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1 Difficulty in breathing due to any interference of the airway causing partial or complete blockage. The condition may be due to internal causes, such as emotional disturbance or external causes, such as a direct blow to the throat.

2 Colloquially applied to athletes whose performance deteriorates under stress, such as before an important competition. Such athletes may feel as if they are physically choking because their bronchial muscles tighten. An athlete who chokes may be one who, through poor pacing or excessive enthusiasm, develops a significant anaerobic effort too early in a competition. Consequently, the accumulation of lactic acid induces hyperventilation and an uncomfortable tightening of the airway. Alternatively, the fear of competition may induce excessive hyperventilation.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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