Jun 4, 2021

Interviewer: You have this feeling like you have to constantly clear your throat. Dr. Katherine Kendall's a laryngologist. What's going on?

Dr. Kendall: That sensation usually starts from an irritation in the larynx from a cold or a cough, or another exposure. The feeling goes on after the original problem has resolved, and it's like scratching a mosquito bite. The more you scratch it, the more it itches. So I generally recommend that patients try to stop throat clearing.

Interviewer: So, generally, it's not caused by anything other than just a habit. So what do you do?

Dr. Kendall: I recommend substituting the response with a throat clear with something other than a throat clear, such as a hard swallow, a sip of water, chewing gum, or even snapping a rubber band on the wrist.

Interviewer: And how long until I see some results?

Dr. Kendall: Three months should do it. If not, an individual should seek care from a laryngologist.

updated: June 4, 2021
originally published: February 6, 2019

For Patients