Have you ever experienced a miserable and nagging feeling in your throat that won’t go away? Like something is stuck in your throat and you end up constantly coughing? The irritation in your throat at times makes it difficult for you to even swallow food.
Whether you can figure out something you ate that might be stuck in your throat, or if the feeling is there for months without reason – it’s best to seek medical help at the earliest.
If you feel that food is stuck in your throat, it could be because of the following conditions-
Dysphagia, also called food obstruction, occurs when food gets stuck in your esophagus. When affected by this condition, you will experience troubled and painful breathing. At times swallowing becomes impossible and you can also face difficulty in swallowing your saliva.
Dysphagia from GERD
Dysphagia is also caused by Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which is a severe form of acid reflux. In this condition, the content of the stomach travels back to the esophagus and irritates it. It can lead to coughing or a sensation of something stuck in the throat.
With this condition, you will not be able to find any clear reason for the constant annoying feeling that something is stuck in the throat or chest. People often describe it as a feeling like they have swallowed a pill that has gone only halfway down. Globus pharyngeus is usually not very painful or serious but can be very irritating. However, consider consulting an ENT if you experience this kind of feeling as it is important to differentiate Globus pharyngeus from esophageal dysphagia.
Other causes that can lead to this condition are-
Esophageal stricture – A narrowed esophagus caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease
Tumors – Esophageal tumors caused by narrowing of the esophagus
Esophageal ring – A thin area of narrowing in the lower esophagus
Eosinophilic esophagitis – A condition caused by too many cells called eosinophils in the esophagus
Scleroderma – Scar-like tissue weakens the lower esophageal sphincter leading to acid back-up into the esophagus, causing recurrent heartburn
Radiation therapy – The treatment might cause inflammation and scarring of the esophagus
Oropharyngeal dysphagia – Conditions like neurological disorders or damage, and Zenker’s diverticulum can weaken the throat muscles and make it difficult for the food to travel from the mouth to the throat and esophagus.
Difficulty in swallowing can lead to weight loss, malnutrition, and even dehydration as the condition makes it difficult to take in required nutrients and fluids. At times food stuck in the throat can cause choking if it completely blocks the airway. This might prove fatal. Moreover, food or liquid entering the airway during troubled swallowing can cause aspiration pneumonia. This happens because the food makes way for bacteria in the lungs.
Signs and symptoms associated with the feeling of something stuck in the throat –
- Difficulty and pain while swallowing
- Food coming back up (regurgitation)
- Food or stomach acid backing up into the throat
- Frequent heartburn
- Weight loss
- Coughing while swallowing
In case you are facing difficulty in swallowing or are experiencing symptoms like weight loss, regurgitation, or vomiting, you might need to consult an ENT specialist in Delhi. The doctor will conduct tests to confirm the real cause of the condition and suggest treatment accordingly. However, if the sensation of something stuck in the throat interferes with your breathing, you might need medical help immediately.
Who is at higher risk?
Older adults are at higher risk of getting this condition. Age, wear and tear of the esophagus and conditions like stroke or Parkinson’s disease make them more prone to this condition. People with neurological or nervous system disorders are also at a greater risk to have difficulty swallowing.
To stay safe, consider eating slowly and chewing your food well. However, if you have signs or symptoms, see an ENT doctor as soon as possible.
DocGenie has a heavily vetted panel of top-notch ENT specialists who offer patients the best of opinions for conditions related to Ear noses and Throat. If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms consider booking an online appointment with an ENT specialist on DocGenie. Online doctor consultations are easy, time-saving, and can be done from home.
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.