Lump in throat (globus sensation) is the feeling of having a mass in one’s throat even if there is nothing physically present. This sensation can make it difficult to swallow, and in some individuals there is a visible lump on the side of their neck.
Generally, a lump in the throat is not painful, but it is particularly annoying. A person experiencing this kind of sensation may swallow food and beverages numerous times to ensure it has gone down completely.
The lump in throat is often described as feeling like the size of a golf ball or a pill located in the middle of the neck, below the Adam’s apple.
There are numerous reasons as to why a person may experience throat lump which we will explain along with the appropriate treatment measures that need to be taken to resolve the issue.
There are many reasons for lump in throat, some more serious than others. Here are the most common causes to be mindful of.
Reflux: Reflux may cause the muscles in the throat to tighten as a way of preventing acid from coming up.
Stress: Stress can cause throat muscle to constrict or a lump in throat feeling may be present when a person is holding back tears.
Cricopharyngeal muscle or esophageal pathology: In rare cases, the cricopharyngeal muscle or esophageal pathology can cause lump in throat. This occurs when the muscle scars, becomes chronically spastic, or the lining of the esophagus develops a ring, shelf, or stricture.
Mucosal lesion: A mucosal lesion can be caused by trauma or a canker sore in the throat.
Mass: A mass produced by a cyst, cancer, large thyroid, etc. could cause a throat lump.
Neuropathy: In rare cases, globus sensation is a result of neuropathy and nothing physical.
Early warning signs of bump in throat include neck or throat pain, weight loss, abrupt appearance, pain, choking, difficulty swallowing, spitting up food, muscle weakness, a mass that is visible or that can be felt, and progressive worsening of symptoms. Often, these warning signs are associated with a corresponding condition.
Lump in the throat can be associated with anxiety, as it triggers intense stress responses, which can constrict the muscles in the throat. Although it isn’t dangerous, a person experiencing a lump in their throat along with anxiety can be quite scary, as they may feel as if they may choke or have greater difficulty swallowing.
In order to tell the difference between a lump in throat as a result of anxiety from a lump due to another cause, pay attention to whether there is intense pain or a clicking sound when swallowing, whether the feeling only appears when you’re anxious, and whether you’ve experienced a stressful situation or an anxiety attack prior to feeling the lump.
A white lump in throat is known as tonsil stones, which are generally harmless but can cause bad breath. Tonsil stones are a collection of debris in the pockets of the tonsils.
If tonsil stones remain soft, they will break off on their own and you will swallow them. If they become hardened though or become frequent occurrences, you may have to have your tonsils removed.
If your lump in throat is a result of stress, combating your anxiety can easily treat your feeling of lump in throat. Treatment for anxiety-induced lump feeling in throat is as simple as going for a walk or a run, drinking water, or opting for herbal solutions to reduce your anxiety.
Other treatment methods may include physiotherapy for your throat muscles, treatment of any post-nasal drip, acid reflux treatment, smoking cessation, and stress treatment.
A person experiencing lump in their throat should see a doctor if no warning signs were present and the sensation occurred suddenly. Furthermore, the severity of the sensation will help determine when medical intervention is required. For example, if swallowing has become difficult or there is the presence of pain, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.
Once you see the doctor, they will examine your symptoms along with your medical history to help put together a diagnosis.