Caffeine and Throat Tightness

Throat tightness is an alarming symptom after consuming caffeine that may warrant medical attention. Caffeine is a stimulant drug that can affect various parts of your body. The substance is found naturally in tea, coffee and chocolate and may be added to soda beverages and athletic drinks. In some cases your may develop throat tightness or lung constriction, which can cut off your ability to breathe normally. Call your doctor if you develop throat tightness after consuming caffeine.

Close up of young girl drinking cola through a straw. Cola contains caffeine. Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Throat Tightness

Throat tightness may be the symptom of swelling occurring in your throat or in your airways. Throat tightness resulting from swelling in your throat or lungs is a sign of an allergic reaction. When the soft tissue of the esophagus or your lungs becomes inflamed, you will become short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded and prone to wheezing, coughing and having trouble breathing. The tightness may begin as a scratching in the back of the throat that may feel sore that will progress into feeling as if you have a lump in your throat. As the sensation of the lump in your throat grows, you may lose your ability to breathe normally.

Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction can occur shortly after consuming caffeine. Although caffeine is safe for human consumption in moderation, if your immune system mistakes the substance as a threat, it will respond to the caffeine as if it were an infectious organism. This reaction causes the release of various chemicals throughout the body that attempt to fight off the caffeine. Theses chemicals cause your blood vessels to dilate and your lungs to constrict. Symptoms from an allergy to caffeine will typically develop within an hour after consumption, but may develop within a few minutes. Because of the potential of your throat completely swelling, you need to contact emergency medical personnel immediately.


If your doctor suspects that consuming caffeine triggers an allergic reaction in your body, he may recommended that you participate in allergy testing. Allergy tests use a small amount of caffeine that is exposed to a patch of your skin. If you're allergic to the substance, your skin will develop a rash, bumps or redness within 15 minutes of the application, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. To confirm and provide a clinical diagnosis of your condition, a blood test will confirm that your blood produces immunoglobulin E antibodies when caffeine is introduced.

Overdose Consideration

Although caffeine is a naturally occurring substance, consuming too much of the substance may cause an overdose. Caffeine overdose may cause muscle tension that may cause constriction in the throat muscles. If you suspect that you've overdosed on caffeine, call poison control immediately. Other symptoms of an overdose include fever, dehydration and convulsions.

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