A persistent feeling of a ‘lump in the throat’ is sometimes described as ‘globus’ or ‘globus pharyngeus’. It is a very common problem and often feels as a sore Lump in Throat. In fact, in my experience most of the urgent cancer pathway referral patients from the GP have this problem which then turns out to be due to acid reflux.
The most common symptom of globus is the feeling of a lump or a sensation of ‘pressure’ in the throat. Many people describe a feeling of tightness or constriction, or report a feeling of mucous (a sticky substance produced by the body) that they are unable to clear. Others may notice that they have the sensation most when swallowing saliva, but may also find the feeling of a lump lessens when eating and drinking. These sensations can increase with stress and worry. The more you swallow, the drier your mouth gets and the bigger the lump can feel. The important thing to remember is that globus is just an abnormal sensation of a lump rather than an actual lump or growth.
The most common cause of globus is thought to be acid reflux from the stomach called as Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. Acid in the stomach helps to break down our food. Reflux happens when this acid rises up into the tube that connects the stomach to the mouth (oesophagus or gullet). From here, it can enter the throat and cause a number of symptoms, including irritation, throat clearing and coughing. Acid reflux interferes with how your swallowing muscles relax, leading to a tight or globus sensation. Other possible causes of globus may include a postnasal drip (when mucous runs from the nose into the back of the throat), stress and tiredness.
Mr. Dhanasekar would do a thorough ENT examination in clinic. This would include passing a flexible fibre-optic camera through your nose to view your nose, back of nose and throat/voice box region. He would immediately be able to exclude any sinister pathology which is what most patients are worried about. He would be able to reassure you in the first clinic visit itself. He then would initiate necessary treatment which if it is due to reflux, would include life style, diet changes and medication.