“I have a lump in my throat! Do not worry, it is just anxiety… “. We have heard this statement multiple times and apparently we are reassured. However, the trouble persists. A few days after the condition occurs we start the classic therapies: vitamins, liquids, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics as prescribed, but the condition may persist. Finally, the solution: “cortisone”. What is the result? You took a lot of medicine but the lump in your throat remains. What could be the explanation for this? In some cases, people overestimate or underestimate the symptoms.

reflux throat lump

Pain in the throat: what can cause it?

Sore throat, or the classic pain in the throat, associated more or less with discomfort during swallowing, occurs in many diseases with the same modality. The first step in order to reach a specific diagnosis is a fair assessment, “explains Dr. Titian Zurlo, Director of the Unit of Otolaryngology at Humanitas. First, we must rule out that the problem stems from a non inflammatory phenomenon, and is rather of an organic type such as a benign or malignant neoplasm affecting the larynx. Therefore it is useful to visit an otorhinolaryngologist and perform a nasal or laryngeal endoscopy. This is a non-invasive examination executed with fiber optics and allows the assessment of the real state of the larynx and pharynx.

Except for the presence of tumors and/or infectious phenomena, which pathology is the cause of a sore throat?

A recently well-recognized and widespread cause of sore throat is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

So reflux is the culprit

“The refluxed stomach contains, in addition to hydrochloric acid, pepsin and bile that are considered the most aggressive substances to the mucosa of the larynx. The wastewater from the stomach can then give rise to a laryngitis reflux associated with a cough, hoarseness, the need to clear the throat, and nasal drip” says Dr. Zurlo. The wastewater can also be the cause of an asthma reflux characterized by persistent coughing (with or without wheezing). Moreover, the asthma reflux can be aggravated by physical activity and accompanied by dyspnoea (difficulty breathing during physical exertion).

What to do if you have a lump in your throat

“Eliminate the hypothesis that the cause of nuisance is a disease, do not rely on do-it-yourself methods, and after excluding all the possible causes of organic disease, only then one may claim that the lump in the throat is the fault of fate” concludes Dr. Zurlo.