Have you ever experienced a feeling of something getting stuck in your throat? When this happens, the sensation usually occurs at the back of the tongue, around the tonsils. The sensation varies from mild to severe and may come and go on its own. However, some people also experience this on a constant basis. Even if it does not lead to anything serious, the sensation can cause a constant discomfort, mainly while chewing, swallowing and breathing. It can also lead to drooling, chest pain, and hoarseness in the voice, lack of appetite and weight loss. If it happens temporarily, there is nothing to worry about. However, if the sensation stays for a prolonged period of time, it could be indicative of other issues within the body, and a doctor should be contacted immediately.
What is Globus Pharyngeus?
Globus pharyngeus is also commonly known as Globus sensation or simply Globus. It is a condition in which the person experiences a constant obstruction in the throat as if there is some kind of pill or object stuck inside. Globus pharyngeus does not affect breathing or swallowing. However, it can cause a lot of irritation and discomfort to the patient. In some cases, the patient may also experience mild pain in the chest or a clicking sensation while swallowing solid food items.
Globus pharyngeus does not cause a feeling of complete blockage. Instead, you feel as if there has been a partial blockage due to a lump of some kind, together with a throbbing or a scratchy sensation. However, the main difference between Globus pharyngeus and other types of throat problems is that in this case, there is nothing actually stuck in the throat. The sensation of obstruction is mainly caused due to psychological issues and anxiety. However, recently, researches have shown that there can also be actual physical causes for globus pharyngeus. In most cases, the symptoms are eased temporarily by drinking water.
How Does it Feel Like?
The feeling of having something stuck in the throat may vary from person to person depending on intensity and the underlying cause. It has often been described by the patients in the following ways:
- A feeling that something solid has been lodged in the throat
- Feeling of having a lump in the throat
- A lump in the throat that keeps coming and going
- A sensation of a lump in the throat, especially while swallowing
- Lump in the throat together with anxiety
- A choking sensation
- Feeling as though something is still stuck in the throat after eating
- Tightening of the muscles in and around the throat
- Feeling as if something has been tied around the throat
- Feeling as if the air passage has been partially blocked
The actual reason for having the feeling of something stuck in the throat is not known. There is also no constancy in its occurrence. It can range from frequent to rare and sometimes, even indefinite. The sensation may be preceded or followed by stress, anxiety, and activities such as eating. In some cases, it may also occur on its own for no apparent reason. Sometimes, the symptoms are hardly noticeable while in other cases, it can come in strong waves. Furthermore, the sensation and the intensity may also change with each episode.
Various Factors that may Cause a Feeling of Something Stuck in the Throat
There are various factors that may cause a feeling of having something stuck in the throat. It could be psychological as well as physical. The most common known causes have been discussed below:
- Something is actually stuck in throat
This is a common case among people who wear dental braces, and the sensation usually occurs after eating. This is because the presence of braces makes it somewhat difficult to chew the food properly. The condition can be prevented by taking smaller bites and chewing each bite properly before swallowing. If the condition prevails, you can ease it to some extent by drinking water so as to assist the passage of the food item down the esophagus or by trying to cough out the food particle.
- Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD
This is a condition that causes the digestive acid present in the stomach to travel up through the esophagus and reach the throat. Eventually, this can lead to ulcers and form scars, which can cause a constriction of the esophagus. Therefore, if feels like something stuck in the throat and burping, it is most likely that the condition has been caused due to Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. In this case, the patient may also experience a burning sensation around the chest.
Scleroderma is a condition that causes the weakening, narrowing, and hardening of the tissues present in the esophagus. This causes food to travel back to the throat. Hence, the patients suffering from scleroderma often experience a feeling of having something stuck in the throat.
The inflammation of the tonsils due to bacteria and viruses can also lead to an uncomfortable sensation in the throat. Even though there is nothing lodged in the throat, the patients may experience difficulty in swallowing. However, in reality, there is really no extra object in the throat except for the inflamed tonsils.
A person suffering from Diverticula develops small sacs in the esophagus and the throat. This is a condition that affects the individuals in the latter stage of their life. While swallowing, the pockets present in the throat often get filled with food. This may also lead to difficulty in swallowing. Hence, the person will immediately feel an urge to clear his/her throat. At other times, these sacs get filled with bacteria, eventually leading to bad breath, which is also known as halitosis. Hence, a feeling of something stuck in the throat together with bad breath is often an indication of Diverticula together with a bacterial infestation.
Allergies caused due to pets or season changes can also give a feeling of having something stuck in the throat owing to inflammation. The condition can get serious if the inflammation causes the airways to get blocked. If the allergy is mild, it can be eased by taking allergy medications. However, if not treated on time, it can even lead to death.
- Esophageal growths on the outside
The lymph nodes and tumors that develop around the esophagus can put pressure on it, thereby leading to a feeling of having something stuck in the throat.
- Enlargement of the Thyroid gland
A swelling of the thyroid gland can cause its protrusion. This may lead to a feeling of something stuck in throat thyroid.
- Esophageal tumors
Both cancerous as well as benign tumors present in the esophagus can lead to difficulty while swallowing and give rise to a sensation of something stuck in throat sensation.
- Anxiety and stress
Stress is another one of the common factors that cause immediate psychological, emotions and psychological changes in an individual. When you are stressed, the body automatically tightens various muscles so as to increase the resilience and save it from damage. This includes the muscles present in the throat. Hence, it is most likely that you get a feeling of something stuck in the throat. Drinking water and taking deep breaths may help in dissipating stress and easing the sensation.
Esophagitis is a condition in which the esophagus gets inflamed and irritated due to particles that enter through the air and food. If it feels like something is stuck in my throat after eating, it can be eased to some extent by moving around continuously after a meal. At any cost, you should avoid lying down immediately after a meal. It can also be helpful if you stay away from smoking and food items that trigger acid reflux. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way you can prevent the sensation from occurring frequently.
- Rings and webs around the esophagus
An abnormal position of the tissues, leading to the formation of webs and rings around the esophagus can also make you feel like something has been lodged in your throat. These abnormal tissues are formed while still in the womb, or it can also take place shortly following the birth. The rings are generally present in the lower part of the esophagus and they develop on the inner walls of the esophagus. Webs, on the other hand, are located on the upper portion and are formed in the center of the esophagus. These often give a feeling of something stuck in throat when swallowing.
- Abnormal functioning of the muscles and nerves
Sometimes, abnormal functioning of the nerves and muscles in and around the esophagus and throat may also give rise to an uncomfortable sensation of having something stuck in the throat. This usually happens in the following cases:
- Among people who have suffered a stroke or an injury to the brain or spinal cord.
- The patient suffers from nervous system dysfunction, which in turn decreases the functioning of the muscles and nerves that are involved in the process of swallowing. Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are common examples of this.
- The person suffers from an inflammation of the immune system, leading to weakness and swelling. Common cases include dermatomyositis and polymyositis.
- Esophageal spasms can also cause a sudden contraction of the esophagus muscles, thereby preventing food from reaching all the way down to the stomach.
Tests that Can help Determine the actual Cause of the Problem
You should understand that it is time to seek medical help if you experience any of the following:
- Feels like something is stuck in my throat and chest that is making it increasingly difficult to breathe
- Feels like something is stuck in my throat that makes it difficult to drink or swallow
- Feels like something is stuck in my throat but no pain or any signs of infection, despite being present for a substantially long period of time
- The infection in the throat refuses to go away even after a continuous treatment for about one week
In most cases, the sensation of having something stuck in the throat is entirely harmless. However, in other cases, it could be an indication of a more severe disease present in the body.
Upon being brought to a doctor’s notice, first of all, a visual assessment will be conducted. For this, a tiny and flexible camera is inserted inside the nose and pushed further down to the throat. This facilitates a full visual assessment of the entire area. This is not painful at all. Furthermore, there are sprays that are used to numb the sensation in the specific areas while also opening the passages and airways wider. This ensures that the patients do not feel any discomfort during the process of diagnosis. If the doctors find it necessary, the visual assessment will be followed by another step, the biopsy of tissues. This helps in detecting the presence of lesion, tumors or cancerous cells in the affected area.
How to Treat the Feeling of Something Stuck in the Throat?
The two most common causes that lead to a feeling of something stuck in the throat are tight muscles and acid reflux. However, there are also a lot of other causes that can lead to this sensation. Therefore, the best approach to proper treatment is first to find out the underlying reason leading up to the issue. If detected in their early stages, most of the underlying issues are easily treatable. However, it should be noted that some of the conditions like Globus sensation have no treatment. There are medications that can help in easing the sensation quickly, but cannot provide a permanent solution. Listed below are some of the most common approaches to treating the sensation of having something stuck in the throat.
Have you ever struggled with something stuck in throat how to get it out? Well, if there is something really stuck in the throat, the most effective treatment is to have it removed with the help of a professional.
- Muscle therapy
Many patients often complain that it feels like something is stuck in my throat, when, in reality, there is nothing causing an obstruction. When this happens, it is usually due to the muscle tension in and around the throat. If this happens, the patients are usually referred to an Ear Nose Throat specialist or speech therapist who will then work on easing the tightness of the muscles.
- Nasal spray
A nasal spray is also one of the common treatments for this issue. This usually works by keeping the secretions in the throat area thin so as to increase its mobility. This ensures that there are no lumps stuck in the throat. Decongestants available over the counter also work in the same way and help prevent buildups in the throat area.
Since stress and anxiety is one of the major contributing factors to the problem, opting for regular therapies can help in reducing grief, depression, and anxiety, thereby leading to a decrease in the frequency of this feeling.
Reflux medications that are prescribed by the doctor, as well as over the counter antacids, can be greatly helpful in treating acid reflux, thereby reducing the burning sensation in the throat.
- Chewing properly
This is rather a preventive measure than a treatment. However, chewing the food well before swallowing can prevent the food from getting stuck in the throat.
Home Remedies to Treat Something Stuck in Throat
Licorice, also known as Glycyrrhiza helps in reducing any swelling in the throat while also relieving the pain. The most effective dosage is 380mg in a day. You can also use Slippery Elm, a natural demulcent that soothes the agitated tissues present in the throat while also promoting healing. The safest and the most effective dosage for slippery elm is 60 mg per day. Marshmallow is another effective herb that works both as a demulcent as well as an emollient. Take about 5 grams of dry marshmallow leaves and steep it in a cup of boiling water. After a few minutes, you strain the tea and drink it directly. Other common herbs that can relieve the discomfort while swallowing are skullcap, linden flowers, wild yam, John’s wort and valerian. If the discomfort in swallowing is also accompanied by bloating and digestion problems, it is recommended that you use carbo vegetabilis for the same. In case of a painful throat, you can use Lachesis.
Dry throat can only aggravate the problem even further. Hence, it is advisable that you install a humidifier in your room, especially if the problem has been caused due to a swelling of the tonsils. By making the air more humid, this makes it easier to breathe and keep the tonsils from getting too dry. If you are using the humidifier, make sure that you clean the machine frequently and change the water each night.
Gargling with a mixture of water and salt can reduce the swelling of the tonsils while also relieving the discomfort. It should be noted that the water used for gargling should be warm. Cold water can make the process ineffective. The mixture becomes most effective when you mix in half a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water. Keep gargling for about 10 seconds before spitting out the water. For best results, this should be repeated five times.
Allow your throat to rest
Straining the throat while it is in an already aggravated state can only make the problem worse. Therefore, it is important that you allow your throat to rest, atleast while it is still healing. Avoid singing, shouting and taking hard foods. It should be noted that talking a lot while the tonsils are inflamed can give rise to laryngitis, which causes permanent damage to the vocal cord, thereby leading to an impaired speech.
Drink lots of water
Hydration is the key to recovery from any disease. It builds up the body’s ability to fight infections. It is recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Drinking milk can also help in alleviating the inflammation and irritation.
Grape juice and honey
Prepare a mixture with equal amounts of honey and grape juice. Drink this mixture within an interval of eight hours continuously for a period of one week. It can help in removing the blockage in the throat caused due to phlegm build up.
White pepper and raw honey
Take some white pepper and mix it with a teaspoon of raw honey. Take this twice a day. It soothes the throat while also drying up the accumulated phlegm.
Onion and lemon
Juice one onion and one lemon and add the juice to a cup of hot boiling water. You can also add in some honey to improve its taste. You should drink one whole cup of this mixture in one sitting. Repeat this after every eight hours for maximum effectiveness in clearing the throat.
Mint and eucalyptus leaves
Take a handful of mint and eucalyptus leaves and put them in a container of water that is put to boil. When the water starts boiling, have the container removed from the stove and inhale the vapor while covering your head with a towel. This process is very effective in opening up the sinuses and throat blockages that have been caused due to phlegm.
Salt and pepper
Drink some lemon juice with salt and pepper added to it. This can be helpful in drying out the mucus causing a blockage in the throat.
Drink warm fluids
Drinking lots of warm fluids can help in easing the discomfort present in the throat. Soups and green tea are especially very effective in diluting the mucus and providing relief from throat obstruction. However, stay away from coffee, black tea and other beverages that have alcohol in them.
Prepare a concoction using clematis herb, vinegar, and some brown sugar and drink it while it is still warm.
Take a raw egg, pour out its contents into a cup and consume the entire thing in a single gulp. This can help in removing any obstruction present in the throat.
If the obstruction in the throat has been caused due to food particles, prepare medium sized balls of sticky rice and swallow it without chewing. This will push down any obstructions down into the stomach. If you do not have rice, you can also use bread for the same. Taking it together with peanut butter can help in its movement down the throat. If you do not have either rice or bread, you can repeat the same with large chunks of defleshed banana.
Most often, throat obstructions are a result of negligence regarding one’s own health and sometimes, due to other underlying health issues. It can range from mild to severe in terms of intensity and affect speech, swallowing, breathing while also causing constant discomfort. There are various remedies for throat obstruction and opting for timely treatments can help in a quick and effective recovery.
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