7 Reasons You’re Coughing After Eating in Los Angeles

Coughing After Eating Causes

7 Reasons You’re Coughing After Eating in Los Angeles

Coughing every once in a while is normal, but if you find yourself frequently coughing after you eat, you may have a health disorder. Your body coughs to keep irritants out of your respiratory system, so be sure to consult a doctor to figure out what’s causing the irritation. After a consultation with your doctor where you describe your lifestyle and your coughing issues, they may diagnose you with:

  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Respiratory infection
  • Asthma
  • Food allergies
  • Dysphagia
  • Aspiration pneumonia

Many chronic coughing problems can be treated by changing your diet, changing your eating habits, or taking medication. Before meeting with your chronic cough doctor in Los Angeles, it’s helpful to make a list of what you eat and drink and what time you have your meals. You should also have a ballpark number of how many alcoholic beverages and cigarettes you have each week since these habits can cause some coughing and breathing issues.

Acid Reflux and Related Conditions

Acid reflux, also known as GERD, is a condition where your stomach constantly sends stomach acid back up into your esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Acid reflux is caused by your lower esophagus failing to close properly when food enters your stomach. When the acid flows back into your throat and mouth, you may taste something sour.

Acid reflux is marked by persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. While most people experience heartburn before their acid regurgitation, some do not experience heartburn at all. Instead, they suffer from trouble swallowing and even hoarseness in the morning. This trouble swallowing may be due to a feeling of tightness or food stuck in the throat.

Chronic Laryngitis

Laryngitis is caused by inflammation in the vocal cords, and you may have a hoarse voice, irritated or raw-feeling throat, and difficulty swallowing. All of these symptoms lead to frequent coughing, and this cough is a dry one, often called smoker’s cough.

Prevention is the key to stopping your chronic coughing from laryngitis. This condition is caused by excessive drinking and smoking, which is often combined with long nights partying and screaming. These activities irritate your throat and can lead to chronic coughing in LA. If you feel fine besides your coughing, it’s likely that you are suffering from chronic laryngitis.

Respiratory Infection

Coughing in Los Angeles may be caused by upper respiratory infections. A cough caused by an infection sounds like a harsh, dry, persistent hack. This cough causes inflammation to the airway, which can lead to more coughing.

A cough caused by a respiratory infection should clear up in less than four weeks, so if your cough lasts eight weeks or longer, then it may have another cause. However, it’s possible you may have a recurring infection, in which case you should consult a breathing specialist in Los Angeles as soon as possible because your infection may be caused by something in your home. It may also be an infection that never truly healed. Either way, your doctor can treat it with anti-inflammatory drugs.


Asthma is a chronic disease that weakens the lungs, and causes coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. Asthma rarely waits until adulthood to rear its head, but it does happen.

Symptoms of asthma can be triggered by sulphites, which are in beer and wine as well as soft drinks. They are also found in dried fruits and vegetables and some pickled foods. If you tend to cough after eating or drinking any of these, asthma could be the cause.

An ENT doctor in Los Angeles can help you manage your asthma systems by identifying and avoiding triggers and using medications.

Food Allergies

Like asthma, food allergies usually develop during childhood, but they can also happen in adulthood. It’s also possible to become allergic to a food you’ve been eating for years. If your cough is due to a food allergy, it will usually happen two hours or less after meals.

Allergic reactions look different from person to person, but they can sometimes affect the respiratory system, causing you to cough, wheeze, or feel short of breath. Our ENT doctors offer allergy testing to determine what is causing this reaction.


Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulty swallowing. People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing certain foods; they choke on and cough up certain foods, and they cannot keep these foods down. People with dysphagia are often limited to soft foods, such as tofu, smoothies, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and pureed soups and meats. If you are coughing up certain foods, especially more textured foods, then it’s possible you may have this condition.

Dysphagia is often accompanied by other throat conditions such as acid reflux and asthma. It is treated by swallowing techniques, feeding tubes, and surgery to open the throat. If you suffer from dysphagia, make sure to visit a Los Angeles ENT specialist frequently, as it can lead to aspiration pneumonia.

Aspiration Pneumonia

Frequent coughing and choking when eating can cause bacterial chest infections, such as aspiration pneumonia, a serious condition that requires help from a medical professional. Swallowing something and coughing because it goes down the wrong pipe is normal, but when it’s repeated, bacteria can start growing in the lungs. Acid reflux or dysphagia increase your risk of developing this kind of pneumonia.

Aspiration pneumonia is marked by a wet-sounding cough or wheezing after eating. When coughing, you may discharge green or bloody mucus from your lungs. Other symptoms of aspiration pneumonia include:

  • Pain while swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Fever that occurs within an hour of eating
  • Pneumonia that won’t go away
  • Excess saliva
  • Congestion after eating or drinking
  • Shortness of breath while eating or drinking

Aspiration pneumonia can cause serious health problems, and since chronic coughing can have a variety of different causes, you should contact a coughing specialist in LA to keep your condition from getting worse. One of the board-certified ENT doctors in LA at Westside Head & Neck can meet with you and make a plan to get your coughing to subside.

About Westside Head & Neck

The board-certified ENT doctors of Westside Head & Neck treat all general conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. Every doctor under Westside Head & Neck has extensive training in the treatment of:

Even more serious conditions such as neck, mouth, and throat cancer can also be diagnosed and operated on by ENTs. We accept most PPO insurance plans, Medicare, and select HMO’s to keep hearing, swallowing, and breathing relief open to more Los Angelenos. Our two offices are located in Santa Monica and Culver City. To set up an appointment to discuss your ENT issues with any of our physicians at either location, please call (310) 361-5128 or email appointments@westsidehn.com.

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