Globus pharyngeus is the medical name given to the sensation of feeling a lump in your throat. In this condition the lump is located or felt in between the chest area and the larynx (somewhere around the Adam’s apple area). Although many people do not think this is serious, and often it isn’t, it may be a symptom of another condition.
What Causes Globus Pharyngeus?When we swallow, our food goes down our oesophagus into our stomach. In order for the food to stay in the stomach and not travel back up the tube, a piece of muscle is attached around the piece of cartilage in our neck that is responsible for pushing our food down. This piece of tissue (known as a sphincter) can feel as though and may indeed become, a little tight giving us the feeling of having a lump in our throat.
This tissue may tighten because our body is trying hard to keep our stomach acids away from our throat which is why those with reflux problems commonly suffer from this condition. It can also happen when we are stressed as we produce more chemicals and acids during this time which is why when we are nervous, frightened or anticipate we feel a lump in our throat.
It may also be possible that the lump-like sensation is caused by a previous trauma. A very small fragment or bone may have become embedded in the tissues and caused a small amount of swelling pressing on the muscle and tissue and cartilage.
Symptoms Of Globus PharyngeusThe main symptom of the condition is actually feeling as though there is a lump in the neck or chest area when swallowing. Sometimes the lumpy sensation can force the individual to swallow several times when normally only once would do. The size of the lump is generally described as being between the size of a peanut up to the size of a walnut or golf ball.
If You Have A Visible LumpIf you feel as though you have a lump in your throat and can actually see a visible growth either on your neck or inside your mouth, it is very important to see your doctor. The likelihood is that you simply have a minor infection and your glands (or lymph nodes) are swollen as they fight the infection, but in some cases these swellings may be a symptoms of an underlying condition that will need assessing and testing.
Preventing Globus PharyngeusIf your throat lump is caused by a growth it may have been unavoidable unless you are a heavy drinker or smoker which puts you at more risk of developing growths in many areas of the body.
Most frequently, stress is the major cause so it is important to find better ways of dealing with stress and anxiety or changing your life style so that stress is less likely.
For most people, changing their environment in some way, making sure they have some quiet time or exercising are effective methods of achieving this.
Globus pharyngeus is an unpleasant but often minor complaint that resolves over time and as we lessen the chances of becoming too stressed. If however, it is accompanied by a visible lump in the neck area please see your doctor for assessment.