If you experience a lump in your throat then this is very common - and something that most people will feel at least once in their lives. Also known as the ‘globus sensation,’ a lump in the throat is normally painless and feels as if there is a lump or bump in the throat even though there is actually nothing there. So, if you experience the globus sensation how can you fix it?
Defining the globus sensation - and how to fix it
A lump in the throat is exactly what it says - a feeling of a lump or bump in the area of your throat even if you can't see anything there. Crucially, a lump in the throat doesn’t cause any problems with swallowing so if you’re also experiencing that as a symptom then something else could be the cause. There could be a number of different reasons why you’re experiencing a lump in the throat. These include:
- Your throat muscles don’t relax. When you’re not using the muscles in your throat they should relax but if they don’t it can feel like a lump or a bump. You may benefit from muscle therapy where this is the cause.
- Postnasal drip. If the mucus is accumulating in the back of your throat and dripping down it then this can also trigger the sensation of a lump or bump. A nasal spray may be a simple way to fix a lump in the throat caused by a postnasal drip.
- A change in muscle coordination. Throat muscles have been designed to work in perfect harmony to allow you to do things such as swallow. However, if there is some loss of muscle coordination then a tightness can ensue that may feel like a lump in the throat. This may be especially noticeable when swallowing saliva - it may not happen with food, as this will stimulate the muscles in the throat in a different way. Sometimes, eating something can ease the feeling.
- Acid reflux. When there is stomach acid in your oesophagus this can cause you to feel unusual sensations that often manifest as a lump or a bump. Antacids are a simple way to solve this.
- An emotional response. A lump in the throat can also be a feeling that arises in the context of intense emotions. Everything, from stress to grief and extreme tiredness could cause this. Talking therapy or antidepressants could help fix this type of lump in the throat.
Do you need medical attention?
For most people, the feeling of a lump in the throat will be temporary and will clear up with time. However, there are some signs that it may be time to get medical attention, for example, if you are also experiencing problems swallowing. If you develop pain or you are able to feel a physical mass in your throat then these are also signs that you may need to see someone. A fever, weight loss or muscle weakness are other symptoms to look out for. If you are concerned it may be useful to have a consultation with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. This is not designed to help identify the globus sensation but will ensure that there is nothing more sinister behind the feeling of having a lump in your throat.
There is no cure for globus sensation - depending on the cause it will most likely clear up on its own. However, you should see an ENT doctor if you have any other symptoms.