I'm a 21 yr old female and for the last 2 months or so I have been suffering from a lump feeling in my throat and it is driving me nuts!!! The location and intensity of the feeling varies from day to day but it is present almost all the time. I have no trouble eating or swallowing it is just VERY irritating. When I swallow it feels as though it moves up and down. At times I don't even feel like talking because I can feel it irritating my throat whilst I speak. It feels as though I have a a piece of food or something stuck and I need to either burp it up or cough it up but it doesn't matter how much I cough and burp it won't budge. At the moment it feels like it is on the left side of my throat like near my tonsil but then other days it feels like its in the middle of the back of my throat. I have also been coughing up large amounts of flem so I'm sure if this could be causing the feeling? I do occassionally suffer from acid reflux which does get quite painful but that is only here and there. Also I do have generalized anxiety disorder which everyone I tell about my lump feeling blames it on the anxiety, but I find it hard to accept that since I feel this lump nearly all the time. I do suffer from chronic tonsilites too and have heard of tonsil stones so I'm not sure if thats what it could be also? I don't know but I'm starting to get really worried because I always think the worst straight away! It plays on my mind 24/7. I am going to see a doctor this week to get it checked out but until then I am just wondering if anyone has any ideas what this could be or if anyone has suffered from the same kind of thing. All replies will be much appreciated! Thanks!
Lump in throat can be the indicator of some digestive issues as well. But since you have problems with it for a while, it would be a good option for you to visit your doctor because it is very hard for me to even imagine what is going on with you. OK, maybe you have issues with chronic tonsillitis and that means that you should seek for help very soon.
There are some of the warning signs that you should pay attention at: if you feel pain in your throat if you notice that you are losing your weight and if you feel muscle weakness.
If the reason is anxiety, talk to the physiatrist. He can help you for sure.
I just found your message while on line trying to help my mom. She has been going through the exact same thing as you. Have you been able to find out what is causing this or something that helps? She had every test possible and they keep saying it's stress and anxiety as well.
I've been having this chocking feeling lately, and Im thinking that this could all be because of GERD.
Have you got any answers?
Did you ever find any answers??
By Mr J McGlashan FRCS
Globus - Latin for ball - describes the sensation of something in the throat. Globus pharyngis - ball in the throat - is the name given to the condition when this is the major symptom and no other serious abnormality is found. The terms are however often used loosely and interchangeably.
Incidence - Age
The true incidence is not known but many people have experienced this feeling most usually associated with strong emotions - 'it brought a lump to my throat'. In one study it was the reason for referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat Department in 4% of cases. It can affect people of all ages although it is uncommon in children. In another study it was shown to affect more women than men less than 50 years of age but the sexes equally over this age.
Relevant Applied Anatomy And Physiology
The exact mechanism for globus is not known and may be different in different individuals. The brain perceives this sensation of a lump or something in the throat but often medical examination and tests do not reveal any physical abnormality. Some cases are probably due to increase tension in the muscles of the throat, others due to irritation or swelling of the lining of the throat and others from altered perception or awareness of the throat.
The exact cause of globus is not known and some of the medical studies in the literature have given confusing and contradictory results. Some cases are made worse or associated with:
Larygopharrngeal reflux (LPR or 'silent reflux') is a relatively newly recognized condition in which the stomach contents reflux up to the level of the larynx (voice box). It differs from classical gastroesophageal reflux in that it is not always associated with heartburn but can be associated with chronic (lasting a long time) throat clearing, phlegm in the throat and changes in the voice.
Cervical Spondylitis - Arthritis in the Neck
Cervical spondylitis is a very common condition and not all sufferers get globus. However some probably suffer from increased muscle tension in the neck and around the larynx causing globus.
Goitre - Enlargement of the Thyroid Gland
General enlargement, nodules and inflammation in the thyroid gland are quite common and can occasionally cause a globus sensation. More often it can also be a coincidental finding.
Patients taking diuretics ('water tablets' usually prescribed for high blood pressure), ACE inhibitors (a specific type of drug taken for high blood pressure and heart failure) and antimuscarinics (a group of drugs used in a diverse of variety of conditions such as irritable bowel, urinary problems and psychiatric conditions) can have irritating or drying effects on the throat and occasionally cause a globus sensation.
Anxiety and Depression
Patients are naturally worried that there is a serious cause for the globus sensation frequently fearing they may have cancer. Fortunately throat cancer is extremely uncommon particularly in people who do not smoke or drink excessively and most cases are obvious from other associated symptoms or on examination.
There is a higher incidence of anxiety disorders (including panic attacks) and depression in patients with globus. Globus may be experienced by individuals at times of emotional stress particularly when they feel unable to express their feelings or when it would be inappropriate to show their feelings.
Symptoms And Signs
The predominant symptom is of course a sensation of something in the throat. Typically this disappears momentarily on swallowing and may worsen in the evenings. Often it may appear difficult to swallow saliva and pills although it is possible to eat a normal diet and there is no weight loss. Patients frequently clear their throat and feel the need to swallow. It can be associated with hoarseness or a change in the voice.
Typically there are no abnormal findings on examination of the throat although there may be signs of laryngeal swelling associated with reflux. The patient may well look healthy, albeit anxious.
Often no tests other than a detailed inspection of the throat and larynx are necessary. If one of the major symptoms is difficulty swallowing then a Barium Swallow X-ray may be requested. A special test which involves monitoring the amount of acid that refluxes up into the oesophagus ('24 Hour pH monitoring') can be helpful in deciding whether acid reflux is a major cause of the globus.
Occasionally in patients at risk of cancer, who do not have straightforward symptoms or whose symptoms seem to be getting worse, they may be advised to come into the hospital for a more detailed examination of their throat under a general anaesthetic.
Treatment consists of one or more of the following:
Many patients are worried that they have cancer or some serious disease and once reassured their anxiety and associated symptoms then settle.
■Vocal Hygiene Advice
Sometimes simple advice such as changing life style, diet, stopping throat clearing, drinking more water and less drinks containing caffeine (coffee, tea, cola) can be helpful. This can be given in more detail Voice Therapists.
If there is evidence of hoarseness due to an imbalance of the laryngeal muscles ('Functional dysphonia') then exercises and advice from a Voice Therapist can not only help the voice problem but also help relieve the globus sensation. A Voice therapist may also be able to give advice with general relaxation and anxiety management, posture and breathing exercises in conjunction with physiotherapists and counsellors were necessary.
If certain medications are thought to be a possible cause then the patient may be recommended to change them (under supervision of the hospital specialist or general practitioner). Alternatively a trial of anti-reflux medication may be advised. This may have to be given in higher than normal doses for at least 2 months.
Most patients respond to one or more of the above treatments. Persistent symptoms may need to be investigated further, often with an examination under an anaesthetic although this frequently does not reveal any abnormality.
i came on here because of this exact same thing, im twenty and ive been feeling like i swallowed a lump of food wrong or something and i keep trying to drink it down or burp it up but no matter what i do it feels like its stuck in my throat blocking the passage and sometimes i think it actually hurts, its really uncomfortable :/ . i find it hard to believe its caused by stress though