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Throat expert explains why you should avoid clearing your throat

Emma Guinness

Published 
| Last updated 

Throat expert explains why you should avoid clearing your throat

As the colder months slowly but surely arrive, many of us will notice that we're suffering from seasonal colds and flu.

However, if you find yourself with a bunged up throat, it turns out that the worst possible thing you can do is try and clear it. Find out why below:

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The revelation was made on TikTok by Dr Inna Husain, also known as the @ThroatDoc, who captioned her now-viral video: "Throat clearing is so bad for you!"

In the video, she shared herself reacting with horror to a hypothetical patient telling her that they have been clearing the mucus in their throat themselves.

"Throat clearing causes irritation which leads to more mucus production!" she wrote in the video.

The tip did not go unnoticed, and at the time of writing, the video has been viewed over 5.6 million times.

She went on to elaborate in follow-up videos that clearing your throat will cause irritation that can lead to sensitivity and further problems down the line.

But the good news is the situation can get better if you give your throat a chance to heal by clearing it less.

Clearing your throat allegedly leads to increased sensitivity. Credit: TikTok / @throatdoc
Clearing your throat allegedly leads to increased sensitivity. Credit: TikTok / @throatdoc

However, it turns out that clearing your throat doesn't just result in alleged hypersensitivity and increased mucus production, as it can also damage your vocal cords too.

The Department of Otolaryngology at the San Antonio School of Medicine said that it's 'extremely traumatic' to your vocal cords and can even cause saliva to 'sit in your throat'.

Instead of clearing your throat, Doctor Husain advises taking a 'hard swallow', drinking water, steam inhalation and 'doing something like a "ha ha ha"' to clear the mucus.

The department at the University of Texas also recommends keeping yourself well-hydrated to prevent the need to clear your throat.

If further assistance is needed, doctors can prescribe a 'mucolytic', which will reduce the thickness of the mucus.

They explained that the next time you feel yourself needing to cough, the best way to react is to either take a drink of water or swallow.

Attempting to clear your throat silently is also a good way to reduce the potential damage you're doing too.

The department also advised that if you want to keep your vocal cords in tip-top condition, even when you are feeling well, it's a good idea to rest your voice for 10 minutes for every two hours of talking that you do.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/ throatdoc / Lev Dolgachov / Alamy Stock Photo

Emma Guinness
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