Feeling hair in throat is a very common thing that happens in a lot of healthy adults. But what is the reason behind this, and how normal is it if you have the same feeling? let’s find out
Feeling like hair in throat
The feeling of hair in throat can be because of a variety of reasons and most of the time there are two situations when you feel something stuck in your throat i.e when you have Globus or a lump. Besides that, throat dryness, acid reflux is some other reasons why one gets the feeling of hair stuck in their throat.
Most of the time, a situation like this is harmless and doesn’t require deep concern. However, if the problem continues and one feels pain or some type of sensation for many days then it requires immediate attention.
Globus sensation is the tightness of the throat muscles at the back. Globus sensation is also known as Globus pharyngeus. In this, the person gets the feeling of something stuck in their throat like hair or any other external object, however, in reality, there is no hair.
Globus sensation is often linked with the feeling of a lump in the throat and a lot of research has been done for the same. Globus sensation often gives an annoying feeling rather than a painful feeling.
It is a common condition that can last for a long time and can recur again after the treatment. Because of uncertain etiology, it is hard to treat this condition. Most of the time it is self-treatable and doesn’t require specific medication.
The main cause of the Globus sensation is acid reflux (further discussed in the article below). The condition can be cured by using different therapies like endoscopy, multichannel intraluminal impedance/pH monitoring, and manometry. However, if the problem persists even after the therapies advanced steps are taken by professionals to solve the problem.
This is a normal condition that occurs in 46 percent of healthy people, in which most of the patients are women. Most of the time the problem is solved during eating or drinking.
Globus pharyngeus is first noted 2500 years ago by Purcell. According to him, the condition occurs due to pressure on the thyroid cartilage, which means tightness in the throat muscles.
However, the latest theory by Malcomson in 1968, states that the problem does not take place because of a person’s personality, but there are multifactorial reasons why this happens in patients. The main reason behind the Globus sensation is still unknown and that is why one treatment does not work on every patient.
If its lump
lump in actual is harmless throat infection and doesn’t require much attention unless it becomes red or if one is facing difficulty in swallowing food.
A lump is basically a normal throat infection in which the small bulges in the throat can increase up to 5mm or 7mm in contrast to their normal size.
These bulges can be seen directly on the throat surface and one can see them by looking in the mirror. If you see no redness or there is no change then it is not harmful.
However, if one is experiencing pain or burning sensation while swallowing something, then it is best to go to the doctor. After treating the infection, it takes 2 to 3 weeks for it to go back to its normal size.
Causes of feeling like hair in throat
Dryness is another reason why one feels hair stuck in throat. It happens when the person is consuming less liquid on daily basis, which makes the throat dry and thus leads to the feeling of something stuck in throat.
Moreover, it is also seen that people who are recovering from any infection like throat infection also face dryness problems, which gives them the feeling of hair stuck in their throat.
You should avoid swallowing saliva to figure out if the problem is still there. This will worsen the situation as when you swallow the saliva, you will take air with it in your stomach, which indirectly causes the bloating in the stomach, and as result, you will release that in the form of a burp, which brings acid along with it, and thus cause the burning sensation in the throat.
Acid reflux could be one of the reasons why you are feeling hair stuck in your throat. This comes along with a burning sensation. Acid reflux is a backwash of acid in the food pipe by your stomach which can irritate the lining of your esophagus. Acid reflux is mainly known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Sometimes feeling something stuck in the throat can be because of acid coming up in the throat through the food pipe. When this happens continuously, the upper valve of the food pipe becomes tighter and thus creates the feeling of something stuck in the food pipe. Sometimes one also feels hard to swallow the food because of this.
Studies show that there is a relation between globus sensation and acid reflux. The result of the study shows that 72 percent of patients who have acid reflux were feeling globus sensation. To treat this condition PPI therapy 8 wk of proton pump inhibitor is used. As it suggests, it takes 8 weeks to get rid of globus sensation through this therapy.
Besides this, several other studies also show that people with acid reflux or GERD are more likely to develop the symptoms of globus sensation.
What you can do to avoid this
One should avoid foods that contain too many species. Moreover one should also follow the proper regular meal plan.
This means one should eat all three regular meals on time to help in neutralizing the acid reflex and preventing it to come up and cause a lump in the throat.
Food sensitivity is another reason why sometimes people gain the feeling of hair stuck in throat. This should not be misunderstood in the form of food allergies or acidic food. To know the difference between both – check here
Stress, anxiety, and depression
Along with acid reflux, stress, anxiety, and depression are some other factors that lead to globus sensation which give the feeling of hair or something stuck in the throat.
Several studies have been done to prove the correlation between global sensation and stress. The studies show that people with globus have shown higher levels of alexithymia, neuroticism, and psychological distress.
Several other studies also show that the number is increasing as the stress is increasing. According to some over 90 percent of patients with higher stress are likely to develop globus symptoms.
Some modern studies also show that patients or people with globus are unlikely to respond to the PPI therapy, used to cure the condition.
How to treat this condition
No single treatment is the real gateway for the cure of this problem. As discussed above, there are various reasons why one is feeling something stuck in their throat and similarly, there are various of treating the same.
Once the real cause is found, it becomes easy to find the cure for the condition. As discussed above, if a person is dealing with a dry throat then it can be cured by consuming liquid in any form.
Similarly, if the patient is feeling a burning sensation then it can be cured by trying out different methods and therapies by professionals.
According to studies, 14 percent of people have been cured or recommended antiacid medications without any tests. While the other remaining were treated using different methods and therapies like rigid endoscopy (61%), barium swallow (56%), or a combination of these methods (17.5%).
When to consider a doctor
Most of the time you do not need to see the doctor as it is healed by itself. However, if one is dealing with difficulty in swallowing, which also means chronic globus sensation then it is best to seek help from a doctor. The professional will help you in finding the root cause of the problem.
Reference – Globus pharyngeus: A review of its etiology