You try to swallow something but it’s stuck in the middle, not going anywhere. Or you accidentally swallow something you shouldn’t have. 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.
When you have something 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.
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.
If you have food stuck down your throat, drinking water helps or even having moist food can help push the food down to the oesophagus. The most common and natural option is to eat a banana.
To force the object out of your mouth one can try the Heimlich manoeuvre (abdominal thrusts) on themselves by pressing your gut down on a tough surface and blowing out your mouth with your nose closed.
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 globus sensation.
Also Read: 10 Most Common Causes for Sore throat
Certain medication or medical conditions can lead to a dry throat causing the feeling that something is stuck in the throat
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.
Tonsil infections are also a common cause for 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.
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.
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.
Always consult an ENT when home remedies don’t work. Proper medication should also be taken to avoid complications.