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  • Writer's pictureNalaka de Silva

Lump In the Throat

Updated: Mar 31

Please note that the following is a general guideline only.


Some patients suffer persistent or intermittent sensation of a lump or foreign body in the throat. The medical term for this is Globus.


Up to 40 % of the population been affected at some stage

Men and women are equally affected though women seek help more

Mostly middle age affected


A Sinister (Minority)

Mass, tumour in the throat, neck or thyroid can give rise to "Globus" these need to be excluded by endoscopy. Unilateral symptoms must be seen more urgently.

B Not sinister (Majority)

Acid reflux to the back of the throat- direct irritation of the throat

Acid reflux into the food pipe: leading to muscle spasm in the throat

stress- muscle spasm in the throat

Bone protrusion from the neck-spine

Tonsil related

Oesophagus- disorders with the movement of the food along food pipe


Taking a History

First, he will take a clear history to identify the likely underlying cause. He will ensure that there is no sinister reason for your symptom. Generally, if there is painful swallowing, difficulty swallowing, progressive symptoms or one-sided symptoms, you need to be seen more urgently. Uncaged symptoms over many months or years are less of a concern.


Your Specialist will do a complete examination of the Neck, Oral cavity, and perform a fiberoptic scope to make sure that is no abnormality near the voice box region

Diagnosis and Treatment

Above will help your surgeon diagnose most sinister pathology. If so he will organise other necessary investigations.

If no apparent sinister pathology the most likely cause is laryngeal reflux. This will be treated, and if the patients respond, it becomes clear that reflux was the main cause for symptoms. Patients usually need to be on longer-term medications to control reflux. This is detailed in a separate topic written on "Laryngeal Reflux."

The other matter which needs addressing is stress. Stress is a significant cause of a lump in the throat sensation. Often living-in-the-moment, doing yoga and simple meditation for 20 minutes twice per day is likely to help significantly.

Please look at the following clip on meditation and its health benefits. You have instructors who can guide you through in the Peninsula in Melbourne.

Your surgeon may decide to follow you up, or refer you for other investigations including a complete endoscopy, under anaesthesia if necessary.

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