When Your Throat Feels Tight
If you throat feels tight from time to time, one of the first things you might look into is to see what was going on, or what you were doing or eating around the time your throat began to feel that way. Anxiety is one of the principal causes of tightness in the throat, and is most likely the cause if the tightness you are feeling only occurs sporadically.
Anxiety Is A Common Cause of Tightness In The Throat - Feelings of anxiety can sometimes cause us to breath more rapidly, find it more difficult to swallow, or feel stiff or tight in our throat, and perhaps elsewhere. There are a few people who experience chronic tightness in their throat, which is to say it occurs almost every time they experience any feeling of anxiety. In most cases when this happens, the symptom rather than the cause is treated, because the underlying cause usually isn't always well understood. Treatment more often than not, at least for chronic cases, consists of the use of prescribed muscle relaxants.
Food Allergies And Food Intolerance Are Other Causes - If your throat feels tight it can also be due to a food allergy, or an intolerance to a certain kind of food, which is not quite the same as an allergy. Whether it's an allergy or an intolerance makes little difference as far as the tightness in your throat is concerned, except if the tightness is due to an intolerance of a certain type of food, it might be easier to pinpoint than would be the case for an allergy. Experiencing a tightening in the throat when an allergy is the cause can sometimes be quite serious, since swelling, and a consequent blockage of the air passages could result. Fortunately, such cases are relatively rare.
As Is Acid Reflux Disease - Those having acid reflux disease can also experience a tight feeling in the throat as one of the symptoms, The tightness in this case is due to stomach acid moving up into the esophagus. This can irritate the lining of the esophagus and may cause it to constrict to the point where the throat feels tight. Such a feeling usually goes away in a short time and the underlying cause is quite often treated with medications, although in a few cases surgery may be needed.
In the cases cited above, the feeling that your throat feels tight is really a symptom, and is not a disease or disorder of the throat itself. That should be somewhat reassuring, although it doesn't make the feeling of tightness any more comfortable. In the case of anxiety being the cause of the tightness, worrying about it could make the symptoms even more pronounced!
A Thyroid Problem Is A Common Cause - Another reason that your throat feels tight could indicate a thyroid problem. In this case the thyroid may have become enlarged, a condition known as having a goiter. Or, nodules may be present, which can cause an array of different symptoms, although in many cases a presence of nodules may not produce any symptoms at all. A tightness in the throat can in some cases be a secondary symptom of hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. Hyperthyroidism can cause functions in the body to speed up, leading to a number of symptoms, one of which being an increase in feelings of anxiety. These feelings of anxiety could in turn be responsible for situations arising in which your throat feels tight.
If the thyroid is at the root of the problem, it's most likely that either a goiter or the presence of nodules is what's responsible for feelings of tightness in the throat you may be experiencing. Throat tightness is also one of the symptoms of thyroid cancer, although instances of thyroid cancer are relatively rare, and fortunately quite treatable. Yet another possibility is thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by bacteria. Thyroiditis is also relatively easy to treat. There are however, some forms of thyroiditis that are believed to be caused by a virus.
While most thyroid nodules do not exhibit any symptoms, and are often found by chance during routine physical examinations, they can at times be present in a location that can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing, or a feeling of tightness in the throat if they become too large. When nodules are small, a physician will often follow a process of watchful waiting, although biopsies may be taken to check for possible malignancies. If the nodules are giving you a great deal of discomfort however, they will probably need to be surgically removed.
If tightness in your throat appears to be a chronic condition, your doctor will no doubt look into all of the above potential causes. Allergies and anxieties may be the most difficult to treat, while treatment of an acid reflux or thyroid condition may be more straightforward. It's important to give your doctor a good accounting as to when, how often, and under what circumstances the tightness is being felt, as this can help a great deal towards making a correct diagnosis.