“Ahem!” This could be the sound of getting someone’s attention, but when it occurs repeatedly, it may also be the sound of chronic throat clearing.
Chronic throat clearing is a common problem that may or may not be associated with other symptoms such as a throat tickle, dry cough, and/or “lump in the throat” sensation. It may happen a few times per day, a few times per minute, or sometimes only after meals. The causes and frequency of throat clearing may be different for each person, and when persistent, require medical examination.
In general, chronic throat clearing is usually the result of hypersensitivity in the larynx (voice box) and pharynx (throat). Clearing your throat is usually your body’s response to this irritation and an effort to remove the irritation by rubbing your vocal folds (vocal cords) together. Chronic throat clearing often creates more irritation to the vocal folds because of the harsh contact, resulting in a cycle of frequent persistent throat clearing.
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