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8 Reasons for a Lump in a Throat: From Harmless to Dangerous

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The feeling as if something is stuck in the throat is familiar to everyone, although it is interpreted differently: unpleasant sensations, itching, lump in the throat, squeezing, and so on. The medical term for this condition is globus. 

Such a sensation often appears only in specific periods, but can also become a permanent phenomenon. In addition, a lump in the throat may be accompanied by problems with breathing and swallowing, which negatively affects the quality of life. Let’s check out what can be the reason for globus sensation.

Acute stress

Nervous tension can cause vasospasm in the throat. Subjectively, this is perceived as a pressing, bursting sensation. Up to 96% of all patients complaining of globus pharyngeus:are undergoing periods of intense anxiety. So you just need to calm down.

Muscle spasm

When we are not talking or eating, the muscles in the pharynx and larynx relax. But it happens sometimes that they relax incorrectly and a spasm occurs. Such a lump disappears if you speak or swallow intensely several times.

Acid reflux

This is the situation when the contents of the stomach along with the acid rise up to the esophagus. The most famous symptom of this disorder is heartburn. The splashed stomach acid burns the esophagus. As a result, muscle spasm or tissue edema may occur. In addition to heartburn, a feeling of a lump in a throat arises.

Postnasal drip

That is a condition when you have a lot of dripping snots, and for some reason you do not get rid of them. Maybe, you have a habit of sucking in your mucus rather than blowing your nose. Snot collects in the back of the throat and sometimes comes down in one lump. This is how an unpleasant globus sensation appears.

ENT diseases

Pharyngitis and tonsillitis cause painful inflammation in the pharynx. This is how edema appears, and in some cases even an abscess, which is perceived as a lump in the throat.

By the way, this is extremely dangerous: such a lump, increasing in size, is able to block the airways. So, let an ENT doctor check your health condition.

Displacement of the vertebrae in the cervical spine

Cervical osteochondrosis, or displacement caused by trauma, affects the nerve endings in the neck. This often leads to muscle and vascular spasm in a throat.

Diseases of the thyroid gland

Sometimes disorders in the thyroid gland are accompanied by its enlargement or the formation of large nodes in it. An overgrown organ presses the esophagus and trachea, causing discomfort and a globus sensation.


An intractable lump manifests itself as benign neoplasms of the oropharynx, trachea, esophagus. The most dangerous causes include throat cancer or Merkel cell carcinoma.

What to do if you have a globus sensation

With such a variety of reasons, the answer can vary from "nothing" to "run to the doctor before it's too late!" To understand which of these poles you are closer to, mark the statements with which you agree.

  • The unpleasant sensation does not go away if you inhale or swallow vigorously several times.
  • You feel a lump in your throat regularly.
  • It is accompanied by stomach pain or heartburn.
  • Your throat hurts.
  • You have a fever.
  • A lump in your throat can make it difficult to breathe.
  • You often have headaches, sometimes the blood pressure rises sharply, there is discomfort in the neck and back.
  • A lump in the throat appeared together with muscle weakness and unreasonable weight loss.
  • You cannot swallow normally.

If there are no statements that you agree with, most likely you are okay: a lump in your throat is accidental and caused by some stress or muscle spasm. Calm down, take a couple of deep breaths. This will help relax the vessels and muscles and quickly ease the condition.

If you have noted at least one of the statements, do not hesitate to visit your doctor. You may be okay. However, there is a risk that a lump in the throat is a symptom of a dangerous disease, which is important to diagnose and treat as soon as possible.

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