Foreign Body Sensation

Woman holding her throat

What is a Foreign Body Sensation?

Foreign body or globus sensation is the persistent feeling of a lump in the throat or that something is stuck in the throat. Some describe it as throat fullness. It is usually not painful, but described as annoying. It is a very common condition

What Causes Foreign Body Sensation?

The most common cause of foreign body sensation is extraesophageal reflux, also called laryngopharyngeal reflux. This is the cause in over 90% of cases. Most of the time this will be the only symptom with no actual heartburn or discomfort. Other causes of foreign body sensation include inflammatory conditions of the nose and throat (such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis, chronic sinusitis with postnasal drop, and allergies), stress/anxiety, abnormalities of the esophagus, thyroid disease, a history of something getting stuck in the throat, thyroid disease, and tumors. Sometimes the cause of the sensation cannot be determined.

How is Foreign Body Sensation Treated?

Given that there are many possible causes of foreign body sensation, there are multiple treatments depending on the underlying cause. If the underlying issue is reflux disease, then that will be treated accordingly. The most important thing is to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist to make sure there is nothing abnormal in the upper aerodigestive tract. If the throat exam is normal, a screening exam of the esophagus is recommended, as the foreign body sensation can be a referred manifestation of esophageal pathology.

Call Rocky Top ENT & Allergy at 931-219-9990 or 865-383-0737 for more information and to schedule an appointment.