Everything You Need to Know About Lump in The Throat

Feeling stressed, catching infections, or dealing with reflux can lead to that annoying lump sensation in your throat. Although very uncomfortable, this phenomenon is rarely worrying. Our doctors explain everything about what causes a lump in the throat and share their advice on how to make it disappear.

What is A Lump in The Throat?

A lump in the throat is one of the swallowing disorders located above the esophagus. It is a sensation that can be described as pressure or discomfort in the throat. This sensation is often associated with difficulty swallowing and generally corresponds to a contraction of the throat muscles in response to a stressful situation.

Possible Causes of A Lump in The Throat

Several causes can be responsible for this feeling of  lump in throat, including:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux corresponds to the rise of stomach contents towards the esophagus. This condition is common in both adults and children and generally causes irritation, leading in some cases to a feeling of a lump in the throat.

Anxiety and Stress

This is because stress and anxiety can cause tension in the neck and throat muscles, which can lead to a feeling of a lump in the throat. This concerns what we call the pharyngeal globus, which generally gives way to the ingestion of food or liquids. This is also why we use the expression having “a tight or knotted throat.”

An Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Upper respiratory infections, such as those affecting the throat and nose, can cause inflammation and sore throat, which can cause a lump in your throat.

Thyroid Disorders

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Conversely, in cases of hyperthyroidism, this gland produces too much hormone. In these two cases, the thyroid can sometimes change shape and become larger; this is called a goiter. Sufferers may feel a lump in their throat.

Other Causes

Certain allergies, swallowing problems, sleep disorders, neurological diseases, and even tumor diseases can cause this feeling of discomfort in the throat.

Can Lump in Throat be a Sign of Throat Cancer?

Although the feeling of lumping in your throat can be a symptom of throat cancer, it is important to remember that there are many other possible causes. If you are concerned about this feeling and it does not go away over time, consult your doctor.

How to Treat Lump in Throat?

Treatment for a lump in the throat depends on the underlying cause. Here are some possible treatment options:

Reduce GERD Symptoms

If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, changes to your diet, such as avoiding spicy and acidic foods, cutting back on coffee, alcohol, and tobacco, reducing stress, and drinking water can help reduce symptoms. Medicinal solutions exist if changing hygiene is not sufficient.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Managing stress and anxiety can help ease tension in your neck and throat muscles, which can reduce the feeling of a lump in your throat . Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, may be helpful.

Treatment of Infection

If an upper respiratory infection is the cause of the lump in your throat, your doctor may prescribe treatment to treat the infection.

Treatment of Thyroid Disorders

If hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism is the cause of your feeling of a lump in your throat, your GP may refer you to an endocrinologist for further testing. The latter will be able to prescribe treatment to regulate your hormone levels.

Allergy Treatment

If allergies are the cause of the lump in your throat, your doctor may prescribe antihistamine medications or treatments to reduce symptoms.

Other Treatments

Depending on the underlying cause, other treatments may be recommended, such as surgery to remove a tumor or psychotherapy to help improve stress management.

Note, however, that a lump in the throat can disappear on its own without the intervention of any treatment.

Tips to Prevent Lump in Throat

Here are some tips that can help prevent the feeling of a lump in your throat:

  • avoid spicy and acidic foods, which can worsen gastroesophageal reflux;
  • avoid eating right before bed to reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux;
  • avoid smoking and drinking alcohol ;
  • Implement stress management techniques to reduce tension in your neck and throat muscles.

If you regularly experience this feeling of a lump in your throat, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. If the latter is not available, our general practitioners are available to assist you 7 days a week at Noble Health Clinic.

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