Feels Like Something Stuck On Back Of My Tongue – Cobblestone Throat Or Globus Sensation? (Causes & Treatments)

If you feel something is stuck on the back of your tongue, it could be a globus sensation, or you have got a cobblestone throat. A cobblestone throat is when you have an irritated throat with visible bumps and lumps at the back caused due to irritation from extra mucus dripping down the back of your throat. In comparison, a globus sensation is a feeling of a lump stuck in your throat even though there’s no physical blockage. These conditions have various causes triggering it, which can be treated accordingly. It’s better to get your throat checked and find the correct diagnosis and treatment. 

Got this annoying feeling of something stuck on the back of your tongue? The feeling is irritating because you exactly can’t pinpoint where it is, but it’s definitely somewhere between your throat and the end of your tongue. This sensation could be a globus sensation, or you’ve got a cobblestone throat.

Since you’re unsure, it’s better to understand your situation by looking at the symptoms and causes of each of these issues and if it resembles your current situation.

Both of these conditions are treatable, and you’re not crazy to think something feels stuck in the back of your tongue.

Let’s take a look at both these medical issues.

Is it cobblestone throat?

Everyone has mucus, and it’s necessary to help keep our passageway from drying up, clean our nasal passages, trap harmful pathogens, and prevent foreign materials from being inhaled. This mucus is produced by glands in our nose and throat and is essential to our day-to-day functioning.

But when this mucus is produced in extra quantities, which happens when we suffer from the common cold, it becomes an issue. At least when we’re sick, we know the reason behind extra mucus being produced. 

But in the case of a cobblestone throat, the extra mucus drips down the back of the throat. This is known as postnasal drip, when excess mucus accumulates in the back of our throat. It causes this annoying feeling of something being stuck on the back of our tongue, or something accumulated there that doesn’t go down however much we try to swallow. 

Symptoms of cobblestone throat

A young woman with a dry throat is coughing

Some signs to look out for:

If you feel any or multiple of these symptoms, then it’s right to consider if you have cobblestone or not.

Once you’re aware of what it could be, you can take necessary precautions and visit a doctor immediately to discuss your symptoms with them and clear your doubts if you’re suffering from this particular issue. 

Causes of cobblestone throat

This accumulation of extra mucus, which could be what you’re suffering from, can be caused due to multiple reasons which you aren’t even aware of, such as:

  • Seasonal allergic reaction
  • Cold or dry air
  • Respiratory infections
  • Certain medications, including birth control pills
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a type of acid reflux that causes stomach acid to work its way up to your throat

Being aware of what can cause this feeling in the back of your tongue can help you make wiser decisions regarding how to dress up properly during certain weather or what situations to avoid and what medications to take. 

Treating cobblestone throat

For this annoying feeling to go away, we have to find the root cause which is causing it in the first place. Treating those issues can prevent extra mucus from being produced and dripping down your throat. 

1. Allergic reaction or infection responsible

If you’re suffering from an allergic reaction or infection, taking over-the-counter medications such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) can help break that extra mucus. Antihistamines can also be helpful. Make sure to go for a non-sedating option such as loratadine (Claritin). 

Traditional antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can worsen postnasal drip symptoms. Upon careful consideration, your doctor might suggest using a steroid nasal spray to help with the situation. 

2. Certain medications responsible

Medications could also be a reason behind this extra mucus being produced, irritating your throat. For this issue, you need to definitely talk to your doctor and ask them to recommend a different medication that can prevent this issue. 

They will either change the current medication dosage or completely change it for a different medication that doesn’t have the same side effects.

3. Acid reflux responsible

A young woman is feeling pain in her chest due to acid reflux

As we saw, a specific type of acid reflux could also be responsible for extra mucus being produced, but the treatment of this cause involves making some lifestyle changes.

Since it’s caused due to acid reflux which happens when our lifestyle is in shambles, or we’re doing an activity in excess, it’s easily preventable if you decide to make some much-needed changes.

Although making lifestyle changes can make a huge difference, sometimes the issue still doesn’t disappear. Then medications are recommended, such as proton pump inhibitors, antacids, or H2 blockers to reduce stomach acid. 

Visit your doctor to find the root cause of this issue, and once you treat that, it’s easy to get rid of this annoying feeling you’re currently facing. 

Is it a globus sensation?

Another associated issue with this annoying feeling you’ve right now of something stuck in the back of your tongue could be related to something called a globus sensation. 

Globus sensation is a persistent feeling of something is stuck in your throat like a lump or a foreign object, and even though it’s not painful but it’s pretty annoying.

This particular condition isn’t as easy to identify or treat as a cobblestone throat issue is, and it might last for a long time and has chances of reoccurring. Multiple causes could be causing this issue, and stress and anxiety are also a part of it. 

Causes of globus sensation

To identify this issue, you need to find the root cause first behind this feeling. It’s easier to find a particular treatment based on the problem causing it. There’re several potential causes of a global sensation such as:

1. Pharyngeal inflammatory conditions

It can cause irritation and inflammation of the pharynx, and some of the conditions include tonsillitis, pharyngitis, or chronic sinusitis with postnasal drip. These conditions might cause increased sensitivity in the throat resulting in globus sensation.

2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Those who suffer from GERD might also suffer from globus sensation. Research indicates that roughly 23 to 68 percent of all people with globus sensation may attribute it to acid reflux or GERD symptoms. 

3. Psychological factors such as stress or anxiety

You might think what has stress and anxiety have to do with feeling something is stuck in the back of your tongue or throat, but it turns out that these psychological reasons are one of the causes of having global sensation.

Some studies have found that psychological distress, such as stress, depression, and health anxiety, is associated with higher rates of globus sensation. Having a stressful life or having experienced trauma in your life can trigger a globus sensation or make your symptoms worse. 

4. Abnormal upper esophageal sphincter function (UES)

UES occurs when the flap that controls airflow through the windpipe doesn’t operate normally. This particular issue does account for some of the globus sensation cases. The treatment can be easy for this issue by getting injections designed to help the UES function properly. 

5. Rare tumors

Although rare, tumors in the throat could also cause globus sensation. An example of cancer is oropharyngeal metastasis of Markel cell carcinoma.

6. Thyroid disease

People suffering from thyroid abnormalities have also reported suffering from globus sensation. This can also occur in people with post-thyroidectomy when the thyroid has been fully or partially removed. 

The exact relation between them is unclear, but getting a thyroidectomy can help relieve some symptoms. 

7. Previously lodged objects

In some cases, accidentally swallowing something you shouldn’t have can also leave you with a globus sensation. Even after removing the object, a small piece might have remained, making your throat feel this way. 

It can cause further harm by moving in the throat, even if it’s a small piece and so it’s essential to get your throat checked again to avoid any other emergencies. 

8. Additional factors responsible

The list mentioned above is just some of the common potential causes behind a globus sensation. But there’re other additional joints or muscular problems. Some of the different factors include:

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Inability to produce enough saliva
  • Cervical osteophytes or bone spurs
  • Eagle’s syndrome
  • Laryngeal and pharyngeal tension

Treating globus sensation

Since causes are different solutions, treating each underlying cause would be different. Some treatments might not work the same for you.

However, if some cause can be treated, that’s good because you finally were able to identify a cause, but if it’s stress and anxiety making you feel this way, it’s a different story.

Doctors recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other methods to reduce anxiety to treat psychological issues.

When to see a doctor

An older woman is getting her throat checked by her doctor because she's feeling something stuck on the back of her tongue

The causes of global sensation don’t mainly require extensive treatment unless they’re chronic. Then you might want to talk to a healthcare professional and identify the cause of this sensation.

Ignoring the problem in extreme cases won’t do you any help and might further aggravate the issue. It’s better to get this sensation treated in time to avoid any complications. 

FAQs

Why do I have large bumps on the back of my tongue?

The small bumps on the tongue responsible for identifying taste are normal, but there might be a reason to worry if you witness large bumps. Although it should heal on its own, if it has been more than a few days and your condition is becoming worse, it could be due to a tongue injury, infection, irritation, cancer, or allergies. 

You might also have a cobblestone throat where the person suffering from it has extra mucus dripping down their throat. But it’s pretty easy to get this condition treated. 

Only in rare cases could it be a sign of tongue cancer.

Can acid reflux make it feel like something is stuck in your throat?

People who suffer from GERD might feel something is stuck in their throat, and it’s normal to feel this way. The acid might be irritating your throat, making you feel this way. The only way to get rid of this feeling is to treat your GERD. 

There are plenty of ways to do so, and most of it includes making specific lifestyle changes that can calm down your GERD symptoms. 

Does drinking water help globus sensation?

Drinking plenty of fluids, speech and language therapy, and using relaxation techniques are all helpful for helping with your global sensation. Avoid clearing your throat and just drink lukewarm water every time you want to do so. Clearing your throat can make this worse each time.

Why do I feel there is something under my tongue?

The bumps on your tongue can sometimes be felt under the tongue too. The reasons include caused due to a mouth injury, salivary stones, and others. Most bumps resolve on their known within a few days and don’t need outside help. 

Most bumps can be healed by making some dietary changes such as avoiding outside or spicy food and avoiding drinking. Just rely on healthy food, which can help you heal faster. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water for a few minutes.

If the issue doesn’t resolve itself within 10 days, then there’s a need to visit your doctor and get the correct diagnosis to start the treatment right away. 

To summarize

Feeling this annoyed with a feeling of something stuck in the back of your tongue is not something you should ignore. However, it could mean different things when you aren’t sure about the symptoms. 

It could be a globus sensation or a cobblestone throat, so treatment will differ depending on what you have. Hopefully, from this post, you got an idea about the symptoms and causes of each medical condition. 

Although it’s probably not a life-threatening condition, it can annoy you in your day-to-day activities. Getting it treated can make your life easier, and it’s better to get some medical advice as soon as possible.