My younger brother has always had a hard time since he started middle school. He has been unable to control his gag reflex. It is most uncomfortable in social situations and when he is nervous because if the gagging continues, he usually ends up vomiting. He constantly complains about his doubts to go out and have dates because of how he ends up getting sick when he eats. This is the motivation behind his persistent desire to find a gag reflex cure.
This condition might not be very common, but there are a number of people who have been experiencing the same symptoms. They have just opted to be silent about it, thinking that it might only be a result of incorrect mental processing.
The pharyngeal reflex or more commonly known as gag reflex is a contraction that takes place at the back of the throat as an effect of any stimulation of the soft palate, no matter how light it is. In the natural flow of things, this reflex works as a stopping agent for the throat, allowing only substances that get in as part of the normal swallowing process. It helps avoid choking. People have different level of sensitivity with their gag reflex. After all, different strokes for different folks.
The gag reflex might not be a medical condition by itself, but it can be a symptom for one. More so, it might not be a serious case, but it sure does put one in a rather embarrassing situation. It should not stop one from living a normal and functional life.
There are no proven medications that can totally eradicate this condition. However, one can pursue certain techniques that can stop the unnecessary gagging in time. Following the flooding technique in psychology, the person can be exposed to those things that stimulate the gagging. This leads to habituation, and the stimulating objects lose their capacity to induce the gag reflex.
Another common method being tried nowadays is through acupuncture. This is mostly used in dental procedures. An acupuncture point is placed near the ear before the actual procedure starts. Even though no scientific explanation was found to back up this procedure, a certain experiment yielded positive results on the effects of acupuncture on the gag reflex.