A lot of patients come to me with the complaint of something stuck inside the throat. You can have a sensation that is something that is stuck in the throat mainly due to two conditions- dysphagia and globus pharyngeus. There can be other reasons, but we’ll come to that a little later.
The condition due to which you are unable to swallow food down the throat is known as dysphagia. The most common cause due to which dysphagia occurs is the food getting stuck in the esophagus while eating. This is a potentially dangerous condition as the food stuck can make the airways blocked, leaving the person gasping for breath.
At times a person might get a sensation that something is stuck in your throat, even when nothing is. While the feeling is not usually painful, it can be irritating. The feeling is called a globus sensation.
It is a constant feeling that something is stuck in the throat. Although it does not cause any difficulty in swallowing or interfere with breathing, it can become annoying and often lead to anxiety. This is because people may feel that they are choking on something or about to.
The global sensation and other throat problems are different. In this condition, there is no actual lump in the throat while in other problems, such as tonsillitis, a lump can be felt.
It is believed that this condition develops due to anxiety and psychological symptoms. Usually, after drinking and eating, the feeling of something stuck in the throat subsides.
Also Read: 10 Most Common Causes for Sore throat
How to Remove Something Stuck In My Throat?
Unfortunately, there is no particular treatment to get rid of the feeling of something inside the throat. As a profession, we suggest that when one feels that something is stuck in your throat, one must not use their fingers to remove the object because it can lead to the object being pushed down to the throat and cause damage.
Here are a few home remedies that you can try to get rid of the feeling of something stuck inside the throat or the chest.
Drink Soda or Fresh Lemonade
Drinking soda or fresh lemonade helps quite often. The carbonated drink will cause the walls of your throat to expand outwards and simultaneously the liquid will help push the object down the stomach. It’s a simple and effective remedy. Also, the drink breaks the food particles or releases gas that can help in dislodging the food.
- Drink Water
If you have food stuck down your throat, drinking water helps or even having moist food can help push the food down to the esophagus. Usually, the saliva helps to break down food particles and lubricates the food to pass through the esophagus easily. When it feels like something is stuck in the throat, drinking extra sips of water can moisten the stuck food.
Try eating a banana
As banana is slippery, eating it can help in passing the stuck food easily. In some cases, taking a bite of bread can also dislodge the food.
In most cases, the food passes on its own over some time. So, you wait and watch for some time. However, the feeling of something stuck in the throat and chest may be present for a couple of days.
Try Heimlich Maneuver
To force the object out of your mouth one can try the Heimlich maneuver (abdominal thrusts) on themselves by pressing your gut down on a tough surface and blowing out your mouth with your nose closed.
Other remedies that you can try are- eating slowly, take small bites or be careful while eating meat. Always consult an ENT when home remedies don’t work. Don’t take any unprescribed medication to avoid complications.
How does it feel like when something is stuck inside the throat?
Patients often report that they have a feeling that they are trying to swallow something but it’s stuck in the middle, not going anywhere.
Getting something stuck in your throat, clogging your windpipe, and making it hard to eat or breathe is something that happens more often than people usually give it credit for. Sometimes you gag or cough to take out the food stuck. Other than that, you can also have severe chest pain or have excessive drooling.
However, when you notice the following symptoms, get medical attention as quickly as possible. This is important as these indicate the possibility of choking.
- You are unable to speak
- There is difficulty breathing
- The breathing is noisy
- You make sounds when you try to breathe
- Coughing continually
- Your face turns pale or bluish
- Gradually become unconscious
Other Factors Due To Which You Can Feel Something Is Stuck In the Throat
Apart from dysphagia or globus pharyngeus, I have also come across patients who felt something is stuck in the throat due to other reasons. Certain medication or medical conditions can lead to a dry throat causing the feeling that something is stuck in the throat.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Commonly, this is caused by acid reflux, when stomach contents tend to travel back to the food pipe and the inflammation from the acid causes muscle spasms that lead to Globus Sensation. It is called Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. Taking anti-reflux medications helps in this case.
Changes in the mood or depression
For some people, psychological mood swings can also lead to the feeling of “lump in the throat”. Anxiety or depression can cause dryness in the throat and a feeling that something is stuck in it. Drinking water and relaxing help with alleviating this phantom feeling.
Tonsil infections are also a common cause of this feeling. At times, even after receiving treatment for tonsils and taking antibiotics, the pain reduces but tonsils can remain enlarged. If this enlargement of tonsils is bothersome and prolonged, you may have to consider a Tonsillectomy surgery that removes tonsils completely. If one of the underlying causes of something stuck in the throat is recurrent tonsil infections, then visit Pristyn Care clinics to get the most effective treatment.
Cold or Flu
Cold or flu can lead to pharyngitis or sore throat. It causes pain and irritation in the throat and makes swallowing food harder. This can be treated by the simple home remedy of drinking warm water or gargling with salt water. One may also take a dose of paracetamol ibuprofen to help.
Also Read: Home Remedies For Sore Throat
In this condition, the food pipe inflames when certain food items are eaten. This a common condition in people who are suffering from food allergies.
Is the feeling of something stuck in my throat serious?
Yes, the sensation of something stuck in the throat is quite serious and not to be neglected. If you feel something is stuck in the throat, especially due to food obstruction, then it can be very dangerous. This is so because the food stuck can slip onto the wind piper and cut off the air supply. Also, if the symptoms continue to get worse, get medical help immediately. Moreover, leaving the condition untreated can cause irritation, inflammation, or even erosion.
After trying these remedies, if you feel distressed or unable to swallow the saliva, then get hold of your nearest medical help immediately. Using an endoscopic procedure, the actual cause can be determined precisely, and hence, treatment can be administered accordingly.