Stuck food in the throat is normally caused by improper chewing of food, especially the hard or large chunks. People tend to hurry and become excited to try something delicious. Some might just simply not pay attention to what they put in their mouth. Whatever the reason for the food stuck in your throat, it is important to quickly remove the blockage as there are cases when this can lead to infection. The basic information and helpful instructions are discussed below to further deal with the condition.
How to Remove Food Stuck in Throat
Know that most foods dissolve over time
If the piece of food is not causing too much trouble, just let the saliva in the throat naturally dissolve the blockage. Water can also be taken as this will be a great help to flush out and bring the blockage in its flow. Drinking a little of cold water may be done to help loosen up the blockage. Warm water or even tea can also be taken to help in the release of this condition. Never use and drink very hot water as this may burn the throat, giving a bigger problem.
It is also advisable for one to lie down flat on the back while drinking either cold or warm water. This position will introduce gravity that will help in dislodging the blockage in the throat. Repeat this method for a couple of times until food is removed.
Try adding some salt or other liquids to warm water
Dissolve a pinch of salt to warm water prior to gargling. This may help in dislodging the food stuck in throat. However, one should be extra careful as the salt water may trigger the gag reflex and upset in the stomach. This bad reaction may induce and lead to vomiting.
Other liquids such as hydrogen peroxide and apple cider vinegar can be used for dislodging the blockage. Use at least 3% of hydrogen peroxide solution mixed with equal amount of warm water. Gargle this mixture but be careful as it may give some nasty taste. A table spoon of apple cider vinegar can also be added to a small cup of warm water. Gargle the solution but be careful as stronger solutions may erode and damage the tooth enamel. Honey can be added to make the taste a lot bearable and reduce the possible damage incurred in the person. Remember to always brush the teeth after the gargle of the hydrogen peroxide and apple cider vinegar solutions.
Try eating something soft
Continue eating as the next food may help in dislodging the food stuck in the throat. As much as possible, choose soft and spongy foods. This may include bread or sticky rice. A slice of bread may be dip into some water or let soak with one’s saliva before swallowing. On the other hand, sticky rice may help by sticking the stuck food into it. Adding some honey may also be a great help in the release of the blockage. Be sure that someone else is present while doing these processes to act as assistance if anything occurs or goes wrong.
Try coughing with a controlled vocal cough
The controlled vocal cough will constrict the throat, leading to expel of any particles stuck in the throat. This should start with a very deep breath of air while trying to contract the throat muscles. Once the throat muscles are contracted, try to push the air to the throat using the abdominal muscles. This air should push against the blockage and make one cough the blockage out. Never do this too often as it may lead to choking.
Try swallowing raw egg
The swallowing of a raw egg may be distasteful and unpleasant for some but definitely of great help in removing the food stuck in throat. The emulsified egg can help in moving the obstruction and bring it to the stomach. However, one must be careful with raw eggs as one might have a slight risk of bacterial contamination such as Salmonella. This health risk can be addressed by washing the outside shell of the egg prior to cracking and ingesting.
Use the Heimlich Maneuver
For very serious obstructions, the Heimlich maneuver may be one of the best solutions. In this method, the pressure is put into the person’s abdomen in order to push the air back to the system. This will force out the food stuck out along with the air. It is a similar method of making oneself cough except that it doesn’t provide enough pressure on the person.
Making oneself gag may also be done in case no one is around to assist. This is done by extending the forefinger and middle finger while pushing the back of the throat. Doing this will enable the gag reflex and remove the blockage in the throat. Be extra careful in doing these procedures to ensure the safety of the person with stuck food.
When Should You Seek Medical Help for Food Stuck in Throat?
Seek medical help if the stuck food is greatly affecting the ability to breathe. Also, one should see a doctor if the person is constantly experiencing the same problem as it may be a sign of a more serious condition known as esophageal cancer. Other than blockage of the throat, symptoms of this medical condition may include regurgitation, weight loss, and vomiting. Proper medical attention and treatment should be given to persons suffering from this condition.
Prevent Food Stuck in the First Place
This may be done by taking small bites at the time. Always chew the food slowly and drink plenty of water. If possible, avoid eating too much hard and dry food. Smoking should also be avoided as it can reduce the amount of saliva being produced by the mouth. The decrease in lubrication will increase the chance of the food stuck in the throat. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.