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Lump in Throat Feeling

Lump in Throat Feeling
If you have consistently been bugged by the lump in throat feeling while swallowing, this article will throw some light on the problem, its possible causes and cures. The symptoms of this condition are easy to identify but the causes vary. Read to know all about this throat problem.
Omkar Phatak
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018
Doctor Testing Biological Specimen
Caution
If what you experience is not just a lump in throat sensation, but a visible lump causing discomfort, you are advised to visit a doctor, to get it checked immediately.
Have you been having a lump in throat feeling lately? If it persists for long, it shouldn't be ignored. In medical terminology, 'lumpy throat' sensation is referred to as Globus Pharyngis or simply Globus. This throat problem has a long medical history and many recorded causes. The good news is that there is no reason for alarm, as it's an easily curable condition.
Symptoms
The condition was once called Globus Hystericus, connoting it as a disorder induced by stress, but today research has proved otherwise. It is no longer known as a psychosomatic condition. This lump in throat sensation is generally felt below the voice box. Here are the prominent symptoms to watch out for:
  • A constant feeling of obstruction in the throat, even when none is actually present
  • Mild chest pain
  • Hurts to swallow
  • Severe pain accompanied with a clicking feeling while swallowing
  • Persistent discomfort and tightness in throat
  • Lump sensation comes and goes periodically or moves upwards, downwards or side-to-side
  • Voice problems like hoarseness and huskiness
  • In some cases, food is easy to swallow but swallowing saliva creates discomfort
  • The lumpy feeling intensifies under stressful conditions
A person may experience any of these symptoms in varying degrees of intensity.
Causes & Treatment
Globus symptoms may point towards many causes. It arises due to excessive tension in throat muscles. A major cited reason is a spasm in the cricopharyngeus muscle located at the bottom of the throat. Globus can also be triggered by an inflammation in the hypopharynx or larynx part of the throat. This disorder is one of the reasons why throat cancer lumps go undetected. People often feel stressed that it might be throat cancer, due to the similarity in symptoms. However, it should be noted that a cancerous tumor will manifest itself as a visible lump and make it difficult to even swallow food. In most cases though, it is difficult to be detected in earlier stages. Ergo it's best to visit a doctor, in case you have the slightest doubt. Here are some of the prominent causes which can trigger Globus, along with treatment methods:
Cricopharyngeal Spasm
A problem in the cricopharyngeus muscle can cause a Globus. This muscle acts as a valve, preventing abnormal reverse flow of food content from the esophagus. Globus occurs when this muscle goes into a spasm, instead of contracting and relaxing normally. This disorder, although harmless, can cause a lot of discomfort.

The exact cause of this condition is still unknown. Though there is no absolute cure, its intensity can be lessened with the intake of muscle relaxants like Lorazepam, intake of warm fluids like tea and avoiding stress. The disorder generally goes away on its own over time.
Gastroesophageal or Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
Gastroesophageal or acid reflux disease is one more cause of this condition. A reflux is an abnormal flow of the fluids in the body. In this case, mucosal damage is caused due to reflux of fluids from the stomach through the esophagus (food pipe), creating an inflammation, resulting into an obstructing sensation in the throat. The same result may occur due to a laryngopharyngeal reflux that involves the rising of digestive fluids into the upper part of digestive track. If heartburn is one of the associated symptoms, the cause is certainly acid reflux. Dietary and lifestyle modifications, along with intake of antacids are the most effective treatment methods. There are a number of drugs that may be used, to prevent acid reflux. It is recommended that you consult a physician.
Tongue Problems
A certain class of tongue problems like oral thrush (Candida albicans fungal infection) and Glossitis (inflammation of the tongue) may also cause Globus. Consulting a physician immediately is the best course of action.
Laryngitis or Pharyngitis
Globus is also a symptom of pharyngitis, a throat infection cause by viral, bacterial or fungal agents. In this case, the lumpy sensation will be accompanied with pain in the throat, cough and fever. Analgesics, antibiotics and steroids may be prescribed as treatment.

Another cause may be laryngitis, an inflammation of the larynx, caused by straining of vocal cords, bacterial, viral or fungal infection, allergies and even inhalation of corticosteroids. Treatment ranges from antibiotics, fluid intake to simply resting your vocal cords, depending on the cause of the specific laryngitis case.
Consult a doctor as soon as possible to ascertain the actual cause in your case, if it stays for long. Minor symptoms like these, shouldn't be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This article is only intended to be a reference and therefore is certainly not meant to supplant the advice of a certified medical professional.