Symptoms

Lump in Throat (Globe Feeling) – Causes, Treatment

Lump in the throat (globus feeling)

Many people know the feeling of having an annoying lump in your throat . This feeling is often accompanied by coughing and clearing the throat, sometimes it also leads to a gag reflex. There are various causes for this tightness in the throat, in addition to organic causes, a lump in the throat can also be psychological.

What is a lump in the throat?

If one speaks of a lump in the throat, this means an annoying foreign body sensation in the throat and pharynx. This creates an uncomfortable feeling of tightness for those affected. Many patients fear shortness of breath and are correspondingly tense and worried. Depending on the severity, this can also lead to uncontrolled coughing , the constant urge to clear your throat or gagging. The throat feels constricted, as if a foreign object is stuck in it, which can be felt as hard or soft.

The lump in the throat, colloquially often referred to as a frog in the throat, is called globus sensation in medical circles and must be treated specifically depending on the trigger. The causes for this can be very different, which is why a careful diagnosis is necessary before therapy.

causes

A lump in the throat can occur for many different reasons. It can be caused by an insect bite or an allergy caused by food. Tumors (e.g. on the vocal cords or the larynx) or bulges (diverticula) on the esophagus can also be responsible for the feeling of tightness.

In thyroid patients, an enlargement of the thyroid gland can cause this sensation, but angina or lateral angina or a sore throat can also cause the foreign body sensation. People who suffer from reflux disease (stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus) can also suffer from a lump in the throat. Psychological causes, such as stress, are also not uncommon.

Harmless causes for this feeling, on the other hand, would be scars from previous operations. Eating too quickly, chewing too little and swallowing too much food can also cause a lump in the throat.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

The feeling of having a lump in your throat can be very disturbing for those affected and therefore a doctor should always be consulted if the symptoms persist. Above all, because there are not only harmless causes for these symptoms, a medical examination is advisable. With a detailed diagnosis, the cause can be found and then it can be decided whether and which further measures are necessary.

First, in a conversation with the patient, the doctor will explain the symptoms in detail and whether they occur regularly, rarely or permanently. It makes sense to first examine the throat and throat smoke optically. An endoscopic examination by an ear, nose and throat doctor may be appropriate and the family doctor will issue a referral.

In order to exclude a thyroid disease, a blood test is first necessary to determine the thyroid values. If there is a suspicion of a reflux disorder, a gastroscopy can provide helpful results. If no physical causes can be found, a psychosomatic cause can be considered. How quickly the symptoms improve depends entirely on the diagnosis.

complications

A lump or lump in the throat should be clarified regardless of the cause, as it can cause shortness of breath due to the anatomical proximity to the trachea. There are also speech and swallowing difficulties. In addition to the lump in the throat, about one in four also has an belching of stomach acid (reflux), which leads to heartburn and irritation of the mucous membrane of the throat and esophagus.

Another cause that can cause a neck lump is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis , an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland that leads to an underactive thyroid. Typically, the disease causes the characteristic goiter on the neck. As a complication, cardiac insufficiency (cardiac insufficiency) can develop, which can lead to circulatory arrest.

Other consequences are general weakness and an increased risk of depression. In the worst case, a myxedema coma can occur. In addition, the risk of developing carcinoma is increased. Even in newborns, if the pregnant mother suffers from hypothyroidism, there can be consequential damage.

Heart and kidney damage are observed more frequently in children, as well as a developmental disorder , both physical and mental. Diverticula in the esophagus also cause typical lump sensations in the throat. These can become inflamed and cause diverticulitis. This can lead to abscess formation and internal bleeding.

When should you go to the doctor?

The feeling of having a lump in your throat (known as globus sensation) is harmless in many cases, but under certain circumstances it may require a doctor’s visit.

In general, a doctor’s visit is advisable if the lump in the throat has persisted for a long period of time and if the symptoms worsen. In addition, sufferers should consult a healthcare professional if they experience symptoms such as weight loss and fever in addition to globus sensation (systemic symptoms).

Additional swelling in the neck area or swollen lymph nodes should also be checked out by a doctor. Even if there is a change in the voice, a visit to the doctor is necessary.

Furthermore, a medical examination is recommended if the lump in the throat is felt to be painful or if earache is a symptom. This also applies if the symptoms are only felt on one side. If the feeling of a lump in the throat causes chyme to flow back out of the stomach (regurgitation), problems with swallowing (dysphagia) or breathing difficulties, these are also clear warning symptoms with which those affected should present themselves to the doctor.

If an operation or radiation in the head and neck area has already taken place, patients should generally seek medical advice if they experience globus sensation. Heavy smoking and regular alcohol consumption are other reasons for patients with a lump in their throat to see a doctor.

Treatment & Therapy

Treatment for a lump in the throat depends on the cause, so a thorough diagnosis is important.

Physical causes can usually be treated very well with medication. In the case of a thyroid disease, there are special medications that compensate for the disorder. Likewise, in the case of inflammation (e.g. angina or pharyngitis), an improvement can usually be achieved very quickly with medication. If the cause of a lump in the throat is a cold , it usually only takes a few days for the symptoms to subside, even without medication.

If a tumor is found that is responsible for the lump in the throat, simple medication is sometimes no longer sufficient and chemotherapy or radiation may be necessary. In more severe cases, surgery to remove the tumor tissue may be unavoidable.

If the problem is psychological, measures to reduce stress can help the patient. In severe cases, psychotherapy may be necessary. Certain medications can also be used to support this.

If physical and psychological causes can be ruled out, the doctor can only advise the patient to pay more attention to the type of food intake. Meals should always be chewed well and large amounts should not be swallowed at once.

Outlook & Forecast

A lump in the throat can be triggered by a situation in which a lot of stress is experienced. This is often the case before an exam or an important appointment. After the situation has been dealt with, spontaneous healing occurs in most cases.

In the case of persistently tense living conditions or the experience of a fateful event, the symptoms can occur as a result of psychosomatic illnesses. There is a good chance of recovery if the person concerned is willing to accept emotional help.

If the lump in the throat is caused by an allergic reaction, the person concerned can use an allergy test to find out which substance is responsible. This can be avoided in the future or treated with medication. If there is a foreign body in the throat, it is usually completely removed. Coughing is often enough. Alternatively, a doctor can help. The patient is then symptom-free.

Globus sensation can also be triggered by inflammation . Within a few days or weeks, the feeling disappears completely. Depending on the severity of the disease, treatment is given or the symptoms are minimized as a result of a natural course.

After surgical interventions on the neck or in the jaw and pharynx, patients often report an unpleasant globus sensation due to the scars . These can be easily treated and minimized with laser beam therapy.

prevention

Not every cause of a lump in the throat can actually be prevented. Basically, a balanced lifestyle with a healthy diet and sufficient relaxation phases is a good way to prevent many diseases. This keeps the immune system going and the body is spared from stress .

You can do that yourself

A lump in the throat is usually harmless and can be solved with various home remedies and measures. First, drinking plenty of fluids and gargling is a great way to naturally relieve globus syndrome. If the symptoms are caused by stress or anxiety, relaxation methods such as yoga or gymnastics can help , as can talking to someone you trust.

Bed rest and relaxation can usually also relieve the uncomfortable feeling in the throat. If the Globus syndrome is due to an allergy or another underlying condition, this must first be treated. In the case of a cold, the usual remedies such as sleep and light medication are sufficient. Home remedies such as lemon , warm milk with honey and herbal tea also help . If heartburn is added to the Globus syndrome, healing earth , ginger , silicic acid and bitters have proven their worth.

Naturopathy in the form of osteopathy or “sensomotoric body therapy” helps with mental health problems . If poor posture or tension are the trigger, exercise or a massage can alleviate the symptoms. Breathing and speaking exercises as well as other measures of sensorimotor body therapy can be carried out independently after a short briefing by a doctor and promise an improvement in the globus feeling and overall well-being.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.