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I felt something in my throat for 7-8 months now. I’m 24 male, smoker.
1 month after i felt this, I did an endoscopy and told that nothing was unusual with my throat and slightly more stomach acid. I am diagnosed with acid reflux which cause this feeling called Globus Sensation.
I had multiple medication trying to cure this health issue but to no avail.
I am very worried of my throat health, recently had multiple episodes of sore throat, cough and earache. The back of my mouth seems to have small red bumps but my doctor told me it is caused by irritation to the throat. I am developing anxiety over my health issue. Please help me.
Thank you for your question. From the clinical history that you provided, I agree with the doctor whom you saw and with Dr Winston Lee that your symptoms are suggestive of acid reflux from the stomach. Specifically, since your symptoms are mostly in the throat, it is called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR).
The most likely reason that you have a feeling of something stuck in the throat or a feeling of a “lump” in the throat (aka as globus sensation) is due to swelling of the voicebox (larynx). The voicebox is a delicate structure and can be easily inflamed (and swollen) from irritations from acid reflux from the stomach or from nose mucous flowing down your throat (aka postnasal drip from sensitive nose or sinusitis).
The small red bumps at the back of your throat may be “cobblestone throat”, again from acid reflux or postnasal drip.
The inflamed voicebox and throat can lead to persistent cough and sorethroat. Your earache may be referred pain from your throat, but it is best to have it checked by your doctor.
As the voicebox is a very sensitive organ, once inflamed, it takes weeks or evens months for the inflammation to settle. Hence during this period, it is strongly advisable for you to reduce both acid reflux and postnasal drip.
This can be done with a combination of antireflux measures, antireflux medication and medications to reduce mucous in the nose.
This would also be a good reason for you to stop smoking as cigarette smoking does cause inflammation of the throat and voicebox, reduces the self-cleansing mechanism of the nose and sinuses (predisposing you to nose and sinus infections) and is a risk factor for cancer in the head & neck region (as well as cancer in most parts of your body!)
To learn more about LPR and sensitive nose, do look at the following articles previously published on DxD:
Feel free to visit an ENT Specialist for a re-evaluation as it can be frustrating dealing with a condition that is chronic. Although less likely, you might also want to rule out serious conditions like cancer in the nose & throat region (as highlighted by Dr Winston Lee). Hope this helps and all the best!
Dr Gan Eng Cern
Consultant ENT Surgeon
Pacific Healthcare Specialist Centre
I will give you my suggestions based on my experience at A&E (of which I had plenty at in the past).
You mentioned that you are worried about your throat health. But yet it appears that you have not taken steps to reduce or stop the smoking, which increases your risk of:
- Acid reflux
- Throat and nasopharyngeal cancers.
I would suggest you consider seeking smoking cessation help if you can’t battle your addiction alone.
The reflux CAN cause throat irritation. You can reduce risk factors of reflux by:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Avoiding heavy meals
- Reduce coffee/tea intake
Lastly, I would suggest you consider seeing an ENT specialist to get a nasoscopy done.
This will help to rule out a Nasopharyngeal tumour, as that can interfere with your inner ear secretions and lead to increased ear aches.
Although your symptoms can really be attributed also to simple respiratory infections (cough/threat/ear symptoms), but if a scope can help you reduce your anxiety..why not?
Dr Winston Lee