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I feel as if I am being strangled. Not choking, but strangled.

By Anonymous October 21, 2011 - 6:04pm
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Beginning December, 2010, I have been to my primary care physician, a gastronologist, endocrinologist, ears, nose and throat doctor and a neurologist.

It was discovered I had polyps on the right side of my thyroid. I had an ultrasound and biopsy and they were not cancerous. However, the endocrinologist said the polyps should not be causing my strangling sensation. He referred me to a gastronologist. I had an endoscopic procedure performed and all was well. No acid reflex, GERD, tumor, etc. He referred me to an otolaryngologist. Through an additional ultrasound, it was discovered the nodules were growing. It was determined my thyroid should be removed and it was thought it would eliviate the strangling sensation. On June 22, 2011, I had half of my thyroid removed. During a follow up visit, I infomred the doctor I was still feeling like I am being strangled. He said there was some swelling and give it about a month (which I did). I then went back to him and he put me on Prilosec and sent me for a barium ?? procedure. All was normal. My new PCP examined me and took an x-ray of my nectk. He noticed something in the back of my neck that might possibly be causing the sensation in the front of my neck. He sent me for a neck MRI. He put me on Celebrex (to reduce inflammation - if any). I had the neck MRI and after review the PCP - sent me to a neurologist. I went to the neurologist earlier in the week. He said neurologically speaking, I was fine and he didn't feel the vertebras were causing my discomfort. I am at a lost as to where to go or what to do next. Some of my smyptoms are as follows: It originally felt like I as wearing a high turtle nectk sweater that was too tight or I had a scarf on and it was pulled too tight. I have difficulty swallowing saliva (golf ball in throat feeling), but have a lesser problem swallowing water or eating. At all times, it now feels like someone is strangling me - somethimes mild to extreme. I do not feel like I am choking. It has never felt like it is on the interior of my throat. It has always felt like it is on the exterior of my throat and the interior of my neck (if that makes any sense.) Some of my other symptoms are like Cricophanyngea Spasm, however two doctors say I do not have that. I had cosmetic surgery three and a half years ago (with no compliations) and went back to the plastic surgeon to inquire if he had ever seen this side effect before and could make a recommendation. No suggestion was made. Before this issue, I have been extremely healthy - with the exception of glaucoma. I have glaucoma in both eyes and have used drops for about ten years and have had surgery on my right eye. I am 59 years old, good health - no high blood pressure, heart disease, sugar diabetes, etc. I'm 5'7" / 150 lbs, non-smoker and an occasional cocktail. No medication except eye drops and minor vitamins (calcium, etc.) Should you have questions or require additional information, please contact me at [Personal Information removed for privacy]
Thank you for your possible assistance. I look forward to hearing from someone.

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EmpowHER Guest

I believe the strangling or throttling sensation is due to stress. I have had it for about 8 months now, particularly when I am at work which has been extremely stressful for some years but I have felt more stressed during this year. I have treatment from a homeopath and this worked extremely well to the point where I said I felt normal most of the time and able to manage the stress. Unfortunately, the stress has increased suddenly in my second job and the throttling feeling has come back. It is not there when I am walking the dog or doing something I enjoy, just when I am working or thinking about work.

September 19, 2020 - 9:36pm
Guide (reply to Anonymous)


You are correct, for many, stress is a factor.  Stress and/or anxiety may cause globus hystericus, a feeling of tightness in or around the throat, or feeling that something is stuck in the throat.  A doctor will often rule out other possibilities before diagnosing the above, and rightfully so as there can be other causes.

Thank you for sharing your experience. 


September 20, 2020 - 9:07am
EmpowHER Guest

Well, i been going through the same for last 40 years, ultra sound, biopsy, x-rays , colonoscopy etc....all clear, but strangling around neck . To the positive side, i suggest not to go through any surgery any further. It is related to the voice folds, not to the vocal cords, voice box is fine but it is more likely the pathologist's case. Try to use your voice properly, don't put stress on it . Whenever i gargle with salt water and practice least 20 minute with my voice i feel better for weeks, then i don't care and it comes back(haha).
Another reason is Gerd, if oily, fried or spicy food is avoided, it is very helpful. By the way i am 72, walk 2 miles a day even in minus 10, diabetic, but on the other side, i installed new shingles on my roof recently, renovated 2 bath rooms in my house, last week i changed the brake pads and rotor on my 2 cars, i just finished plumbing work on my third floor for a new shower and today i have opened my dryer which is not spinning but power coming i am going to check the drum and belts and alignment, i left it in the middle because a friend of mine needs my help to create a website for him, now i am going with him to his house to design a website, he is lawyer....so the bottom line...............why should i keep myself under stress at 72.... Government has retired me officially 7 years ago and wants to see me dead sooner to save the pension cheque but i am playing with her.
Sometimes i think i should look for second marriage since i am still capable....haha
Every single word i have written is true , till today, what happened tomorrow, don't know, not in my control......it's upto God........................stay blessed all of you.

January 13, 2020 - 9:36pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have the EXACT symptoms, thyroid issue and all. Please can you tell me if a doctor has ever figured it out?

August 17, 2019 - 11:42am
EmpowHER Guest

You must have your heart checked asap you sound like symptomatic aeortic stenosis, or related and easily cureable with a small mechanical insert.

March 3, 2019 - 5:32pm
EmpowHER Guest

I experience the strangled feeling on and off for 2 weeks now. I agree that it is stress related. Sometimes it is not external stress, but it is your internal stress, such as you push yourself to the limit to achieve a goal, and this create a stress on your body without your knowing. When I try to steer away from the focal point that make me push myself forward, and take care of my body, the strangled feeling goes away.

September 30, 2018 - 11:56am
EmpowHER Guest

What kind of eyedrops did you use? I had the same experience for the first time last night. I was awakened from sleep with a choking feeling and difficulty breathing. I had used ofloxacin eyedrops before going to be about to hours prior. I had also eaten mahi mahi about 3 hours prior. I have never had a reaction to shellfish, but I rarely ever eat mahi. I'm not sure if my symptoms were from the mahi or the ofloxacin eye drops.

September 1, 2018 - 1:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had that same reaction to the ofloxacin eyedrops and mahi fish.

March 3, 2019 - 8:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

I’ve had this coking sensation since 2006, I experience usually 2-4 times a day for the most part, It comes out of the blue for absolutely no reason, however caffeine is a trigger for mine. I no longer drink coffee, teas (even decaf) or soft drinks, one in awhile I’ll have chocolate and I’ll have the choking sensation.
However it happens for no reason, I won’t feel necessarily stressed or at least no awhere if I am. When I’m feeling stressed or in a tense situation it definitely happens also.
I take a the lowest dose of Xanax and break off a small piece and place under my tongue and it subsides in seconds. I don’t necessarily advise this but for me to allows me to rebound quickly and I’ve never had a dosage change in over 10 years so I don’t abuse it. I’d love to find something natural but had no luck so far.
It feels like I’ve read in many of these articles... at tight turtle neck pressing on the front of my neck and that’s my only symptom.

December 3, 2017 - 6:22am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

You could have a form of vasculitis that is sensitive to caffeine, sugar and high calcium foods like milk. To check whether this is the problem, try about 20 mg of prednisolone a day and see whether the symptom stops.

April 5, 2018 - 7:56am
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