Throat so tight it affects breathing

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Hi, for the past 6 months, I have had serious issues with my throat that are really affecting my breathing.  My nose feels it too.  Let me explain.  At the nose level, my nose is extremely tight all day.  What I mean is, even the very bottom of my nostrils are permanently in a tense state, effectively making my nose opening more narrow.  However, my nose itself is apparently "clear" based on what doctors say.  So, that leads me to believe it's my extremely tight throat that's causing my breathing symptoms.  Essentially, my throat feels like it's being squeezed at all times.  When I breathe in, it's as if my throat is sucking in on itself, and I feel like I didn't get a normal breath.  I often end up taking a deep breath out of my mouth repeatedly.  When I breathe in through my nose, in addition to the sucking in feeling, it's almost like this feeling of cool air somewhere in the back of my nose or upper throat.  It feels like a thin column of cool air is getting through only.  When it's at its worst, the cool air feeling goes away.  I found a few tricks that seem to help slightly.  One is a very deep yawn.  It seems to almost stretch my muscles out or something and the next few breaths (for about 20 seconds or so) are a bit more satisfying.  What I notice during those breaths is my nose seems less tense and the cool air feeling becomes more pronounced in my throat, as if the column of coolness has increased thickness slightly, meaning more air going down.  
Some other weird symptoms I have noticed are when burping, my throat seems to block them off now, like they literally can't come out my mouth anymore.  In fact, every time I burp, my nose often blocks off temporarily even more.  I hear like air popping sounds and liquid type gurgling sounds in my throat afterwards.  It almost feels like my esophagus has somehow shifted higher in my throat or something.  Another thing is when I breathe in through my nose or mouth, my stomach constantly growls, a sign that air is getting into my stomach.  But, it's literally happening repeatedly now.  One of my theories is that something is so tight, enlarged, or out of place in my throat, that air is getting somehow displaced towards my esophagus instead of my wind pipe, which is causing all these symptoms.  The thing about it is, no matter what, even if I do everything possible to make my nose feel clear, it isn't enough, because my throat still sucks in on itself when I breathe in, and air seems to get displaced from into my esophagus.  It also seems to explain why burping seems to go into the back of my nose.  It's almost like there's some kind of direct path from my nose to my esophagus that has formed.  I often take breaths through my nose know as brief "sniffs" cause extended breaths in just seem to tighten my throat more and more.
I know it sounds crazy, but these are the symptoms I feel 24/7 now.  My ENT basically "released" me after 2 visits, saying I'm crazy.  He did do that straight scope thing.  Basically, even my family thinks I'm crazy, but they have no idea that I know something isn't right here.  It's almost like I'm the only one who really knows how bad these symptoms are, and these stupid doctors here just blame everything on psychological problems or "reflux".  I'm not sure what to do.  I live in Panama City, Florida.  I'm going to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville soon, but my doc is sending me to a gastro doc.  Truth be told, I'm not so sure that's the issue.  Something very insidious is going on here, but the symptoms are terrible.  It's really not like a cold feeling in my nose, it's more like some kind of physical restriction at my throat level is affecting both my throat and nose and breathing.  I don't know what it could possibly be.  
Anyway, is my theory about something shifting out of place like my esophagus or air rerouting into my esophagus instead of my trachea too crazy to be true?  I know the thyroid can cause those issues, but mine by all accounts isn't enlarged at all.  I really feel like something is structurally wrong here.  
James P Thomas MD's picture
Submitted by James P Thomas MD on Sat, 2012-04-07 13:15

Certainly a correct diagnosis would go a long ways towards finding a treatment for your condition.