ZocdocAnswersI can feel something in my throat, and when I cough or sneeze little pieces of skin come up. What could it be?

Question

I can feel something in my throat, and when I cough or sneeze little pieces of skin come up. What could it be?

Its hard to swallow

Answer

Thanks for your question, and sorry to hear about your problem. There are several likely explanations, and it is important to speak with your doctor. The first thought is whether or not you have had any recent surgery. Those who have recently had their tonsils removed can sometimes describe symptoms similar to what you are having. Another thought would be whether or not you have tonsil stones. These are small impactions of food that can get trapped in the small holes in your tonsils. Over time, they can cause bad breath, and sometimes even infections. For these reasons, as well as discomfort that they cause, some people choose to have them removed by a head and neck surgeon, or ear nose and throat surgeon. An otolaryngologist would be the best person to help you determine what is causing your symptoms regardless of what the problem is, as he or she will be familiar with the area of concern, and can quickly assess your problem. He or she may also want to examine your throat more closely with a small camera that can provide quite a bit of information. Obviously, there are some other, less common, problems that can present with the same symptoms you describe, so please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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