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Laryngospasm Article
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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Not a research paper but a good article IMO. Having "been there, done that" I think the article does a good job in most cases.

I think most of us SBMA'ers will experience Laryngospasm at one time or another. For me, it happened pretty early in the SBMA experience and it was frightening. I'm sure if anyone else was around they would have been frightened as well.

The one place in the article is a bit ominous: If you are not able to breathe or if you hear a high-pitched wheezing sound called stridor when you breathe, then you need emergency medical help. Of course, it is possible you really are choking so there's that.

In my cases when I experienced stridor it was because I was fighting the spasm and not "relaxing into it." I would guess the statement is there as a CYA, and I'll and mine: you may need medical help, use your own judgment. In my experience, it will be over before you make a decision. I would be trying one of the several suggestions to address the spasm in the article while waiting however.

See "Treatments for laryngospasm" about halfway down.

A few simple techniques may stop the spasm:

0 Hold the breath for 5 seconds, then breathe slowly through the nose. Exhale through pursed lips. Repeat until the spasm stops.

0 Cut a straw in half. During an attack, seal the lips around the straw and breathe in only through the straw and not the nose. This technique encourages slower breathing that can help relax the vocal cords.

0 Push on a pressure point near the ears. This point, known as the laryngospasm notch, can force the vocal cords to relax. Locate the soft spot behind the earlobes and just above the jaw. Forcefully push down and in toward the throat. The pressure should be forceful enough to be painful, and if it works, it should relieve the symptoms of laryngospasm immediately.

I've tried all three (sans the straw) successfully. I found the main key is to relax.

I don't know about the straw thing... Really, find a straw and cut it in half, right. Just purse your lips, hold your nose, try to breath slowly, relax. The pressure point did seem to work.

email:rheitzman at gmail
Registered: 08-02-2009
Posts: 204
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I appreciate the author of the article trying to help, but you can sort of tell that the author has never had a laryngospasm. Of the three techniques listed in the bullet points:

#1 is helpful (breathe out through pursed lips)

#2 is ridiculous because it implies that you are carrying the half-straw with you at all times, or else in the middle of a laryngospasm you are going to find a straw and scissors, etc. Clearly impossible. But the basic idea is correct, you just need to breathe out through an imaginary straw using pursed lips, which makes it about the same as #1.

#3 I have read about before, but haven't had an opportunity to try it. I intend to try it the next time I have a laryngospasm.
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Location: Cuxhaven / Germany
Registered: 06-13-2016
Posts: 11
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I have tried all of the tips and I can only tell you that in my case the tips might only help when the spasm itself is nearly over. In the beginning of the spasm, there is NO WAY FOR ME to inhale or exhale, not with pursed lips or with a straw inside the mouth. The problem is the stress level which you are in when it happens. You never know how long the spasm will last and for example when it happens during sleep and you wake up, you even might not know what triggered the spasm. The more often it happens the more relaxed you can handle the situation but even after 100 times it is still very scary. I asked the doctors to show me the special notch point which is supposed to release the spasm. None of the doctors could tell me exactly until I showed them the youtube video. I myself tried it but unfortunately it did not work for me .... and to be honest, it is very difficult to follow certain instructions when you are having this laryngospasm. The most important thing for me is, to get into an upright position, getting everything out of the mouth what might be in there when the spasm starts. I try to bend over my head a little bit and than wait until it becomes possible to sniff a bit of air through the nose. This might be quite difficult when you had a full intake of air before the spasm started. This means, you have to get rid of some air first before you can inhale new air. So far I never passed out but a few times I was not able to relax because I could not get rid of the trigger of the spasm. A few spasms continously really suck.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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My experience is about the same. Having confidence from previous events and knowing it will end eventually helps me to relax. It is very tempting to force an inhale during the spasm but that only makes it worse in my experience. If you are making noise you are doing it wrong. I found I can swallow/drink water if I think there is some stimulant present.

email:rheitzman at gmail
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