At the time of puberty in males front part of thyroid cartilage protrudes which is called as Adam’s apple. During puberty the size of laryngeal box (voice box) increases more in boys than girls. Boys with larger larynx have deeper voice. Swollen Adam’s has various causes. It may be physiological as in case of puberty or may be pathological due to cancer of voice box. If a person notices some change in Adam’s apple, he must consult his physician.
Causes of swollen Adam’s apple
- Thyroid enlargement – inflamed thyroid gland can be swollen. In such cases as Adam’s apple is attached to thyroid gland, it may look swollen. One may experience pain on touching Adam’s apple. Thyroid enlargement can also occur due to hypothyroidism hence Adam’s apple may look swollen.
- Thyroid cancer can make Adam’s apple look swollen. You may see second Adam’s apple which may also move up and down while swallowing. Initially it may be painless but gradually symptoms will develop and person may experience difficulty in swallowing, pain radiating to jaw and ears, cough with blood in expectoration and hoarseness. Person may have sensation of lump in throat region.
- Inflammation of cartilage can lead to swollen Adam’s apple.
- Local infection of throat can sometimes lead to swelling of thyroid cartilage. Person will feel pain in the region and may have fever associated with it.
- Acid reflux is one of the causes of swelling of Adam’s apple. Acid from stomach regurgitates up in esophagus and causes local irritation which in turn causes swelling in throat region. Mental stress is the most common cause of acid reflux. Eating spicy food and overeating also contribute for acid reflux.
Treatment of swollen Adam’s apple
- If you notice swollen Adam’s apple get yourself examined by a doctor.
- Doctor may advise you to do blood tests such as CBC, ESR and thyroid function tests.
- If there is hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism which will be diagnosed on the basis of T3, T4 and TSH levels, doctor will give you appropriate medicine to rectify the problem. Repeat thyroid function tests at regular intervals and monitor the hormone levels.
- Eat iodized salt to prevent hypothyroidism.
- If swelling of Adam’s apple is associated with fever there are chances of local infection which can be treated with anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics if indicated.
- You can prevent local infection by eating healthy diet. Drinking fresh lemonade will boost your immunity as lemons are very good source of vitamin C.
- Balanced diet and regular exercise will contribute towards maintaining excellent health.
- Eat small, frequent meals to prevent acid reflux. To live stress free life, do meditation and relaxation exercises regularly. Irritation due to acid reflux can be minimized by taking antacids under guidance of a doctor. Include vegetables and fruits in the diet which will give you relief from hyperacidity. Do not lie down immediately after eating to prevent acid reflux. Sleep by raising the upper part of the bed at 45 degrees.
- If you feel any lump in throat region get yourself examined by a doctor. Doctor may advise biopsy to rule out cancer.