I wake up choking at night gasping for air. what do i do?

I wake up everynight like im choking... Like i have to force air back into my lungs. This is very scary . I also have hartburn everynight wich i take zantac 150 for. Its really bad i can get acid reflux even after drinking one glass of water. but everytime i dont feel the need to take my zantac i wake up in the middle of the night choking and forcing air back in . I sometimes feel like i have thrown up in my sleep but i never find any anywhere. It just burns in my throat really bad after i can breath again. I also cant talk very well after this attack too. Im afraid i might not be able to wake up or not start breathing again after this. what should i do. My doctor says keep taking the zantac.

13 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ranitidine is not by any means the best reflux or acid lowering drug. PPIs such as omeprazole or lansoprazole are far more effective. You can also try alginates, such as Gaviscon which are said to form a raft over the gastric contents. It is also a good idea not to eat late at night, and you could also try putting blocks under the head end of the bed.

    Source(s): GP for more years than I care to remember
  • 9 years ago

    See a gastroenterologist, he specializes in your type of problem. It sounds like you have a hiatal hernia where the stomach contents backs up in your throat when you lie down. This can erode your esophagus over time.. It could be that you just need to change to a better drug or you may need surgery depending on how bad the hernia is. The hernia repairs can be done laproscopically now with very minimal discomfort (only 4-5 punctures) no big incisions. A hiatal hernia is where the diaphragm (the tissue that holds your stomach down) becomes riipped and the stomach then goes through it up next to your esophagus. Since your esophagus is not lined with the same sort of tissue as your stomach,it can not handle all the acid and becomes ulcerated. The test the doctor will do is an endoscopy. You will be sedated and they will place a tube down your throat into your stomach. It's really not bad at all. That's the only way they can tell exactly how bad it is and the proper treatment for you. If it is not taken care of ,it can cause you to choke while eating and possibly black out.This is rare but it happened twice to my friend.and he had many episodes of near strangulation. Don't suffer when something can be done. My friend said if it knew it was that easy he would have had it done years ago. PS: don't eat for at least 3 hours before bed,no chocolate,caffiene ,alcohol or spicy foods late at night . Good luck and see a doctor.

    Source(s): Retired surg. nurse
    • Tywone4 years agoReport

      This was helpful for me because everything in this paragraph is what I go through even having trouble swallowing when I eat sometimes. even sometime when I feel like I got to burp I spit up liquid. Thanks Marcia F very helpful info for me.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago


    I'm a medical researcher. It is widely agreed among physicians and medical paraprofessionals, that initial diagnosis, mostly by using a typical acid reflux symptoms questionnaire, is necessary to ensure the most effective and quick treatment for this condition. Approx 70% of the acid reflux diagnostics that are based on the presence of typical symptoms are accurate. Since acid reflux, also called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), can cause patients a great deal of discomfort and result in severe complications, it is highly important to know how to identify its symptoms in order to quickly diagnose and treat it.

    If you know you have acid reflux you can try this natural program http://www.goobypls.com/r/rd.asp?gid=568

    Good Bye

  • 9 years ago

    If you doc is so balsa about it get a second opinion you maybe suffering from sleep aptnia which is where you stop breathing while asleep and wake fighting for air good luck :-)

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  • Athene
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    "When I don't feel the need for zantac" - you are a twit, you have to take it EVERY night, Zantac is not something you take only when you feel the need for it, it is something that you use every day.

    Have you had a gastroscopy? That will identify if you have nervous acid reflux or hiatus hernia - the acid burning is exactly what happens at night with this condition.

    Either way, the treatment is zantac or some other proton pump inhibitor.

    Source(s): Have hiatus hernia
  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    It's a food allergy to dairy. Take probiotics before bed and it won't happen. This works for my Mom, sister and I. Doctors subscription.

  • 9 years ago

    It could be sleep apnea. Ask you doctor about it. You can have an overnight sleep test done, where they monitor you, to find out if this is the case. If so, there are things that can be done to help.

    Check out:


  • 9 years ago

    see medical doctor elevate head of your bed at least 30 degrees or sleep sitting up in chair ask doctor for sleep study as well

  • Grace
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    ...you may have Sleep Apnea. see a Doctor and have them do a "sleep study" on you ... you might need a C-Pap or a Bi-Pap machine to get you the Oxygen you need to sleep at night.... (and) do it quickly...it can be a very dangerous condition !

  • 9 years ago

    2 things:

    Go and see your doctor; and

    Drink water before you sleep.

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