Feeling of something in your throat (Globus)

Globus is a symptom that can make you feel like you have a lump in your throat. It is also called ‘globus sensation’.

Globus can be caused by many things, such as an increased tension of muscles or irritation in the throat.

There are various things you can do to manage your globus symptoms at home, without the need to attend your GP.

Signs and symptoms of globus

Different people describe it differently. It may be felt as:

  • tightness or a pressure in your throat
  • catarrh/mucus that you are unable to clear
  • an area of discomfort in your throat
  • a feeling of something stuck or a lump in your throat

If you feel something sticking in your throat, but can eat and drink normally and without pain, you do not need to worry. Many people with globus sensation notice the symptoms most when they are swallowing their saliva, or that it increases with stress and worry. Your symptoms can vary from day to day.

Treating globus at home

There are a number of things you can do to try to relieve globus symptoms.

Eating and drinking

Try to drink at least 1.5 litres (3 pints) of water every day. You should drink in small sips as swallowing helps to relax the throat.

Avoid too much alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks. They can cause the throat to be dry.

Try to reduce the amount of fatty and spicy food in your diet.

Leave at least 3 hours between your last meal and going to bed. Avoid snacking between your last meal and bedtime.

Consider trying anti-reflux medication (your pharmacist can advise).

Smoking

Smoking causes irritation to your throat. By stopping smoking, you can help to improve your globus symptoms.

Your pharmacist or GP can offer support if you would like advice.

Further information on stopping smoking

Throat clearing

Try not to clear your throat as this can make your globus sensation worse. You can try sipping water, instead.

Losing weight

Losing any excess weight may reduce your symptoms.

Reducing stress

Stress can increase your globus sensation.

If you think you might be stressed, try to relax in a way that is doable for you and your situation. Breathing and relaxation exercises can sometimes help, but if you feel you need further help with managing stress, your GP can discuss this with you.

Further information about relieving stress

In most people, symptoms will get better following these self-help tips. However, for some people symptoms can recur off and on for several months.

When to see your GP

There are no specific tests to diagnose globus. Further investigations are not required, so you don't usually need to see a GP.

Non-urgent advice: Speak to your GP if:

  • you develop any difficulty or pain when swallowing,
  • you feel a lump in the neck
  • you experience unintentional weight loss
  • your symptoms do not improve

If your symptoms do not improve, your GP will provide further support and advice on whether you need to see an ENT specialist.

Last updated:
22 November 2021