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Feeling of something in your throat (Globus)
Learn about the symptoms of globus and how it can be treated
Feeling of something in your throat (Globus)
Globus is a symptom that can make you feel like you have a lump in your throat. It is also called ‘globus sensation’.
Globus can be caused by many things, such as an increased tension of muscles or irritation in the throat.
There are various things you can do to manage your globus symptoms at home, without the need to attend your GP.
Signs and symptoms of globus
Different people describe it differently. It may be felt as:
tightness or a pressure in your throat
catarrh/mucus that you are unable to clear
an area of discomfort in your throat
a feeling of something stuck or a lump in your throat
If you feel something sticking in your throat, but can eat and drink normally and without pain, you do not need to worry. Many people with globus sensation notice the symptoms most when they are swallowing their saliva, or that it increases with stress and worry. Your symptoms can vary from day to day.
Treating globus at home
There are a number of things you can do to try to relieve globus symptoms.
Eating and drinking
Try to drink at least 1.5 litres (3 pints) of water every day. You should drink in small sips as swallowing helps to relax the throat.
Avoid too much alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks. They can cause the throat to be dry.
Try to reduce the amount of fatty and spicy food in your diet.
Leave at least 3 hours between your last meal and going to bed. Avoid snacking between your last meal and bedtime.
Consider trying anti-reflux medication (your pharmacist can advise).
Smoking causes irritation to your throat. By stopping smoking, you can help to improve your globus symptoms.
Your pharmacist or GP can offer support if you would like advice.
Further information on stopping smoking
Try not to clear your throat as this can make your globus sensation worse. You can try sipping water, instead.
Losing any excess weight may reduce your symptoms.
Stress can increase your globus sensation.
If you think you might be stressed, try to relax in a way that is doable for you and your situation. Breathing and relaxation exercises can sometimes help, but if you feel you need further help with managing stress, your GP can discuss this with you.
Further information about relieving stress
In most people, symptoms will get better following these self-help tips. However, for some people symptoms can recur off and on for several months.
When to see your GP
There are no specific tests to diagnose globus. Further investigations are not required, so you don't usually need to see a GP.
Speak to your GP if:
you develop any difficulty or pain when swallowing,
you feel a lump in the neck
you experience unintentional weight loss
your symptoms do not improve
If your symptoms do not improve, your GP will provide further support and advice on whether you need to see an ENT specialist.
Ever feel like there is something lodged in your throat even though you know there isn’t? it’s probably a case of Globus sensation, or globus pharyngeus.
That Lump-in-Throat Feeling: Is It Globus Sensation or Something Else?
Ever feel like there is something lodged in your throat — even though you know there isn’t? Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also be a little scary. However, it’s relatively common, and it’s probably a case of globus sensation, or globus pharyngeus.
What Is Globus Sensation?
Also called globus pharyngeus, globus sensation is the feeling of being unable to remove a lump from your throat, or the sensation that there’s a pill stuck there. Unlike some other throat issues, there’s no actual obstruction with globus pharyngeus.
Although globus sensation isn’t painful, it can be annoying — and disconcerting.
What Causes Globus Sensation?
Once upon a time, this condition was called globus hystericus, because doctors as far back as Hippocrates thought that people who experienced it were “hysterical.”
Doctors now understand more about the causes of globus sensation, which can be both psychological and physical, and that the symptoms are very real.
The most common causes of globus pharyngeus are anxiety and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a form of acid reflux that causes the stomach’s contents to travel back up the food pipe and sometimes into the throat.
This can result in muscle spasms that trigger feelings of an object caught in the throat.
Other causes include:
Minor inflammation in the throat or at the back of the mouth
Psychological health issues or mood changes
Should I See a Doctor for Globus Pharyngeus?
Globus sensation usually disappears on its own over time, but you should seek medical advice if the condition is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
Pain in the throat or neck
Weight loss Vomiting
Pain during swallowing
Choking when swallowing
Muscle weakness in the throat or elsewhere in the body
A mass that can be seen or felt in or around the neck or throat
It’s also time to call the doctor if your symptoms get progressively worse, or you’re over the age of 50, if you have a history of smoking or frequent alcohol use and symptoms come on suddenly.
Treatment for Globus Sensation
There’s no specific treatment for globus pharyngeus,butit’s controllable. Our experts recommend changes to medications that may cause dry mouth or changes in lifestyle to reduce anxiety.
When globus sensation is the result of another medical condition, treating that condition will also alleviate globus pharyngeus. For example, antacids may help with globus sensation related to GERD.
What Else Could Be Growing in Your Throat?
The short answer? It could be a lot of things, including normal bacteria. But if you know your body and you know something isn’t right — and it’s not just that lump-in-throat sensation — then let us help you troubleshoot.
Could It Be Strep or Mono?
Does it hurt to swallow? Have you had a sore throat for a few days? Is your throat red, or do you have white spots on your tonsils? Then you may have strep throat or mononucleosis (mono).
Strep is a bacterial infection of the throat, usually when streptococcus bacteria grow on your tonsils.
In addition to moderate to severe sore throat and pain with swallowing (odynophagia), you may have swollen lymph nodes and a fever. Your tonsils may have a white spotty appearance, or they could be red and swollen.
You can catch strep by sharing saliva, utensils, or drinking glasses. If you’re worried you have it, head to GoHealth Urgent Care for a rapid test.
The results are available in less than 10 minutes, and the doctor can prescribe penicillin or other antibiotics for treatment.
Caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and caught from someone else who has it, mono can look and feel very much like strep throat.
Your tonsils can be red or swollen, or they can have a whitish appearance.
At GoHealth Urgent Care, we can run a rapid test for mono. Because it’s caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t treat it.
But it’s important to know if you have mono because there are other health risks associated with it.
Could It Be an STD?
Yes, STDs do occur in the throat — most commonly gonorrhea.
Symptoms of gonorrhea can include severe sore throat; red, swollen tonsils; and sores of the mouth.
Another possibility is a herpes infection of the mouth and throat.
At GoHealth Urgent Care, we can test for both and prescribe the appropriate antibiotics if needed. If you suspect one of these is the cause of your sore throat, you should limit your sexual activity until you see a doctor.
Could It Be Cancer?
However, cancer of the mouth and throat typically occurs in those who have risk factors such as use of tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco), heavy alcohol use, or a history of radiation exposure.
In some cases, however, you can get cancer without risk factors.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you have a sore in your mouth that won’t heal; a sensation of something stuck in your throat; or fevers, night sweats, or weight loss.
A GoHealth Urgent Care provider can evaluate you and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist through our connected system.
Feel Like Food is Stuck In Your Throat? – Cleveland Clinic
The feeling that something is stuck in your throat is a miserable feeling. Whether you can pinpoint something you ate that might be stuck, or if the feeling has been plaguing you for months – it’s best to seek medical help as soon as possible.
October 11, 2019 / Digestive
Feel Like Food Is Stuck in Your Throat? What to Do and How to Find Relief
From food impaction to a nagging feeling that won’t go away
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The feeling that something is stuck in your throat is a miserable feeling. The chronic irritation and coughing, or the inability to swallow your own spit is enough to make anyone feel crazy.
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Whether you can pinpoint something you ate that might be stuck (like a piece of steak or hotdog), or if the feeling has been plaguing you for months without a clear reason – it’s best to seek medical help as soon as possible.
When it comes to feeling like food is stuck in your throat, it usually comes down to three culprits:Dysphagia. There can be several different causes of dysphagia, but a common one is eating something and it getting stuck in your esophagus (also known as food obstruction). When dysphagia from food obstruction happens, people can still breathe, but it’s typically painful, uncomfortable and can be potentially very dangerous. Most people can identify something they recently ate that got stuck. Maybe you swallowed a piece of steak or didn’t realize there were bones in the fish you just ate. The next thing you know, you feel a painful and irritating lump in your throat or chest. Some people even report not being able to swallow their own saliva.Dysphagia from GERD. Another common cause of dysphagia is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a severe form of acid reflux where the stomach content flows back up into the esophagus and irritates it. It can cause a cough or the nagging feeling that something is stuck in your throat.Globus pharyngeus. This is a persistent feeling that something is stuck in the throat or chest, but there typically isn’t a direct link back to what it could be. Some people describe it as feeling like they swallowed a pill and it only got half way down. Although globus pharyngeus is typically not very painful, it can be very annoying. Often times, those who have it eventually end up at the doctor’s office questioning what it could be.
“Most people with food obstruction can almost always identify what they ate that is now stuck in their esophagus,” says gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD. “But with globus pharyngeus, most people describe the sensation as a lump that has been affecting their swallowing for weeks or months.”
Globus pharyngeus is generally not very serious, however it’s important to distinguish it from true esophageal dysphagia – whether from food obstruction or difficulty passing food through the esophagus.
Dr. Lee says that if something is bothering you, it may be the body’s way of telling you something’s not right, and it’s best to have it checked out.
Dysphagia from food obstruction
One minute you’re enjoying a tender and delicious filet mignon – and the next thing you know you’re coughing and trying to clear your throat over a painful lump. No matter how much you swallow or water you drink – the sensation that a piece of steak is stuck in your throat just won’t go away.
Are you choking? You can still breathe, but your throat and chest hurt. What gives?
Food obstruction can be very dangerous depending on what is stuck and where it’s stuck, says Dr. Lee. If a piece of food is stuck in the upper esophagus, it can get dislodged and fall into the wind pipe, which would cut off the air supply and the person might turn blue and pass out. If the food is stuck in the lower esophagus, the person could probably still swallow their spit, but it would be very painful.
Food or a foreign object stuck in the esophagus can cause contact irritation, inflammation and erosion. Meat with tenderizer or marinade on it, if lodged in the esophagus for a prolonged period of time, can cause damage to the esophageal lining.
“If you can’t swallow your own saliva, start drooling, have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, you need to seek immediate medical attention or call 911,” says Dr. Lee.
And when it comes to home remedies for removing the food item, Dr. Lee is skeptical. If the food obstruction is mild, water or carbonated beverages might help ease the food down, but be careful to not overdo it. If the food obstruction is severe, you run the risk of adding to it.
Most people won’t tolerate more than a couple of hours with a food obstruction because the pain is too uncomfortable.
Dysphagia from GERD
Chronic heartburn and indigestion is typically referred to as GERD. When the acids in your stomach back up into the esophagus, it irritates the lining, which can cause a burning sensation in the throat and neck, coughing or a feeling that something is stuck behind your breastbone. You might even notice that eating certain things, like fried or fatty food, makes your symptoms worse.
Usually antacids or over-the-counter medication can help manage heartburn or indigestion, but if you notice that you’re chronically having these symptoms, it’s best to see your doctor for an evaluation.