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How to Stop a Throat From Closing Up Due to Swelling

By Karen Lovell ; Updated July 27, 2017

Generally, a swollen throat is a sign of a cold, influenza or other infections caused by bacteria or viruses such as mononucleosis. Food allergies can trigger swelling as can outside irritants such as pollen, smoke or dust. Whatever the reason take precautionary measures as soon as you feel tenderness in your neck to stop your throat closing up.

  1. Soothe the throat by sipping warm liquids such as peppermint or chamomile tea. Warm liquid helps alleviate swelling.

  2. Gargle a saline mixture, either bought over the counter or homemade by adding salt to warm water.

  3. Drink warm water with honey or lemon juice, or add either to tea. Both lemon and honey will ease the soreness of a swollen throat.

  4. Inhale steam. Put your head over a bowl filled with boiling water. Cover your head with a towel which drops around the bowl so no steam can escape. Breathe. Repeat as many times as possible.

  5. Keep a humidifier in the room if you suspect your throat is swelling due to dry air or dust.

  6. Take medication if your throat is swelling due to an allergic reaction or a bacterial infection.

  7. Tip

    See your physician if your swollen throat persists.


    If you are with someone whose throat starts to swell up, seek emergency medical attention. It could be a severe allergic reaction.

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