The sensation of having a lump in your throat can be very irritating. Many things can cause this feeling, from not quite swallowing food or drink correctly to having excess mucus or saliva. Sometimes, too, this feeling could be brought on by acid reflux or anxiety. Often the problem will resolve itself, but there are some steps you can take to help get rid of the lump in your throat.
- Skill level:
Relax. If you are having problems swallowing, relax your body; this will help the muscles in your throat.
Drink warm liquids. Tea or hot water with lemon will help you relax and will help ease along whatever is stuck in your throat. Do not, however, drink warm milk, which will only help to build up mucus.
Lie down. Get off your feet and let your body help to heal itself by taking some time off and relaxing.
Breathe. Practice breathing exercises and focusing on nonstressful things. Acid reflux often appears during periods of high anxiety and stress, when the acid from your stomach backs up into your oesophagus, causing heartburn.
Take an antacid. If the lump in your throat is caused by acid reflux, this could help the feeling to go away.
Change your diet. Cutting out spicy foods, greasy foods and foods high in fat will help ease your symptoms. Also, don't eat close to your bedtime. Digestion slows while you sleep, which means the food will just sit in your stomach, producing more acid.
Take acid reflux medication. Over-the-counter drugs such as Prevacid, Zantac and Prilosec can help ease your symptoms.
Calm down. Globus hystericus is the feeling of a lump in your throat when nothing is really there. It is a psychosomatic disorder.
Warm your neck. Place a warm cloth or piece of flannel on your neck for about a minute. This will help relax the muscles in your neck and throat.
Straighten up. Once you have removed the warm cloth, stand against a wall or sit on a chair with a straight back. Tilt your head back so you're looking at the ceiling; hold this for about five seconds.
Roll your head left and right while still looking at the ceiling, maintaining the stretch in your throat. Take about five seconds to complete the roll; do this 10 times.
Massage your neck. Using one or both of your hands, firmly massage lengthwise the muscles that run down your neck on each side of your Adam's apple for about two minutes. After the massage, roll your head again five times, then relax for a few minutes before continuing with your day.
Tips and warnings
- Do not drink alcohol or coffee if you're experiencing acid reflux. This will only exacerbate your symptoms. If you have reflux symptoms more than twice a week, you should see your doctor. Untreated acid reflux can cause damage to your esophageal lining and your stomach.
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