It seems like something that is the size of a golf ball is stuck in your throat and you are pretty sure that you have not accidentally swallowed something that big. Medical professionals call it either globus hystericus or globus pharygeus — everybody else calls it a lump in the throat.
Many regard the sensation as annoying rather than painful. Some people feel that whatever it is that’s trapped in there is moving. At times the object perceived to be lodged in the throat seems to be situated on one side rather than smack in the middle. You can swallow all you want, but the darned thing won’t go away!
There are different things that can cause it. Many of them are nothing serious, and you can rest assured that nothing is lodged in there. However, there are some instances wherein the sensation is caused by a trauma to the throat or the actual presence of something that’s not supposed to be there, like a tumor.
Before we discuss some of the potential causes of having a lump in the throat, it’s vital to know that globus hystericus or globus pharyngeus can be felt right in between the Adam’s apple and where your shoulder bones meet. It’s a different story if the sensation is found elsewhere in your neck area.
With that clarified, let us take a look at some of the probable reasons why there seems to be an annoying golf ball-sized object wedged in your throat:
Believe it or not, something as simple as being stressed can give you that irritating feeling that something is trapped in your gullet. Stress-induced globus hystericus or globus pharyngeus is caused by the tightening of the muscles in the area, pretty much like what happens when you are trying so hard to hold back your tears. Relaxing can lower your stress levels, and eventually cause the tightened muscles in your throat to relax.
Another very common cause of that lump in the throat is anxiety. If you have anxiety disorder, it is very much possible for you to feel like something is stuck in your throat whether or not you are having an attack. What you need to do is relax — worrying about it can only make you more anxious, causing the sensation to intensify!
Were you diagnosed with acid reflux? Then the condition is most likely the reason behind your frequent bouts of globus hystericus or globus pharyngeus. Such is caused by the involuntary tightening of a part of your esophagus in order to keep the stomach contents from backing up. If you have been suffering from severe acid reflux for a while now, scarring of the lining of the esophagus may also give that lump in the throat sensation.
Muscular or Neurological Problem
Certain medical conditions affecting the muscles, such as myasthenia gravis, can give the annoying feeling that something is lodged in the throat. There are also various neurological problems wherein globus hystericus or globus pharyngeus is one of the common symptoms. They include stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Trauma to the lining of the esophagus or the presence of a canker sore can also make it feel as though that an object is stuck below your Adam’s apple. However, people who are facing such usually report that the thing that seems to be trapped in there is the size of a peanut or pill, rather than the usual golf ball. Also, it’s not unlikely for the sensation to be felt on one side instead of being right in the middle of the throat.
In some instances, there is actually something that is present in the throat which can be felt by the individual. It can be anything from a cyst, tumor or granuloma.