ZocdocAnswersI have a popping thing in my throat when I swallow. What could it be?

Question

I have a popping thing in my throat when I swallow. What could it be?

In the 5 grade I had this popping thing in my throat and it would only do it if my head and I swallowed it felt like two things running on each other and then slipping if that makes sense but it didn't hurt at all so I just ignored it and tryed not to swallow while my head was down.. so for 5 years I just delt with it because it didn't bother me but yesterday I had a really bad sore throat I couldn't swallow and my uvula was swollen to when when I did swallow it felt like I was swallowing it but today my sore throat is gone but that thing that popped when my head was down and I swallowed is popping weather my head is up or down..... And I can't really tell where its popping at but I have a really bad pain about 2 inches above my left collar bone right next to I think its called my pharynx but ya do you have any ideas on what it could be

Answer

Thanks for this question. I recommend that you speak with an ear nose and throat surgeon, AKA ENT AKA otolaryngologist head and neck surgeon. It's hard to understand fully what you are describing, but it does seem that you are right in describing this as a problem that is related to your pharynx. The pharynx is the part of the upper food and breathing tract that is immediately above where the air pipe separates from the food pipe. In this area, there is really just one bone, the hyoid bone, and several cartilages that are important for speech and swallowing. A popping sound could indicate that some of these cartilages are rubbing against each other or against the spine itself. The key thing is that you don't begin to develop other symptoms such as pain in your throat that is progressing, ear pain, difficulty swallowing, and voice changes. Any of these things would be even more concerning. Again, as for the specific cause of your symptoms, speaking with an ear nose and throat surgeon, AKA ENT AKA otolaryngologist head and neck surgeon, can be valuable. He or she would be able to examine fully from both the outside and from within your throat via a camera, and could likely make some suggestions. Again, please speak with your doctor about this question.

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