URTI and laryngospasm

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:shock: Just had the most awful cold, which in 48 hours went to a suffocating cough, fever and feeling really ill, not like the usual cold thing. Started to cough like a machine gun, couldn't stop it and coughed all my air out. Next thing something in my throat snapped shut, and I couldn't breathe in or out for what seemed like ages (about a minute). I though I was going to die! I heard this awful screeching whistle as a little bit of air came in, but I just couldn't control it, I was heaving, turning red, and in a state of panic. I ended up on all fours on the floor, and my husband called 999. After a few minutes of being told to try and relax, I started to breathe a bit more, but still the awful noise carried on. After about 15 minutes I could suddenly breathe okay again. The lovely Paramedic team explained I'd had a laryngospasm, caused by coughing violently. I'd like to say to anyone with an URTI to be prepared in case this happens, I was reassured to hear that you don't die of this!! The trick is to try and breathe shallow on the in-breath and longer and slowly on the out-breath. Your body wants to make you breathe in HARD, but this is what bangs the larynx shut and makes the screeching noise, but it actually makes the problem worse. I felt quite foolish afterwards, but my experience might help someone not to panic as I did!! :oops: That was 2 days ago, and I'm feeling much better now, just wanted to share this, it might help.

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  • Posted

    Hi Excentrica,

    Quite a few years ago I had a really bad cough and woke up one morning began to cough and the same thing happened to me. I panicked and my husband took me to A&E. It happened again there and they just kept telling me not to panic. Gave me some antibiotics and that was that. Some months later I was having lunch out with my daughters and it happened again. This time, being in public, I just started to breath what little air I could get in as calmly as possible. My youngest didn't know what was happening and wanted to get an ambulance. I was waving at her to sit down, but she didn't know what I was doing. I just kept calm and gently trying to get some air and then just as suddenly as it came it went.

    Your advice to anyone who may experience this is good.

    Take care


    • Posted

      Hi, I had Laringospasm for quite a few years, the first one was in 1982, when my father died - I was so upset and in tears that I choked and couldn't breathe.  I didn't have any more attacks until again 15 years ago and quite a few after that.  The last one I had was in 2012.  What I have realised is that I bring on the spasm myself. Normally when people choke on water or on some food, they cough and splatter a bit and then all is ok.  However, my PANIC, when I choke, even on water,CAUSES the SPASMS.  I have since learned (and I know how hard it sounds) not to panic!  AND IT WORKS!!!!  I was determined to conquer this horrible spasm.  I have since choked hundreds of times but I have been able to take charge of my panics which SETS IT OFF!  I kind of panic initially, then make myself relax and deal with the choking in an orderly fashion.  It might sound hard, even impossible but I have managed to do it (anything to stop that GASTLY spasm!!). One time I was driving and my two kids were in the back and I choked on a tiny bit of food, my eyes must have popped out of my head, I thought not now, I stopped the panic dead in its tracks and the spasm didn't get a chance to rear it's ugly head!! Just coughed and sputtered a bit which is all that is supposed to happen when one chokes. I have even found that muscle spasms in my legs/arms, I can now also relax them quite easily and stop them before it gets worse.  

      If it doesn't work for you and the spasm has started, try concentrating on water and having a sip of it, (I know that's hard cause all you want to do is try and breathe) I did that once in 2012 and apparently it's not the water that helps, it's just focussing on something else, which causes the spasm to relax.  I hope this will help you and anyone else reading it.  I most certainly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!!

      Good Luck Tessa!!


  • Posted

    My LARYNGOSPASM Cure on my web site

    About 3 years ago I had suffered 3 Laryngospasms within 18 months,

    the last 2 within 6 weeks of each other, (when I was referred to a specialist.)

    The specialist said my Laryngospasms could be caused by my goitre and the only advice given was to try to breath in slowly during attacks.

    After this I soon found on the internet that Calcium deficiency can case muscle spasms so I asked my Doctor to check my Calcium level. It was OK.

    But as a precaution I started to take Calcium anyway....taking just 1/2 of RDA.

    Very fortunately for me, the supplement bought from a health shop, in addition to Vit D, contained Magnesium, Copper, Boron and Zinc too.

    I had no further attacks for nearly 3 years........

    But after about 2 1/2 years I began to purchase most of my supplement in supermarkets.

    This only contained Calcium and Vit D.

    Approx. 4 months after using mostly the supermarket supplement I had 3 very slight short attacks within about a 4 week period. Foolishly, I ignored them.

    5 days after that third attack I had a full Laryngospasm on 15/1/09.

    Immediately I returned to taking my original supplement containing Magnesium etc.

    I have not suffered any further Laryngospasms.

    Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and has been used to prevent

    Laryngospams in children during operations on the throat.

    (reference on my site and also to an American Laryngospasm specialist and video.)

    The RDA for Magnesium for a man over 35 is 420 mg.

    The foods containing the most Magnesium are not those eaten every day,

    or at all by many !

    So for me, to absorb 420mg per day could be quite a task, especially as I drink a great deal of tea as the sole Calcium in milk can deplete the body's Magnesium.

    I now believe that my voice box muscles are relaxed just by simply taking 1/2 RDA of Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms and cramp and although I may not be deficient, that little extra is relaxing my vocal chords and so prevents attacks. The copper, boron or zinc too my assist in this.

    Of course, this may not work for others and the taking this supplement which appears to cure my Laryngospasms could be the placebo effect. But I think not.

    I hope all this may help other sufferers of this frightening disease.


    [b:afd6be37b4]Sorry but Patient Admin have removed an email address from this posting, as it is the policy of Patient UK not to publish these on this forum.



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