Kennedys Disease Community
laryngospasm (dry Drowning) Choking

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08-02-2011, 05:33 PM
Dan B
laryngospasm (dry Drowning) Choking
Hi Pete,

In my opinion you were very wise to check with your doctor about the coughing. You didn't mention much about what the doctor told you, but here is some background. Normally when one swallows, there is a flap of tissue called the epiglottis that closes the airway during the swallowing process. Therefore the liquid being swallowed doesn't go into the lungs.

For people with SBMA, often the throat muscles become weak and the epiglottis doesn't close completely. That allows some of the swallowing liquid to leak into the lungs, which can cause coughing.

There is a medical test called FEES (for Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing) that allows a specialist to look down your throat and see if there is any leakage during swallowing. You might want to talk to your doctor about having this test if the coughing does not improve.

Also consider talking to your doctor or physical therapist about whether you should try the exercises that were mentioned higher up in this discussion. Some people, including me, have been helped significantly by the exercises.
12-28-2011, 10:24 PM
Bob Heitzman
Ran across this YouTube video on the topic:

email:rheitzman at gmail
05-20-2012, 07:38 PM
Hello im new to all this but have a question......i had a 2 yr old daughter that passed on jus last yr in December...=( it was supposedly from choking. She was eating grapes and choked we did everything w choking procedures but nothing.. well to cut to the point the autopsy report sed they didn't find anything no grape....while at wrk i came across a gentleman who listened to my story and mention this Dry was curious if this would of caused my daughter to choke...??? i would b gladly appreciated of anyones suggestions.................
05-21-2012, 09:38 AM
I am sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. Since I am not a medical professional there is no way I could comment.

This spasm in the larynx (dry-drowning) is frightening, but normally not life-threatening.
05-21-2012, 03:07 PM
I too am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you have suffered both trying to help her and now to not really have an answer. I think it is best to ask the medical examiner why she choked/passed. They should be willing to answer all your questions so you are not left in doubt.

May God wrap His arms around you and give you comfort.
09-24-2012, 07:18 PM
I have recently diagnosed with Acute laryngospasm due to GERD triggered by spices.
After looking at the internet I cant find anyone else that has laryngospasm triggered by spices. Anyone out there have a "spice" problem and if so what spices as I cant seem to pin point that. thank you for any help you can give me.
09-25-2012, 09:49 AM
Debbie, thank you for joining our forum. I am not aware of spice related laryngospasms. I hope someone else can help.

Those of us living with KD have these spasms from drainage when sleeping or possibly when eating or drinking food.
09-25-2012, 11:55 AM
Dan B
Hi Debbie,
I suggest reading this web page which says that GERD is triggered by the following foods:

spicy food (such as chili or jalapeƱo peppers, Thai or Szechuan spices)
acidic foods such as tomato products or citrus products
greasy foods
carbonation (soda)
roughage, such as popcorn and peanuts, or raw vegetables
dairy products
strong mint such as peppermint candies
10-01-2012, 07:54 AM
Dave Y
I have found it necessary to avoid highly spiced foods and dry red wines (and I used to enjoy both) because they often trigger laryngospasms.
07-31-2013, 12:22 AM
Hi Dan,
Thanks so much for the foods info. I've had a few episodes and they are so scary. I have had them happen when I was eating chocolate, once eating the candy "lemon heads" (I think they are too sweet), spicy things, and Italian Salad dressing that have a lot of herbs. It really stinks that I have to avoid these foods now.

I have found that what works best for me, is to try (as hard as it is) to keep calm and it seems to help me. I got to a point where I was afraid to eat if I was home alone.

Btw, I just had one. Thats why I'm here, so I'm pretty wired up now. I'm sure you all know how that is.

07-31-2013, 12:27 AM
I avoid all spices, if I can now. A couple months ago I ordered some nachos that had jalapenos on them. I figured I would just pick them off, but I got some of the juice and almost had an attack, so I don't even risk it anymore.
11-17-2018, 09:00 PM
Debbie and Friends,

I just experienced dry choking that was very scary for myself, wife and kids. I was eating some food with the hot sauce I've used hundreds of times before, but for some reason this time I feel like it hit a particular spot in my throat...then close if my entire airway. I'm glad to know i am not alone in experiencing this.
11-18-2018, 09:26 AM
Spicy foods, vinegar, etc. can set it off for me.
11-18-2018, 09:36 PM
Thanks Bruce, now that you mention it I do think vinegar may have done that for me as well years ago. Does it trigger for you everytome or randomly. Just trying to see if I need to watch how I eat it, or make sure it doesn't hit a certain part of my throat. Any tips for me...
11-19-2018, 06:29 AM
Arthur, it is one of those things that you never know if it will or won't. I error on the cautious side these days.