Lump in Throat: Should I Be Worried?

... Credit :
Jane Taylor in Health & Wealth

Last updated: 16 January 2020, 08:07 GMT

If you ever feel a lump in the throat, it is totally normal to be alarmed. Most people, if they feel this, immediately think that they might have cancer, especially if they smoke or engage in other risky behavior.

However, it is important to know that a lump in the throat is not always a cause for alarm. In fact, there can be a great many reasons for a lump in the throat.

Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn't visit a doctor to determine what is causing your lump in the throat, but you should, at the very least, ease your mind by considering the many possibilities for this condition.

Top Medical Conditions for Lumped Throats

Tense Throat Muscles

Before you allow your mind to jump to the possibility of throat cancer or some other serious ailment, consider the possibility that you could just have sore or strained throat muscles.

There are many ways in which a person could strain his or her throat. If you have been sick recently, for example, and have been vomiting, you could have potentially strained your throat muscles, leading to a muscle knot or general tension.

Holding your head in an awkward or new position could also lead to this condition. Also, if you are feeling overly stressed and are therefore holding your neck differently than usual, this could lead to a lump or bump.

Try some tension reducing exercises or maybe even a massage first. If those don’t work to relieve your throat bump, then you may wish to consider seeing a doctor.

Acid Reflux Disorder

Some people who develop a lump or bump in their throats may be suffering from acid reflux disorder, a condition that causes stomach acid to rise into the esophagus.

While this condition can be dangerous if left untreated, it is not nearly as deadly as throat cancer. Thus, talk to a doctor about potential acid reflux before you panic over the lump or bump in your throat. It could just be caused by irritation related to acid exposure.

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A Bad Cold or Bad Allergies

If you are sniffling and sneezing a lot during the time that you develop your throat lump, don’t panic. There is a very good chance that your newfound throat lump is due to a condition is known as postnasal drip.

With this condition, mucus and sinus congestion drip down into the throat, which may result in a lump. Often, if you clear your throat, the lump will go away.

This problem is often caused by a cold, allergies, or other conditions that affect your sinuses. You should still see a doctor in order to determine and treat the exact cause, but, chances are, it is not anything serious or deadly that you need to worry about.

Experiencing Extreme Stress or Anxiety

Are you going through a difficult time in your life? If so, that lump in your throat could be psychosomatic, rather than physical.

Often, when people are going through periods of major stress or anxiety, they will develop perceived physical symptoms, like a lump in their throats. Thus, if your stress or worry levels are out of control, you may find that the problem is more mental than physical.


Often, when people think that they have a lump in their throats, what they are actually experiencing is a swollen lymph node or nodes.

These lymph nodes are located just underneath the jaw, very near to the throat, so they can feel like throat lumps. This is especially true when they swell and grow larger. Often, when that happens, the lymph nodes will extend into the throat and can feel very much like throat lumps.

However, swollen lymph nodes are merely a warning sign of some kind of infection in the body. The most common cause is mononucleosis, a common condition.

However, all kinds of different infections can lead to swollen lymph nodes in the throat. Thus, you should definitely consult a doctor about swollen lymph nodes so that you can get to the root cause. However, you should not panic and assume that you have cancer or some other very serious condition.

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The fact that the lump in your throat could represent a tumor of some sort is probably the last thing that you want to hear.

However, rest assured that not all or even most tumors or cancerous or even serious.

Tumors can occur for all kinds of different reasons. So, if you think that you may have one in your throat, take a deep breath and book an appointment with your doctor.

If you do have a tumor, you can discover whether or not it is harmful and how to go about removing it if it is or could potentially become harmful. Remember, a tumor is often a helpful indicator that you need medical intervention, not a dangerous warning sign.

Thyroid Condition

Many people struggle with thyroid issues and health concerns.

Sometimes, these issues make themselves known by swollen lymph nodes in the throat or by lumps and bumps on various places throughout the body.

If you have had thyroid issues in the past or have other signs of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor to see if your sudden throat lump could be related to a thyroid condition.

An Object Lodged in Your Throat

When you think of having something stuck in your throat, you probably think of food or choking. However, all kinds of objects can become lodged in the throat and for all kinds of different reasons.

Maybe you are a nail biter who got a sliver of nail lodged in your throat. And, maybe, that sliver then became inflamed and led to the development of a lump or bump. Or, perhaps a sunflower seed or a popcorn kernel is causing you problems.

Believe it or not, these types of “lodging issues” are very common, a lot more common than a lump being a sudden indicator of throat cancer or some other very serious condition.

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Is it Time to See a Doctor?

As you can see, more often than not, when people have a lump in their throats, it is not due to anything serious or life-threatening.

With that said, however, a lump in your throat can sometimes indicate a more serious problem. If none of the above issues apply or you otherwise cannot find a reason for the lump in your throat, it may be time to see a doctor.

This is especially true if you experience any of the major warning signs that something more serious is amiss.

You should, for example, see a doctor if you notice any sudden changes in your voice that do not go away and that come on with no reason or warning. If you’ve been sick and you suddenly lose your voice for a couple of days, that is probably no big deal. If you lose your voice out of nowhere, however, and/or if the voice change does not go away, it is probably a good idea to see a doctor.

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You will also want to see a doctor if you have a throat lump accompanied by unexplained weight loss. Losing weight without meaning to is almost always a sign that something isn’t quite right within your body. So, even if that weight loss is welcome, go ahead and see a professional to determine what, exactly, is going on in your body.

Constant coughing, especially when accompanied by a throat lump, is another major reason to see your doctor. You could just have a bad cold or a viral infection. However, the only way to know for sure what is going on is to ask a doctor. This is especially true if you find that you are coughing up blood.

Also, be on the lookout for constant fatigue. A throat lump by itself is probably no big deal. However, a throat lump accompanied by coughing and constant tiredness may be something more serious. In any case, it is certainly something that you will want to have a doctor look into.

Finally, take note of any difficulty breathing, changes in breathing, or wheezing. Even if these problems are slight, they could indicate a major underlying condition, such as asthma. Or, they could indicate that your throat lump is interfering with your breathing. In any case, when things reach this stage of severity, it is definitely time to seek medical attention.


In fact, it is never wrong or a bad idea to seek out medical care. If you have a throat lump, even if you are confident it is not serious, it is still not a bad idea to get professional medical advice. After all, at the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry, and that is something that is most definitely true when it comes to your health.

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