Ear, Nose & Throat

Gurgling sound in throat-Causes, Remedies or Treatments

Gurgling sound in throat can make you worried as you think of some severe disorders causing these sounds, as you are not aware of the common causes of this condition.

Gurgling sound in throat is a very common problem that many of you must have encountered at least once in your life. It can be very annoying, but it lasts for a short period of time, in many of the people who encounter this problem.

It is a temporary problem which can be resolved by using treatments which help in getting rid of the underlying cause of Gurgling in throat. So, let us explore the causes and remedies of Gurgling sound in throat.

Gurgling sound in throat Causes:

Gurgling sound in throat
Gurgling sound in throat
Image source: essentialoilspedia.com

There are many different causes of developing Gurgling sound in throat. Let us explore the common causes of this problem:


GERD is the abbreviation for Gastroesophageal reflux disorder. We have a food pipe or oesophagus which carries the food we eat from our mouth to the stomach for digestion. The lower part of the oesophagus has a sphincter which separates it from the stomach.

This sphincter is called lower oesophagal sphincter or LES. It prevents the backflow of the food from the stomach to the mouth. But, in some people, this LES is weak or lax. This lead to the reflux of the acidic food contents from the stomach to the mouth.

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This condition is also called Acid reflux, in addition to GERD. When the food traverses back into the mouth through the oesophagus, we can experience Gurgling sound in throat.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is the condition which is generally seen in obese people or people who have large tongue and big tissues in the mouth. When such a person lies down, the tongue and the tissues fall back and obstruct the breathing.

This can cause Gurgling sound in throat while taking a breath due to the obstruction. It makes the sleep very disturbing for the affected person. So, the affected person has a sleepy feeling and feels restless during the daytime.

Acute Bronchitis:

Bronchi are part of the respiratory system which helps in carrying oxygen from our windpipe to the lungs. If there is inflammation or swelling of the Bronchi, it is called Bronchitis.

Bronchitis can occur due to various bacterial or viral infections or even due to allergies. This can cause a build-up of mucus or phlegm in the throat leading to Gurgling sound in throat when trying to cough it up.

Post-nasal Drip:

Many people suffer from Congestion in the nose or Nasal congestion due to allergies, etc. In this people, there can be excess discharge from the nose. This discharge can flow back into the throat from the nose. This causes a stuffy feeling in the throat, and also Gurgling sound in throat.

Foreign body:

Sometimes, a foreign body can get stuck in the throat accidentally, especially in the kids. For example, small objects like coins can get stuck in the throat. In such cases, you can hear Gurgling in throat.

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Gurgling sound in throat Remedies or Treatments:

We can get rid of Gurgling sound in throat by treating the underlying problem. So, let us look at the remedies which help in curing this problem by alleviating underlying causes.

Cessation of Alcohol and smoking:

Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking for prolonged duration increase the production of Stomach acids. It also aggravates the Acid reflux in the oesophagus through various mechanisms.

So, cessation of Alcohol and smoking will surely help you if GERD is causing your Gurgling in throat. It improves your overall health as well.


GERD is also related to the diet you take. So, you need to make changes in your diet to control GERD, so that it controls the Gurgling in throat as well.

Avoid all foods that aggravate GERD like spicy foods containing a lot of chilli powder, Masala’s, Oily foods, aerated drinks or carbonated drinks. Consume more of foods that soothe your stomach like yoghurt or curd.


Obese people also suffer from GERD more often. Obesity is the contributing factor for many ailments. So, try to control your weight by doing exercise regularly.


GERD can be controlled by the intake of Antacid syrups and tablets. You can get Antacid syrups containing Magnesium or Aluminium Hydroxide, etc. over the counter. You can also get chewable tablets containing above ingredients over the counter.

If your GERD symptoms are not being alleviated with the Antacid Syrups, you can take prescription drugs from your physician.

Some examples of such medications are Proton pump inhibitors like Pantoprazole, Rabeprazole, etc., and H2 blockers like Ranitidine, Famotidine.

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You can get CPAP or Continuous positive airway pressure machines with the recommendation of your physician if you are suffering from OSA or Obstructive sleep apnea. They provide good relief from OSA symptoms.

Cough Expectorants:

If you are suffering from Gurgling in throat due to the build-up of mucus in your throat caused by Bronchitis, then you need to take cough expectorants to get rid of the mucus in the throat. This helps in alleviating the Gurgling in throat caused by mucus.

Nasal Spray:

As we have already discussed, Post-nasal drip is one of the causes of developing Gurgling in throat.

So, to alleviate the symptoms of this problem, you need to use Nasal sprays containing steroids like Fluticasone or Budesonide which reduce the discharge from the nose and nasal congestion. You can also use Nasal sprays containing drugs like xylometazoline to get rid of a blocked nose.

Removal of the Foreign body:

If any foreign body is stuck in throat and it is causing Gurgling in throat, it needs to be removed immediately by the ENT doctor or in the emergency department, as it will cause difficulty breathing along with Gurgling in throat. You should never delay treatment of this condition as it is an emergency.

You have seen all the possible causes and remedies of Gurgling sound in throat. I hope that you use these remedies to get relief from these annoying rumbling sounds in your throat

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