Why Does it Feel like Something Is Stuck in My Throat?

By , Category : General Health

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it feels like something is stuck in my throatHave you ever said to someone, “It feels like something is stuck in my throat,” but you don’t know why because there’s nothing there?

You figure you would know if something was caught in the throat, like an object or a piece of food, or if there some phlegm was having trouble coming out. And yet, everything seems to be clear.

This sensation typically occurs at the back of the throat, behind the tongue, and feels like the object won’t come away from there no matter how much you try to dislodge it, usually by clearing the throat.

Often the feeling is accompanied by difficulty swallowing, drooling (though this is rare), hoarseness (because of the continuous attempts to clear your throat), loss of appetite, or pain and even pressure in the upper chest (this might be cause for some concern).
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The condition is frustrating and sometimes alarming, and usually there is no need to panic. As with most ailments and peculiar symptoms, if it doesn’t go away on its own after a week then you should seek the advice of a medical professional, especially if you have chest pain and are drooling quite a bit during the day.

Why it Feels like Something Is Stuck in My Throat

If you have suffered a stroke, or have a muscle or nerve condition, it can feel like something is stuck in the throat when swallowing. Feeling as though you have something stuck in your throat when nothing is there is perplexing; and conversely, sometimes there is a physical object behind this sensation. Below are the most common conditions for this feeling.

1. Something Is Actually Lodged in Your Throat

Children and the elderly (especially seniors who wear dentures) often get food lodged in their throats. A preventative measure against this physical issue is to try to chew food more thoroughly and take smaller bites. Have a drink, and let it fully pass down the throat. If you’re struggling, you may need to cough it up.

2. Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a condition in which stomach acid travels up the esophagus, which can then create ulcers and scars that constrict the esophagus. If you feel like something is stuck in your throat and you keep burping, it’s more likely a result of GERD, which can also cause burping and a burning sensation in the chest.

3. Scleroderma

This is the weakening, hardening, and narrowing of esophageal tissue. Scleroderma can make food particles travel back up and get lodged in the throat, or at least create the sensation that something is stuck there.

4. Tonsillitis

This is when the tonsils become inflamed and infected by a viral or bacterial infection. It can cause difficulty swallowing, making it feel like something is stuck in the throat, but nothing is there; or at least, there are no other objects beyond the inflamed tonsils.

5. Diverticula

This condition causes small sacs to form in the throat or esophagus, which can be unsettling. It typically occurs later in life.

6. Allergies

Seasonal or pet allergies can cause slight inflammation, giving the sensation of having something stuck in the throat. Take some allergy medication or try clearing the passages with a Neti pot.

7. Esophageal Growths on the Outside

Tumors and lymph nodes can cause pressure on the esophagus, creating a feeling of something stuck in the throat.

8. Enlarged Thyroid Gland

A swollen thyroid can protrude a bit (or a lot) and this will certainly create the sensation of something being stuck in the throat.

9. Esophageal Tumors

Benign or cancerous tumors within the esophagus can create difficulty swallowing and make it feel as though something is stuck in the throat.

10. Stress and Anxiety

Feelings of anxiousness can make it feel like something is stuck in your throat and chest, and you can’t clear it away. To help combat this, simply draw in a few fortifying breaths and then release them slowly through the mouth. Have a glass of water because this can calm anxiety as well. Once the stress dissipates, the sensation should be gone too.

Treatment Options for This Condition

So what do you do when it feels like something is stuck in your throat? Treatment options depend on what the exact ailment is, and your doctor will be the one to determine this after a thorough medical examination. Some of them are listed below.

1. Antibiotics

If there is an infection somewhere, you will be prescribed the appropriate medication to tackle the issue. Use the medication for the full amount of time so that all the bacteria are killed.

2. Lavender Oil

If stress is causing the sensation of something being stuck in your throat, get some lavender oil and inhale the scent directly from the bottle if you have to. Lavender is known to be an excellent calmative and will bring your anxiety right down. You can also take a hot bath with 10 drops of lavender oil. The heat will provide an extra soothing element.

3. Removal

If you have something lodged in your throat such as a fish bone, you will need to have it removed by a medical professional.

4. Chew Properly

Try chewing your food slowly and methodically before swallowing it and see if this helps the problem.

Source for Today’s Article:
“Feeling of Something Stuck in the Throat,” EnkiVillage web site; http://www.enkivillage.com/feeling-of-something-stuck-in-the-throat.html, last accessed April 18, 2016.


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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

About the Author, Browse Victor's Articles

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »