Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What gives the feeling of a lump in the throat?"
I'm a 34 year old woman with a throat problem. For nearly a week I've had the feeling that something is stuck in my throat, as if I swallowed a piece of food that just won't go down. I've looked with a flashlight and I can't see anything. Is this a medical problem?
The first question that needs to be answered in order to address your symptom is to determine if food or liquids are actually getting stuck or if you are choking on them, or if you just have the sensation of something being stuck. If you are actually having trouble swallowing (called "dysphagia") or if you have also had unexplained weight loss or unexplained weakness in other muscles then this is a more serious problem that should be evaluated urgently by your doctor. If you just have the sensation of a lump in the throat, this is called "globus", and it can have many different causes. Often globus can be provoked in times of stress or fatigue and can be a physical symptom of these inner stresses. Other problems that can produce the sensation include recurrent gastroesophageal acid reflux, or heartburn, and drying out of the throat from cold weather or from dry indoor air. Sometimes drainage of fluid down the back of the throat, which can be caused by nasal allergies or chronic sinusitis, can also produce this symptoms. Therefore, the first step in workup up the sensation is to have a good physical examination by your primary care doctor to make sure there is nothing serious that needs to be looked at more closely or something common that can be easily treated.
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