symptoms, in many cases a clear underlying cause is not found. Currently, there is no recognized treatment which is effective against these troublesome symptoms. This observational study investigated the effectiveness of a regime of sipping ice cold carbonated water to try to break the vicious cycle of throat clearing. Seventy-two patients with these symptoms who had previously been advised to use the regime were contacted with a postal questionnaire. Sixty-three per cent of patients documented an improvement in their symptom severity score. The most severely and most frequently affected patients had the greatest benefit. We conclude that the suggested regime can be effective in breaking the vicious cycle of persistent throat-clearing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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