Why Does It Feel Like Something Is in My Throat?
Sometimes you get a feeling of discomfort as if something is lodged in your throat. You might cough or clear your throat, but the feeling does not go away. Alongside this feeling that is technically labeled as globus pharyngeus, you might also lose your appetite, have difficulty swallowing, and your voice might become hoarse.
You might be worried when you feel like something is in your throat, but you don't have to be too concerned though. There are plenty of things that can cause you to feel like something is in your throat. Some of them are pretty benign and can be easily resolved.
Why It Feels Like Something Is In My Throat
There are plenty of causes for this feeling, and there are different treatments for each of them.
1. Food stuck in your throat
When you feel like something is stuck in your throat, sometimes it is because something actually is. The most common culprit is food. When you do not chew your food properly or eat bites that are too big, they can get stuck on their way down your throat.
To dislodge this food, you can drink some water to wash it down. Alternatively, you can drink a fizzy drink like cola that produces gas. This gas will build up the pressure in the esophagus, causing the food to be dislodged.
There are medications like Alka-Seltzer or simethicone that can also release gas and dislodge the food.
You can also help the food go down by eating a banana or a spoonful of peanut butter to lubricate the throat.
2. Psychological problems
There are times when you feel so depressed that you feel like something is stuck in your throat. This is not all that unusual, because plenty of other people experience the same thing when they are dealing with a bad mood. In other words, the problem can be associated with something psychological like anxiety and depression.
Talking to a professional to make sure that you have nothing seriously wrong can ease your anxiety. In so doing, the feeling in your throat may naturally go away.
If you feel depressed, you should also seek cognitive behavioral therapy from a medical professional to help put you at ease until the feeling dissipates.
3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD is when the contents of your stomach travel back up your esophagus and throat. The acid irritates your esophagus and can sometimes cause you to have the uncomfortable feeling of something stuck in your throat because the muscles involved are having spasms.
GERD is usually treated with antacids which neutralize the acidity of the stomach. This reduces the burning sensation in the chest and ultimately resolves the feeling of something stuck in your throat.
When you get an infection, especially in the mouth or throat, your tonsils become inflamed as they try to combat it. This inflammation is known as tonsillitis. The inflamed tonsils swell and give you the feeling of something being stuck in your throat. Swallowing also becomes painful.
You can sometimes treat tonsillitis by gargling warm salty water to help ease the discomfort in your throat. You can also suck on lozenges infused with anesthetics. These will soothe the inflammation as well as the pain. Surgery is sometimes required to treat tonsillitis. Once tonsillitis has been successfully treated, the feeling in your throat will subside as well.
5. Zenker's diverticulum
This is a condition where abnormal pouches develop at the back of your throat. Sometimes these pouches collect food particles and attract bacteria, leading to a bad smell in your mouth. The pouches also make it difficult for you to swallow and causes you to wonder why it feels like something is stuck in your throat.
These growths/pouches need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid more critical health issues.
Mild cases of the condition do not require radical treatment, just a change in eating habits. You should eat smaller bites, chewing them thoroughly and drinking often between them.
More severe cases are treated by endoscopy or open surgery to remove the diverticulum.
How to Keep Your Throat Healthy
To avoid moments when it feels like something is in your throat, keeping a healthy throat is vital. Here are a few ways you can keep your throat healthy.
- Keep hydrated
The throat needs to be kept moist all the time. Therefore, you, need to drink plenty of water to keep the tissues well moisturized. Avoid sugary drinks to quench your thirst because they can dehydrate your throat.
- Eat a balanced diet
The membranes lining the surface of your throat are very sensitive and need to well cared for all the time. To do this, you need to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Eat a balanced diet filled with the minerals and vitamins your body needs to keep the mucous membranes healthy - especially vitamins A, E, and C.
- Keep your toothbrush clean
Your toothbrush is an easy way to transfer germs to your mouth and throat, so you need to keep it very clean. Change it out every three months or so.
Take Home Message
Globus pharyngeus is when you feel as if there is something stuck in your throat. There are many causes of this condition, but they can be easily rectified if you ask your doctor about the real culprits and treatment.
However, if you want to prevent your throat from having to go through that discomfort, there are some steps you can take to ensure that it is always healthy.