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The symptoms are associated with the thyroid not working properly and causing hypothyroidism, overworking and causing hyperthyroidism, or discomfort caused by the size of the goitre.
In many cases, patients have no symptoms because the thyroid functions normally (euthyroidism) and does not cause problems. The diagnosis is made by chance during an ultrasound or imaging test for another reason.
The most common symptoms are:
The sensation of a foreign body in the neck.
The sensation of pressure in the neck or ears during sleep or when lying down.
Discomfort when swallowing (dysphagia), especially solid food, difficulty in ingesting food.
Persistent morning cough.
Shortness of breath (dyspnoea) and/or respiratory stridor. Dyspnoea may occur in large goitres that significantly narrow the tracheal lumen.
Hoarseness, although more uncommon, is caused by recurrent laryngeal nerve involvement or pain from nodular haemorrhage.