There is a very common condition called globus pharyngis that is best described as feeling like there is a lump in your throat. Though this condition can be caused by many different factors, acid reflux is one of the leading causes of globus pharyngis.
Forty five percent of the population will experience globus pharyngis at some time or another in their lives. It can feel either like a solid lump or ball in the throat, or as fullness in the throat, close to the area of the cervical esophagus. The strange thing about gobus pharyngis is that though there is a specific, definable sensation to the individual sufferer, there is no detectable abnormality in the throat when examined by a doctor.
Currently no single explanation has been accepted as actually causing the globus sensation, however, GERD or acid reflux is among the leading factors attributed to its existence. Other suspect conditions are hypertensive upper esophageal sphincter pressure, sinusitis, overclosure of the bite, anterior cervical osteophytes, and certain psychological disorders.
Therefore, to treat globus pharyngis, doctors must systematically eliminate each of the potential causes through several forms of examination. This often includes a thorough ear nose and throat examination using an esophagoscopy (a small instrument with a light and camera that is inserted into the throat). It may also require a Barium swallow or counseling services.
In the case of acid reflux causing globus pharyngis, it is much more common in women than in men (though it is not unusual for men to experience it), and usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. Men who do suffer from globus pharyngis will often also have a mild case of dysphagia, which is the feeling of food getting stuck in the throat. More rarely, men will present with a severe case of dysphagia along with the globus pharyngis. Young men are more likely to suffer from both conditions at the same time.
Among the most effective treatment for the globus pharyngis condition are counseling – to let the patient know that everything is alright and that they’re not choking and their lives are not in any danger. Furthermore, treatment with rigid esophagoscopies will often ease if not eliminate the sensation.
To prevent the recurrence of globus pharyngis, treatment of GERD is recommended, as it is likely to be the cause in the first place. Speak to your doctor about your acid reflux and globus pharyngis symptoms to create a practical prevention strategy that can be worked into your lifestyle.
This will include instructions regarding changes to your diet both when you’re preparing your foods at home and when you’re eating out at restaurants, cafes, etc. You will likely be required to include some new foods into your diet, while reducing others that cause acid production to increase in your stomach, such as alcohol. You will also benefit from eating frequent, smaller meals throughout the day, instead of fewer large meals which cause your stomach to fill up and more acid to be produced, increasing the risk of reflux.