Feeling like hair stuck in your throat could be a globus sensation. It occurs when your throat muscles become irritated, strained, or inflamed, resulting in a lingering, annoying feeling. Factors like climatic conditions and underlying medical conditions could cause a globus sensation. Throat anxiety is also a common cause because it can lead to tension in your throat muscles. Home remedies may help in soothing and relaxing your throat muscles to get rid of the globus sensation.
It’s very annoying and uncomfortable when you feel like something is stuck in your throat and want to reach it and get rid of it.
The throat is a rather sensitive and vital part of your body. While microscopic hairs known as cilia exist at the back of your throat, they play no role in the feeling of having hair stuck in your throat.
“So, what is this feeling of something stuck in my throat? What has caused this sensation?”
You might be questioning many things like these, and you can’t think of anything more than getting rid of the sensation.
Table of Contents
What is this weird feeling of something stuck in your throat?
Several medical conditions may give you a weird feeling of having hair stuck in your throat.
One of these conditions is known as globus sensation. It refers to the persistent feeling of a lump or foreign object in the throat that’s not there.
People with globus sensation often describe it as feeling like a “ball,” “lump,” or “knot” in the throat. The sensation is uncomfortable and annoying and doesn’t cause pain or disturb your swallowing and breathing.
Globus sensation may cause anxiety as it makes you constantly worry about choking, as your throat often feels partially blocked.
Factors that may cause globus sensation
There is no known exact cause of globus sensation. However, it can be linked to both physical and psychological factors.
Below are the following external and physical factors and psychological conditions that may cause you a globus sensation.
1. Cold or dry air
Dry air can dry and irritate the mucous membranes in your throat, leading to discomfort and the sensation of a lump or foreign body in your throat.
On the other hand, exposure to cold air can cause the muscles in the throat to contract, contributing to the globus sensation.
2. Cigarette smoke (both first-hand and second-hand)
The chemicals present in cigarette smoke can irritate your throat and cause inflammation, leading to a globus sensation. It can also cause the muscles in the throat to contract, contributing to the symptom.
Exposure to certain irritants such as smoke, pollution, or chemicals can also irritate and inflame the throat, leading to a sensation like something’s stuck in your throat.
Environmental allergens, such as pollen or dust, can cause inflammation and irritation of your throat, leading to a globus sensation.
5. Acidic foods and beverages
Consuming acidic foods and beverages such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, or coffee can irritate the throat and worsen the globus sensation in some people.
6. Spicy foods
Spicy foods contain a chemical that can irritate the mucous membranes in your throat and cause inflammation.
It can also increase your stomach acid, which can further irritate your throat and contribute to your symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux.
1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD occurs when contents in your stomach flow back into your esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation of its lining.
It can cause discomfort in your chest and throat and the sensation of a lump or foreign object in your throat.
2. Esophageal spasm
It’s a condition where the muscles in your esophagus contract abnormally, leading to difficulty swallowing and chest pain.
The abnormal contractions of the muscles in your esophagus can cause the globus sensation.
The muscle contractions can also cause your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to tighten, leading to acid reflux and further contributing to the development of globus sensation.
It refers to a condition where your pharynx becomes inflamed due to a viral or bacterial infection.
Other factors such as allergies, smoking, and dry air may also contribute to developing pharyngitis.
The symptoms of pharyngitis, like sore throat and difficulty swallowing, may result in a globus feeling.
Sinusitis can sometimes lead to postnasal drip in which mucus from your sinuses drips down into the back of your throat, causing irritation and a feeling of a lump in your throat.
Allergies, colds and viruses, certain medications, and environmental irritants may cause also cause postnasal drip.
Sometimes, a cough, sore throat, and hoarseness may come along with postnasal drip, which can worsen the globus sensation.
5. Hiatal hernia
It occurs when a part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm into your chest cavity.
A hiatal hernia will cause pressure on the ring of muscle (lower esophageal sphincter) that separates your esophagus from your stomach. It may allow your stomach contents to flow back up into your esophagus.
As a result, it can irritate your throat lining and cause a globus sensation.
6. Thyroid disorders
Globus sensation may be a symptom of thyroid disorders, such as thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer.
Thyroid nodules are lumps that may form within your thyroid gland. The size and location of these nodules can press against your esophagus or the trachea (windpipe) and cause a globus feeling.
Additionally, thyroid cancer can cause a globus sensation if the cancerous cells grow into tumors and press against your throat, resulting in a globus sensation.
7. Neurological disorders
Globus sensation is one common symptom in patients with neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).
It has something to do with the damage to the nerves in the throat or neck area.
1. Anxiety, depression, and stress
Anxiety and depression can cause you to become hyperaware and more sensitive to normal body sensations.
For instance, you’ll become more aware of the feeling of swallowing or the presence of mucus in your throat and think of it as abnormal or threatening, leading to a globus sensation.
Moreover, stress can cause physical symptoms such as muscle tension and changes in your breathing patterns, contributing to globus sensation.
2. Somatization disorder
It’s also known as somatic symptom disorder (SSD), a mental disorder that may cause you to experience physical symptoms without any apparent underlying medical cause.
These include pain, fatigue, digestive problems, neurological symptoms, and a globus sensation.
What is throat anxiety, and what can treat it?
Anxiety can cause various physical symptoms, including a globus sensation.
A ring of muscle within your throat opens and closes when you eat something. When you’re anxious about something, this ring of muscle can start tensing up and, in turn, cause the globus sensation.
When it comes to experiencing panic attacks, the intense tightening of your throat (even to the extent where it becomes tough to breathe) is linked with this “hair-stuck-in-throat” feeling.
The best way to know and treat this globus sensation due to anxiety is to schedule a check-up with your doctor. They would prescribe medications and may refer you to a therapist to undergo psychotherapy.
You can also follow healthy lifestyle changes such as relaxation exercises and meditation.
How can I get rid of this uncomfortable feeling?
You can try home remedies, depending on the cause of your globus sensation.
A clinical study has revealed that 60% of people who go through globus sensations already suffer from GERD.
If GERD is causing your globus sensation, over-the-counter antacids are available, or your doctor may give you prescription reflux medications to treat acid reflux.
However, until you get a proper diagnosis from your doctor, listed below are ways that may help you soothe your globus sensation.
- Stop smoking. Cigarette smoke can irritate your throat, leading to a globus sensation or worsening the symptom.
- Drink lots of water. Drinking water helps your body to keep its fluids and secretions moving smoothly. This will, in turn, lower the risk of phlegm which can lead to the feeling of something stuck in your throat.
- Avoid shouting. When you constantly shout, you may irritate vocal cords. Voice straining by public speaking or shouting could increase tension in the throat muscles and cause the globus sensation.
- Relax your voice when you’re ill. When you have a cold, you’re throat muscles are already sore or inflamed. Raising or straining your voice can cause irritation, worsening your globus sensation.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation exercises, and yoga can help relax muscles in your throat, reducing a globus feeling.
- Chew gum. It can help produce saliva, moistening the throat and reducing the sensation of something being stuck down it.
- Avoid irritants. Avoiding irritants such as smoking, alcohol, and caffeine may help to reduce inflammation in the throat and alleviate the globus feeling.
A feeling like hair is stuck in your throat could be alarming, especially when it causes you to think it might threaten your swallowing and breathing. But, this globus feeling might disappear unless an underlying medical condition is causing it.
See if home remedies like increasing fluid intake, chewing gum, practicing relaxation exercises, avoiding irritants, and resting your voice could alleviate the symptom. You must get your doctor’s proper diagnosis and treatment if they don’t.
Remember that if this globus feeling is causing you difficulty swallowing or breathing, you must seek medical attention immediately.