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Clicking in Throat: Top Causes

Are you constantly hearing a “clicking” sound each time that you swallow? If so, you’re not alone.

This annoying symptom affects people all around the world. Unfortunately, doctors don’t know what causes it.

Some doctors blame in on GERD, while others blame it on vertebral body asymmetry. In this post, we’ll show you what could be causing your clicking in throat.

Globus Pharyngis

The first potential cause of throat clicking is globus pharynges.

When someone says, “I have a lump in my throat”, this is what they’re usually referring to.

It’s basically the persistent feeling that you have something stuck in your throat.

People describe it as feeling like they have a pill or phlegm stuck in their throat.

Whenever you swallow, you might hear a clicking sound in your throat.

This doesn’t happen in all cases of globus pharynges, but it does happen in some.

While not particularly dangerous, it can be annoying and ruin your quality of life.

Aside from a clicking sensation when swallowing, one might also experience mild chest pain that fluctuates in intensity.

What Causes Globus Pharyngis?

The “lump in throat” feeling can be caused by a variety of things. One possibility is GERD.

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is when stomach acid doesn’t stay in the stomach where it’s supposed to be.

Instead, it goes backwards up the esophagus and into the mouth and throat.

This can cause the lining of the esophagus and throat to become mildly inflamed.

Throat clicking can also be due to esophageal versatility, cricopharyngeal spasms, and more.

Elongated Thyroid-Cartilage

A clicking sensation in the throat could also be due to an elongated thyroid-cartilage.

Specifically, it happens when the superior cornu rubs against the thyroid lamina. Each time that you swallow, you may hear/feel a “click”.

Thankfully, surgery can easily fix this. The surgeon will go in and trim the thyroid-cartilage, which should help you achieve relief.

Diagnosing an elongated thyroid-cartilage is relatively straightforward. The doctor will start by palpating your neck and ask you to swallow.

They may also give you an MRI or CT scan. Both will be able to confirm whether you have an elongated thyroid-cartilage.

What Causes an Elongated Thyroid-Cartilage?

The most common cause of an elongated thyroid-cartilage is physical trauma. The trauma doesn’t need to be recent either.

If you’ve experienced neck trauma in the past, then you’re more likely to develop an elongated thyroid-cartilage.

If this is the cause, surgery is the only way to make it go away.

Fortunately, this type of surgery has an extremely high success rate and an extremely low risk of complications.

Consult your doctor if you think that your throat clicking is due to an elongated thyroid-cartilage.

Could it Be Anxiety?

Are you a nervous person? Are you experiencing a clicking sensation in your throat only during times of high stress? Do you regularly struggle with anxiety?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then your throat clicking could be due to anxiety.

Many people report feeling like they have something stuck in their throat during times of high stress.

When you’re very anxious, it’s normal to feel like you’ve got something stuck in your throat or feel like you’re about to choke.

It’s a very common symptom of anxiety. The lump in your throat might stay or it might come and go.

It might make a “clicking” sound whenever you swallow and you may describe your throat as feeling “tight”.

Again, when you’re having an anxiety attack or stress-related episode, this is considered normal.

Should You See a Doctor About Your Throat Clicking?

If you don’t think that your symptom is stress-related, then yes- go see a doctor. After running a few tests, they’ll be able to tell you what’s causing it.

Chances are that you’re either suffering from GERD or an elongated thyroid-cartilage.

If it’s GERD, you’ll either need to start taking a proton pump inhibitor or get on a healthier diet.

If it’s an elongated thyroid-cartilage, then your only opinion is surgery.

If your doctor can’t find evidence of either one, then they’ll most likely say that it’s due to stress.

How Common is Throat Clicking?

This isn’t a very common symptom, but it’s not rare either. Many people experience this symptom when they’re afraid or feeling stressed.

But in these people, it usually goes away once their stress is relieved.

In other people, throat clicking is permanent, so it sticks around regardless of how stressed you’re feeling.

In these cases, it’s more likely to be GERD or an elongated thyroid-cartilage than it is to be stress-related.

If you aren’t happy with the diagnosis of your first doctor, then feel free to get a second opinion.

The second doctor may be able to find something that your first doctor missed.

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