A lump in back of throat that appear suddenly is in most cases caused by an injury or infection. The lump could be white, red or yellow in color. It could feel hard and large causing a lot of discomfort and difficulties in swallowing or breathing. Here is an insight on the possible causes and treatment option for bump in throat, behind uvula near the tonsil on either the right or left side of your throat.
According to National Health Service UK, most lumps and swelling under the skin are in most cases harmless and can be left to heal on their own. You are however advised to seek immediate medical attention if you develop a new lump or swelling inside mouth or on any part of the body. Understanding the underlying cause of a bumps is the first step in treating and getting rid of the lump.
Lump at back of throat
Lump at back of throat also referred to as Globus, is a common occurrence. Anybody regardless of age can develop this kind of swelling. Most healthcare providers are of the opinion that unless the bumps are caused by the life-threatening underlying medical condition, then the lump is considered harmless and can be left to heal on its own.
A lump at the back of the throat can be caused by different condition. Some of the common causes would include:
Swollen glands in the neck
Lymph glands or lymph nodes are small swellings in the lymphatic system where lymph (a colorless fluid containing white blood cells that bathe the tissue and drain through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream) is filtered and lymphocytes are formed.
A swollen gland is usually a sign of infection. A common infection that could cause these glands to swell includes cold or granular fever. The swelling is not permanent and it often tends to go down when the infection clears. An infection inside throat or around the neck could be the underlying cause of the lump or swelling at the back of the throat.
Enlarged thyroid glands
In most cases of enlarged thyroid glands, goiter is usually the causes. Goiter is also known to cause the swelling of the neck due to the enlargement of the thyroid glands. Thyroids are small butterfly glands located at the base of the neck just below Adam’s apple. Thyroids are part of the endocrine system responsible for coordinating many of the body’s activities.
This gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. The following condition could occur due to abnormal secretion of these hormones by this glands. That is whether the glands are producing more too much or too little.
- Hashimoto’s disease,also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, this condition is known to cause inflammation and often leads to underactive thyroid glands. in the united states, this condition is the main cause of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid glands)
- Graves’ disease, is a condition marked characterized by the swelling of the neck and protrusion of the eyes resulting from an overactive thyroid gland.
- Goiteris an enlargement of the thyroid gland commonly visible as a swelling of the anterior part of the neck. This condition often results from insufficient intake of iodine. It is usually accompanied by hypothyroidism
- Thyroid nodules,this refers to an abnormal growth of the thyroid cells that forms a lump within the thyroid glands. Though most of the thyroid nodules are benign, a small proportion of the thyroid nodules may contain thyroid cancer.
Cyst on tonsils
Though rare, a lump at the back of throat could be as a result of a cyst on throat or tonsils. A cyst is a lump with an outer covering and contains some fluids. The cyst can occur on any part of the body. In most cases, these lumps are asymptomatic meaning they might show no symptoms. Unless a cyst on tonsil is causing you pain and discomfort, then it can be left to heal on its own.
A cyst occurring on throat or tonsils may cause difficulties in performing vital tasks such as breathing and swallowing food. With a cystic lump at the back of the throat, you also stand the risk of:
- The lump getting infected
- The cyst may grow into a large lump putting pressure on the surrounding tissues
- The cyst may become cancerous, this is very rare but it could happen.
Excess mucous in throat
A lump in the throat can also be caused by excess mucus. A head cold (characterized by congested nasal passage, sneezing, and headache) will often result in excess mucous in the nose and throat. This can be cleared by coughing or sneezing. The extra mucous will often be accompanied by a trickly feeling at the back of the throat. This is a sign of throat infection.
Also known as oral candidiasis, oral thrush is a fungal or yeast infection that develop on the mucous membrane of the mouth. The common cause of oral thrush is fungus candida Albicans. Anybody can be infected with this fungus, it is, however, common in children.
With oral thrush, you are more likely to observe white, slightly raised area in your mouth. The raised bumps are common on the tongue and inner cheek but can occur anywhere inside mouth including at the back of the throat. The bumps can also appear on the roof of the mouth, on gums and on tonsils. The affected area may look like cottage cheese. The area can be painful and may bleed when you scrape them.
Most observed symptoms of oral thrush will include the following:
- Severe pain especially when you swallow
- High fever if the infection spread beyond the esophagus
- A feeling that food is stuck in throat
Lump in back of throat feeling
With a lump in the back of the throat, caused by either enlarged thyroids glands, a cyst on the throat, oral thrush or excess mucous, you are likely to feel a lot of discomforts. Most people will complain of a feeling that food is stuck in throat or difficulties in breathing and swallowing.
A feeling of a lump in the back of throat also called Globus can be a sign that you are suffering from anxiety. A constant lump in throat feeling can be described as:
- A lump in throat that comes and goes
- A feeling that there is a lump in the throat when swallowing
- An anxiety lump in throat
- A feeling like there is something tied around the throat
- A feeling that there is something blocking the throat or airway
- A feeling of choking or something is stuck in the throat
There is no apparent reason why this lump in the throat feeling occurs. In most cases, you will feel like you have to or are forced to swallow, gag, or gasp for air. This is because of the perceived blockage in your throat or airway.
When the feeling of a lump in the back of the throat is caused by an active stress response as a result of being anxious, calming yourself is the best way to bring the swelling down. As your body recovers from active stress the lump at the back of throat will clear on its own.
Causes of lump in back of throat
A lump in the back of the throat can be as a result of different condition. Some of the condition causing the bump might be serious and life threatening thus calls for immediate medical attention. Other conditions are simple and can heal on their own without medical intervention. Here are some possible conditions that might be causing this kind of lump.
You need to seek medical attention, for early diagnosis and treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to another part of the mouth or the body.
Oral thrush is a fungal infection inside the mouth. This infection occurs when a yeast infection develops on the inside of the mouth. The infection can be on the tongue, under the tongue, on inner cheeks or in the back of throat. Oral thrush is sometimes referred to as oropharyngeal candidiasis. This infection is caused by candida Albicans.
In small amounts, this fungus will normally live inside mouth causing no harm. An infection will often develop when the yeast starts to grow uncontrollably. Oral thrush is common in toddlers and infants. This condition is known to cause white bumps on inner cheek and tongue but the bumps can also develop in the back of throat. The bumps will clear once treatment is received.
You should know that oral thrush is a mild infection and rarely causes complication. For those with weakened immune system, the condition can be problematic. If you are suffering from a condition such as cancer, diabetes or HIV/AIDS, then you will need to seek immediate medical attention by the site of white painful bumps or lump inside the mouth.
Another possible condition that could be causing the lump on mouth oral herpes. Unlike oral thrush, oral herpes is an infection caused by a virus. Oral herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus, this infection causes small, painful blisters commonly referred to as cold sores or fever blisters.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, oral herpes is an infection of the lips, mouth or gums caused by herpes simplex virus. The condition is also referred to as herpes labialis. Research shows that, in the United States, the largest number of those infected are those aged around 20 years.
After the first infection of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), the virus will remain dormant in the nerves tissues of the face. The virus might later reactivate causing symptoms of cold sores.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection known to cause pain and inflammation inside the throat. Strep throat is caused by group a streptococcus bacteria. When left unchecked, sneezing and coughing could cause the infection to spread from one person to another.
Common symptoms of strep throat include:
- A sudden fever especially in children
- White patches inside mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulties in swallowing
Apart from the kidney, the other body organ that can develop stones is the kidney. Tonsils are a gland-like structure in the back of the throat. The main function of the tonsils is to trap germs, both bacterial and viruses. Protein antibody produced by the immune cells found inside the tonsils work to kill germs and help prevent both throat and lung infections.
Tonsilloliths also known as tonsil stones are clusters of calcified material that form in the crevices of the tonsils. Tonsil stones commonly occur on the left and right sides at the back of throat and on the lingual tonsils (two small mounds of lymphatic tissue located at the back of the base of the tongue)
Also known as mono or kissing disease, this is an oral infection caused by Epstein – Barr virus. This virus causing mono is often transmitted through saliva which explains why the condition is sometimes referred to as the kissing disease. The other forms of transmission are coughing, sneezing, and sharing glass or food utensils with infected people.
Lump in back of throat with white spot
A lump in the back of throat with white spot should call for immediate medical diagnosis. The most likely cause of the white patches or plaque that cannot be rubbed off is oral leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a condition in which thick, white patches form on your tongue and the lining of your mouth.
Leukoplakia is often harmless and will often resolve on its own. The condition can, however, persist indicating a more serious underlying medical condition. The most common cause of white spots in the back of throat is smoking but the condition can also be caused by other irritants. A more serious cause may be linked to oral cancer.
Hard lump in back of throat behind uvula
Thyroid cancer is the most likely cause of the hard lump in the back of throat behind the uvula. The uvula and the soft palate move together during swallowing to close off the nasopharynx. This prevents food from entering the nasal cavity.
It is proposed that the large amounts of thin saliva produced by the uvula serve to keep the throat well lubricated. The uvula also has a function in speech as well. Thyroid cancer is a disease you get when abnormal cells begin to grow in your thyroid glands. Thyroid gland as mentioned is shaped like a butterfly and is located in the front of the neck.
Thyroid can cancer can be shown by the following symptom:
- A painless lump or swelling inside neck
- Pain in neck and ear
- Hoarse voice
- A frequent cough not related to a cold
- Constant wheezing and trouble breathing
White lump in back of throat left side
White spots or lump in the back of throat left or right side can really be discomforting. White blotches occurring on throat should be a sign for concern, these patches are a visible sign of either a bacterial or yeast infection inside the mouth. The common cause of this infection is poor oral hygiene and continues smoking and use of tobacco products.
Other possible causes of white lump in the back of throat lefts side ill include the following:
- Strep throat
- Tonsil stones
- Oral thrush
- Oral herpes
Lump in back of throat right side
Just like on the left side, the above causes can also cause a lump to appear in the back of throat right side. Some of the causes are contagious and can be transmitted from one person to the other through physical contact like kissing or by coughing.
Oral thrush and candidiasis are yeast or fungal infection whereas oral herpes is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus. Strep throat, on the other hand, is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. It is a common condition known to cause sneezing and coughing.
Large lump in back of throat near tonsils
A large lump in the back of throat near tonsils is most likely to be caused by tonsillitis or Tonsillolith. Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils typical of rapid onset [Wikipedia]. Symptoms accompanying the inflammation will include a sore throat, fever, and enlargement of tonsils, difficulties in swallowing and enlarged lymph nodes around the neck.
Tonsillolith, on the other hand, is also referred to as tonsil stones are clusters of calcified materials that form in the crevice of the tonsils. They occur commonly in the palatine tonsils. They can also occur in the lingual tonsils.
Red lump in back of throat
A red lump in the back of the throat or anywhere inside the mouth can cause a lot of discomfort in both children and adults. The causes and characteristic of the lump will vary depending on what the underlying cause is. For some people, the red lump will clear on its own without treatment whereas to others the lump will persist indicating a more serious underlying medical condition.
A red lump caused by a thermal burn of mouth or tongue can clear on its own with simple home remedies like gargling with cold water or using essential oils such as coconut oil and aloe Vera gel. For a medical condition like scarlet fever, (a bacterial infection causing symptoms such as sore throat, fever, severe headaches, swollen lymph nodes around the neck and a red rash that feels like sandpaper on the tongue), antibiotics may be needed to get rid of the lump.
Yellow lump in back of throat
Strep throat, a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat and often tonsils is the most likely cause of the yellow lumps occurring in the back of the throat. Apart from the lump, strep throat will be shown by the following symptoms:
- sudden and severe sore throat
- pain and swelling on throat
- high fever
- swollen tonsils
- swollen lymph nodes around neck
- Yellow, white or red back of the throat.
Treatment for lump in back of throat
The treatment for a lump in the back of throat will vary from one person to the other depending on what the underlying cause of the lump is. Not all cases of this lumps will require medical intervention to get rid of. It is important to have diagnosis of the condition to effectively treat the lump and prevent it from recurring in the future.
Depending on the underlying cause, antifungal, antibacterial, and antibiotics are likely to be prescribed.
Sources and references
- Difficulty swallowing, lump or bulge, pain or discomfort and sore throat: http://symptomchecker.webmd.com/multiple-symptoms?symptoms=difficulty-swallowing%7Clump-or-bulge%7Cpain-or-discomfort%7Csore-throat&symptomids=227%7C148%7C1%7C219&locations=10%7C10%7C10%7C10
- Treating bumps in the back of throat: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/respiratory-articles/bumps-in-back-of-throat
- Lumps and swelling: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lumps-swellings/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Lump in throat: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/digestive-disorders/symptoms-of-digestive-disorders/lump-in-throat
- What’s causing this lump on my neck: http://www.healthline.com/health/neck-lump
- Lump in the throat, when to see a doctor: http://www.throatproblems.co.uk/lumps-throat.html
- Lump in throat treatment: http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/sore-throat/lumps-in-the-throat.html