Globus is a persistent or intermittent sensation of a lump in the throat that is not painful. It is sometimes called Globus pharyngeus. People often describe and complain of a lump-like sensation in their throat. However, it is now widely considered that Globus sensation can be due to physiological or anatomical causes and may also be due to psychogenic factors. There may be feeling like something is stuck in the throat, particularly when swallowing. However, it is known to be psychiatric scientific literature of something called Globus hystericus. Globus sensation is one of the main symptoms of anxiety disorders. Though people with Globus sensation are never in any real danger of choking, they may mention the sensation of a lump in their throat. Globus sensation needs to be distinguished from the difficulty in swallowing which is otherwise called dysphagia in medical terms.
The main symptoms of Globus pharyngeus are a feeling of a lump and constriction or tightness in the throat. Many of you may find that the symptoms vary a great deal, and there are often periods when this feeling goes altogether. Despite the feeling of difficulty swallowing, the patients suffering from Globus do not have problems in eating and drinking but usually notice the symptoms while swallowing their saliva. You may feel the sensation of a lump moving up and down and occasionally from side to side also. The difficulty of swallowing can be constant and may gradually worsen over time, whereas Globus sensation symptoms happen to come and go. You may or may not feel any hoarseness of voice.
Nowadays it is commonly found in people of middle-age-group but the Globus sensation can affect anyone at any age. It affects men and women equally.
Why Do People Have Globus Sensation?
What happens is that the symptoms worsen, if you start believing that you could stop breathing. In this case, the choking feeling gets more intense and you might start to panic. It does not mean that also being aware of this fact will make it go away quickly.
Another most important thing to do when a complaint of Globus presents itself is to figure out what’s causing the lump sensation which will then allow proper treatment to take place. A Globus sensation of that has been persistent for several days suggests either an infection or some type of allergic response.
Studies have strongly suggested that GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disorder) can also be a major cause of Globus sensation. This is because, when there is a reflux of gastric contents, it may lead to irritation and inflammation of the laryngopharynx or increased tone in the upper esophageal sphincter that may be triggered by distension or acid in the distal esophagus. Then, the acid gets infused into the distal esophagus which causes a Globus sensation. A Globus sensation persisting for months suggests a more chronic process such as acid reflux disease, a nerve injury in the throat, or even a tumor. Globus sensation is also associated with eating certain foods or after suffering from a bad cold or flu, which will be identified by the healthcare professional.
Some conditions that cause irritation or inflammation of pharynx include pharyngitis, tonsillitis, which may occur due to the hypersensitivity of the pharynx, also lead to Globus sensation.
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Causes of the Lump in the Throat:
Some common causes of Lump in the throat are:
- Throat infection
- Sore throat
- Acid reflux
- Virus and bacteria presence
How To Manage a Lump in the Throat?
Diet and lifestyle history are also important to know the cause of Globus sensation. Also, if common acidic food is consumed, it can cause effects on the digestion that can cause problems for those who might have acid reflux disease. The consumption of foods, such as caffeine, chocolates, farinaceous food, and alcohol, may cause it. It has been suggested that regurgitation of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, and chronic inflammation of the laryngopharynx can result in the symptoms of Globus. Here are some helpful tips to manage a lump in your throat discomfort.
- Change your diet if you have been taking a lot of spicy and greasy foodstuff or food high in fat.
- Taking antacid also helps to reduce the lump feeling by reducing heartburn.
- A pinch of cumin seeds in water during meals may prevent gas forming.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol can be responsible for increasing your chances of reflux by causing the esophageal sphincter to relax.
- It is better to avoid caffeine-related products, such as tea, coffee, coke, etc., as they cause heartburn.
- Avoid overeating as it prevents proper digestion.
Studies have reported that reflux in 20%-60% of patients causes Globus sensation. It is thought that gastroesophageal reflux is likely to be the cause in a subgroup of the patients.
If the symptoms are present alone, simple reassurance may be all that is required. It is suggested that the Globus pharynges condition is compared with an abnormal sensation similar to an itch or tinnitus.
Physiological factors also play a role. Research suggests that as many as 96% of patients with Globus sensation report an exacerbation of symptoms during times of emotional intensity.
If your throat lump is resulting due to anxiety then do the following:
- Relax and deal with the cause of your stress or anxiety.
- Jogging or exercise is effective in removing your focus from the cause of stress or anxiety.
- Breathing exercises help in reducing the anxiety and stress and chances of acid backing up into the esophagus and causing heartburn.
Many patients find that reassurance and explanation of the cause of their problem are all that is required to treat Globus. Many treatments that are effective in more difficult cases. The best thing to do is to seek professional help so that you can address your anxiety and figure out what’s causing it. After all, Globus sensation can strike at any time. You may not get any kind of warning sign nor time to prepare. It happens in a way so that it will make you realize that it’s something that needs your immediate attention for professional help.