Globus - Latin for ball - describes the sensation of a lump in the throat.
The exact cause of globus is unknown, but it may be related to abnormal esophagus sensitivity, abnormal activity of the esophagus muscles or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Globus sensation can also occur with anxiety, stress or other strong emotions as well as sinus drainage or upper esophagus irritation.
Globus is similar to a normal reaction of feeling all chocked up with events that trigger anxiety, grief or happiness. Globus sensation typically occurs between meals and is not related to difficulties in swallowing or other serious problems.
Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and medical history and may order a test that evaluates your ability to swallow (barium swallow study) and/or a test that evaluates the pressure and movement of your esophagus (manometry). An upper endoscopy (EGD) may also be ordered to view your esophagus directly.
Treatment options are aimed at coping with the globus sensation. No special medication relieves the disorder, but your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce acid reflux in an effort to see if symptoms will improve. Medications such as antidepressants or antianxiety treatments may also be beneficial. If globus is caused by psychological problems such as depression or anxiety, an evaluation with a psychologist or psychiatrist may be recommended.
Contact your health care provider if you have a change in your symptoms, unexplained weight loss, difficult swallowing or painful swallowing.