One fine morning, the melodious chirping of the birds wakes you up with a refreshed mood and vibrant energy. You are sipping coffee and humming your favorite song. Suddenly you have a nagging feeling that there is something stuck on the back of your throat.
To get rid of that, you drink water, gargle warm salt water, and drink hot coffee. Still, you feels like hair in throat is annoying you. Now, are you thinking, what is wrong with you?
Relax. This is a common problem, and you are not the only one in the gallery. This is globus pharyngeus or globus sensation. Sensing like a lump in the throat. Or you can say a tightness in the throat. Painless, yes, but it is as annoying as nails on a chalkboard.
To know more about Globus Pharyngeus, be with me. In this article, you will learn what globus pharyngeus is, its causes, and its treatment.
Table of Content
What is the Globus Pharyngeus?
Globus pharyngeus is a continuous feeling of something lump-like in the back of your throat. Many people describe the sensation as scratchy and throbbing. Some say it is the tightness in the throat. Few say it is a feeling of a pill stuck in the throat. Many questions, “Why does it feel like I have a hair in my throat?”
In reality, there is nothing there when the throat is examined, only a feeling. This feeling can come and go like waves of the ocean. Though it does not interfere with eating, drinking, or breathing, the sensation is annoying and health anxiety.
The globus sensation is different from dysphagia, the swallowing difficulty. Dysphagia is painful. Whereas Globus sensation is not painful, yes, it is annoying, though. However, some people with globus sensation report feeling anxious that swallowing will cause choking.
In the earlier time, globus pharyngeus was called globus hystericus. The doctors believed that people who experienced this symptom were “hysterical.” The condition was mainly psychological. However, doctors now know that the situation is genuine. It has both mental and physical causes, and that people are not faking their symptoms.
Many people report that after drinking or eating something, their symptoms have improved. However, you better see a doctor if the sensation is annoying you immensely.
What are the probable symptoms of Globus Pharyngeus?
“Why does it feel like I have a hair in my throat?”
If this question is annoying, you like the annoying feeling in the throat; why don’t you ask the obvious question first? What happened to me? What is the reason for this hair-like feeling in the throat?
Globus pharyngeus is the most probable answer to your question. However, to determine if you are suffering from globus pharyngeus or not, check for symptoms you have. You will be facing the following symptoms: it is globus pharyngeus.
- Lump-like feeling in the throat
- Feeling of hurt-burning
- Throat clearing
- The feeling of mucus trickling down the throat
If you are facing these symptoms, do not worry. It is a common condition. However, it is always prudent to consult a doctor instead of assumption.
What causes Globus Pharyngeus?
What causes globus pharyngeus is still unknown. When one feels like hair in throat, doctors run an examination. If they find no actual lump or object in the throat, doctors diagnose globus pharyngeus.
In many cases, the doctors do not find any actual cause of this sensation. Usually, minor inflammation in the throat or at the back of the mouth is the reason for globus pharyngeus.
Few potential causes of globus pharyngeus are given below:
Dry Throat Due To Frequent Swallowing
Dry throat is one primary reason for globus pharyngeus. When we frequently swallow, mainly due to anxiety, our throat gets parched. As a result, the throat muscles and mucous membranes can feel strained.
In our mouth and throat, many muscles work together in swallowing. For the correct sequence of swallowing, the muscles need to tense and relax. When you face globus sensation, you may encounter that you are swallowing saliva frequently due to anxiety. At that time, some of the swallowing muscles may not relax completely. Therefore, you may feels like hair in throat.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, aka GERD, is another potential reason for globus pharyngeus. The term GERD is a form of acid reflux. It causes the stomach contents to travel back up the food pipe, even into the throat. This reflux of acid creates inflammation and irritation in the throat. As a result, you feel something hair-like or lumpiness in the throat.
GERD can also cause muscle spasms. These muscle spasms often trigger the feeling of globus pharyngeus.
Psychological health issues or Mood Change
Your psychological condition is a big triggering point for globus pharyngeus. Stress, anxiety, depression, and tiredness are all known criminals to create this lump-like sensation in the throat.
Skeletal Muscle Disorders
Certain skeletal muscle disorders may cause globus pharyngeus. Particularly, people with myasthenia gravis and myotonia ( a muscular condition with less or excess acetylcholine at the motor endplate) may experience difficulties in the throat muscles.
Eosinophilic esophagitis, aka EoE, is chronic inflammation in the esophagus due to food allergy. The esophagus is the tube that connects our mouth to the stomach. This inflammation often makes us feels like hair in throat.
A zenker’s diverticulum is an outpouching or balloon of tissue that grows at the junction of the lower part of the throat and the upper part of the esophagus. This outpouching may cause a lump-like sensation in the throat. Usually, it occurs if the muscle fails to relax during swallowing.
How common is globus pharyngeus in general?
Globus pharyngeus is a common medical condition. It can occur anytime and sometimes stays with you for a long time.
Statistics show that approximately 4% of people seek medical attention at an ENT clinic with globus sensation. But, surprisingly, as many as 78% of people who seek medical care at the non-ENT clinics may also suffer from globus symptoms. So, you are not the only one in this boat.
Undoubtedly it is a frightening feeling of having a hair-like mass in the throat. Moreover, this feeling is annoying and health-anxiety. Therefore, people with globus symptoms promptly seek medical care. But, this condition is not severe. All you need is reassurance, medication, and plenty of fluid.
When to consult a doctor?
In most cases, globus pharyngeus comes and goes on its own. It does not wait for any medical attention. However, medical advice is needed if this condition brings company, such as pain or severe symptoms.
You should see a doctor if your globus pharyngeus brings the following companions with it.
- pain during swallowing
- pain in the throat or neck
- weight loss
- Struggle to swallow
- choking when swallowing
- difficulty taking breaths
- muscle weakness in the body, especially in the throat
- A visible mass around the neck or throat
- symptoms that get gradually worse
- Unexpected symptoms after the age of 50
- blood in your mucus
- symptoms of an infection, such as fever or swollen lymph lumps
- hoarseness of voice that lasts longer than two weeks
People who already suffer from globus pharyngeus do not need to seek medical attention or see a doctor unless their symptoms are severe, different, and painful.
What is the Treatment?
There is no specific medication or diagnosis for globus pharyngeus. United Kingdom-based ENT specialists studied that no test is performed on 14% of patients with the symptoms. Instead, doctors simply prescribe them antacids. In most cases, a 3-month anti-reflux medication is advised by them.
Lifestyle modification. Doctors always suggest a change of lifestyle while treating globus pharyngeus. To reduce stress and acid-reflux, doctors recommend much advice that includes:
- Less caffeine
- Less spicy food
- Stop smoking
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Avoiding fizzy drinks
- Plenty of water
- Yoga and physical exercise
However, 86% of people are diagnosed through various ways: rigid endoscopy, barium swallow, or both.
People who had experienced this sensation most likely to experience it again, mainly due to stress. But this is common and not severe. You must remember that this condition is just an abnormal lump or hair in the throat. There is no real growth in the throat.
Other possible causes that you feels like hair in throat
Globus pharyngeus is the most common condition with people feel like hair in their throat. However, there are other possible reasons for the lumpiness in your throat.
Something is actually in your throat.
What if there is something actually in your throat? While you were eating, maybe you swallowed something. Or perhaps you have accidentally eaten some airborne particles, like the hair of your cat or dog. Now they are stuck annoyingly at the back of your throat.
I know this irritation is annoying and tiresome, but it will not generate any structural damage to your throat.
Usually, if there is any object or actual hair in the throat, it naturally dislodges over time. However, as a home remedy, you can drink a warm liquid or gargle with warm water. In addition, you can eat some bananas, as they smoothly clear your throat from stuck scraps.
Hard food scratched the lining of the throat
Sometimes, while eating our food, we don’t chew the food properly and swallow. Those unchewed hard foods sometimes scratch the lining of the throat. As a result, we feel like hair in the throat.
If this happens to you, do not worry. The irritation and scratchy feeling will be in the throat for some days. Then, after a few days, it will heal naturally on its own.
However, if the irritation is severe and stays for long, you should seek a doctor.
You have postnasal drip
PNDS is a condition where the mucus from your nose drips down into your throat. If you have allergies, You may face this often, which causes the weird sensation of hair in the back of your throat.
To treat postnasal drip syndrome, doctors usually recommend taking an antihistamine. Antihistamine treats allergies and can often reduce these PND symptoms.
As you know, PNDS is related to allergies. Therefore, if you are an allergic person, make sure to avoid coming in contact with any offensive allergen.
Controlling the environment is the best way to handle allergies. So keep your environment clean and dust-free.
Many people are allergic to varieties of food. For example, some are allergic to peanuts, some to shellfish, or some to dairy. Food allergy can create irritation in the throat. Though food allergy is pretty normal, in many cases, it can be fatal.
First and foremost, learn that if you have any food allergies. Now only one thing to do: simply avoid those foods.
However, if, unfortunately, you eat any food you are allergic to and have any reaction, seek medical attention.
Do you still feels like hair in throat? We know this sensation of itchiness in the throat is both annoying and frightening. So, what to do?
Tension and worries will not solve your problem. Instead of worrying, determine what symptoms you have. In this article, many causes have been displayed for the lump-like feeling of the throat. Therefore, the first step you can take is to know what causes the hair-like feeling in your throat.
The moment you determine your problem, your half journey is completed. Now begin your treatment as required.