Having a lump in the throat is a very common complaint among patients. Reports will usually involve the feeling of having a golf ball sized mass in the throat. It can either be a real lump or a perceived one. Treatment is going to depend on what is causing it in the first place.
What Causes Lump in Throat
There are a number of possible causes for the feeling of having a lump in the throat. The causes can be categorized into the following:
- Globus Pharyngeus. This can be caused by an infection, acid reflux, or some other physical cause.
- Globus Hytericus. This may be caused by anxiety and panic problems.
- Actual Mass in Throat. The sensation can also be due to the presence of an actual mass in the throat which may be caused by a tumor, cancer, or problems with other organs.
Globus Pharyngeus and Globus Hytericus are associated with the cricopharyngeal muscle, which acts as a sphincter that prevents food from going back up the throat.
Some of the possible causes that can lead to the constriction of the cricopharyngeal muscle include the following:
- Viral infections. These may be associated with the common cold or with flu symptoms.
- Bacterial Infections. These can occur during strep infections.
- Acid Reflux. This can occur without the presence of the ‘heartburn’ or burning sensation classically associated with the issue.
- Panic Attacks
- Crying. Many people will complain of having a lump in their throat when they are emotional or when they are crying.
In addition to Globus Pharyngeus and Hystericus, patients may develop a growth or an actual lump in the throat. Some of the possible causes include:
- Throat cancer
- Thyroid enlargement. Although this can be a cause, it only occurs in rare cases.
Symptoms Lump in Throat
Some of the most common symptoms associated with having a lump in the throat include:
- An annoying, but not painful sensation in the throat
- Feeling of pressure in the throat area
- Having to swallow more than once in order to try and get food down.
- Swallowing too often
Lump in Throat Treatment
Treating the situation is going to depend on what is causing the problem. Some of the most common treatment methods include:
- Antibacterial medication, only given for bacterial infections as viral infections are self-limiting.
- Pain Medication
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Relaxation Techniques
- Breathing Exercises
Treatment for actual lumps in the throat can include surgery, chemotherapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs.