Are You Experiencing Swelling In The Throat? These Could Be The Reasons

Are You Experiencing Swelling In The Throat? These Could Be The Reasons

Do you feel like there is a lump or swelling in your throat? It can be a possible indication of many illnesses and conditions. Lets know what swelling in the throat indicates.

What does lump in the throat mean?

Lump or swelling in throat is a persistent sensation that makes you feel something is stuck in your throat even when there is nothing in your throat. This sensation is commonly known as globus sensation. Once in a lifetime, people may experience this thing. 

According to an estimate, at least 46 out of 100 people have experienced this globus sensation. It is equally prevalent in both men and women.

What causes a lump in throat?

There could be several reasons and the correct diagnosis depends on several factors. But lump in throat or globus sensation can be linked to below factors:

  • Inflammatory diseases such as chronic sinusitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis.
  • Esophageal motility disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumours
  • Upper esophageal sphincter dysfunction
  • Food allergies

Diagnosis of swelling in throat

You may be asked following questions by ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist in order to identify the underlying cause.

  • Pain while swallowing
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle weakness or lack of muscle coordination

What kind of test can I expect?

Unfortunately, there isn’t any method for testing the sensation in your throat. However, once the specialist has assessed your history, expect him to adopt one of the two approaches initially. The first attempt would be the treatment of GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) which is 23-68 percent of all the cases and second is the screening for cancer.

If you feel relaxed through medication, then it’s fine or if you have partial symptoms remaining, your dose of GERD might be increased. You might be advised to relax, drink some hot beverages as a secondary treatment. 

However, if you aren’t showing signs of healing, then your ENT specialist may continue to diagnose other possible causes as mentioned above through following tests:

  • Endoscopy
  • Multichannel intraluminal impedance
  • Acid (pH) monitoring
  • Barium swallow study
  • Videofluoroscopy
  • Manometry

If above methods also fail to bear any results, then there are other options you might be asked to choose from:

  • Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage therapy etc.
  • Speech therapy
  • Anti-depressant trial that could go up to 6 weeks

How to prevent swelling in lump?

As researchers don’t know what exactly causes a lump in the throat, it is hard to understand how to prevent it. However, through following tips, you can actually prevent possible issues of globus or other sensation.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Say no to smoking
  • Do not shout
  • When sick, rest your voice.

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease can also be caused due to excessive grief, anxiety, sudden shocks, high level of stress, panic attack, etc. So there could be psychological reasons as well. Speech therapy can be an effective tool in strengthening your swallow and vocals. Using anti-depressants and relaxation techniques might bring good results.

Sources

1. Lee and Kim(2012,May 28).Globus pharyngeus: A review of its etiology, diagnosis and treatment read more
2. Greenberger(2016, March).Lump in Throat(Globus Sensation) read more
3. Kortequee S, et al.(2013, May 7). Management of Globus Pharyngeus read more