why is it whenever I get a cold/flu I feel like there is something in my throat?
March 24, 2009 4:52 AM   Subscribe

YANMD, but why is it whenever I get a cold/flu I feel like there is something stuck in my throat?

I have a head cold right now and am fairly miserable, but on top of the runny nose and sneezing and coughing and general malaise, I have the added pleasure of feeling like there is a lump or something in my throat. It can't be my tonsils as I had them removed when I was 22 (5 years ago) and my throat isn't especially red or sore. It doesn't hurt to swallow. It just feels like there is something stuck in my throat and it happens every time I get sick.

it isn't that big a deal, and is more weird and slightly annoying than anything, definitely not warranting a hospital visit. I'm just curious as to what could be causing the sensation.
posted by gwenlister to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Sounds like a post-nasal drip. With a cold, the nose and throat get swollen.
posted by gramcracker at 5:17 AM on March 24, 2009

I get that feeling sometimes (which I guess is called a "globus sensation"?) and in my case I think I've determined that it's associated with some aspect of being dehydrated, because I've started guzzling water as soon as I feel it come on and that appears to make it go away. (But it doesn't seem to go the other way around - sometimes I'm definitely dehydrated but I don't get the globus sensation.)
posted by XMLicious at 5:19 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Probably just swelling.
posted by gjc at 6:39 AM on March 24, 2009

Probably just swelling.

Though I have heard of people regrowing their tonsils, or getting tonsil stones after tonsil removal.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:49 AM on March 24, 2009

I get that too, and I think it's the globus sensation mentioned by XMLicious. Sometimes it helps me if I use a neti pot with warm salt water. If there is any phlegm at all, that will remove it and lessen the irritation.
posted by peep at 8:30 AM on March 24, 2009

Some people are more susceptible than others to post-nasal drip, which is just a sensation that can be caused by different things. If you get it every time you're sick, then probably in your case, the general irritations going on in your throat/nose area are causing your mucus to thicken, so that instead of just trickling through your systems unnoticed (we produce about 1-2 quarts of mucus every day, which gets swallowed), you feel it globbing up in the back of your throat. I just recently got over something and I used a nasal spray from the health food store -- it's basically just saline water, and it felt like it was flushing out the back of my throat, and I could easily hack up a big glob of mucus and spit it out. You want to tilt your head back and snort the spray all the way up into your nose. I was horrified to do this but it almost never burned like if you get water up your nose in the pool, and it really helped. Just make sure you buy a spray that says it's not addictive.

On rereading your post, I might be way off because I can't tell where exactly in your throat you're talking about. But I hope this helps!
posted by thebazilist at 9:40 AM on March 24, 2009

(IANAD) You have lymph nodes in your neck and throat region (300 of them, according to Wikipedia). My guess is that whenever you get sick, your lymph nodes are swollen from fighting off the infection, which leaves you feeling like there is something in your throat.
posted by geeky at 11:16 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

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