Q. What causes irritation in the lungs and throat?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan. N
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 23, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have a nagging tickle or irritation on the top of the lungs and at the bottom of the throat. It causes me to cough occasionally. I have this problem for two months with no other symptoms. I shout at some people during work and I sing frequently. I am curious whether I have damaged my voice in some way. But I am unsure whether I have this problem due to food or airborne allergy. I do not know what to do. What type of doctor to be consulted?



Welcome to

Please mention whether you had a sudden onset or whether it was gradual. Please mention the duration of this onset, had any associated pain, any difficulty in breathing, any change in voice, any allergies, any aggravating factor, and relieving factors. I think that you are a healthy person without taking medicines for any other issues.

Thank you doctor,

The onset was gradual and it continued to come and go. It took a timeline of a week or two to develop. I do not have any pain, difficulty in breathing and there are no significant changes in voice. My voice became fatigued when I talked a lot. The tickling got aggravated after this and it has completely gone away when I stopped speaking for a period of time. I am healthy without any other symptoms now.



Welcome back to

You can have laryngitis due to voice strain or laryngitis due to reflux and allergy. You need to take a rest for a few days to get cured. Follow a restricted use of voice for a week or two. During this time, you can take proton pump inhibitors and antihistamines. Take steam inhalation and avoid smoking and having dust pollution. Avoid taking spicy and oily foods and taking citrus fruits will help you temporarily.

Thank you doctor,

If this is due to reflux allergy, does taking fatty foods or acidic foods cause it? Is reflux possible even without symptoms?



Welcome back to

Yes, there is silent reflux where there are no symptoms. Reflux and allergy are interrelated and one can worsen the other. You can have some sensitivity to acidic and fatty foods. You can do a skin prick allergy test for identifying aeroallergen, contact, and food allergens.

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