globus pharyngeus

Last edited 11/2020 and last reviewed 11/2020

Globus pharyngeus is the term applied to the sensation of a lump or discomfort in the throat. The condition may be due to cricopharyngeal spasm occuring during moment of tension.

  • globus pharyngeus is a descriptive term for the sensation of a lump in the throat and does not imply the diagnosis
  • globus can be caused by a wide range of throat disorders, the most common being laryngopharyngeal reflux (1)

Discomfort may be relieved by eating and there is no interference with the swallowing of foods or liquids. Discomfort may be aggravated by the patient's constant action of swallowing. Also frequent introspection and anxiety seem to make the problem worse.

Note that some patients with globus pharyngeus may be found to have reflux oesophagitis or a gastric ulcer - if discomfort persists then oesophagoscopy is essential.


  • Hamilton NJI et al. 10 minute consultation - A lump in the throat: laryngopharyngeal reflux. BMJ 2020;371:m4091