Choking

What is Choking?

Choking is the mechanical obstruction of the flow of air from the environment into the lungs. Choking prevents breathing, and can be partial or complete, with partial choking allowing some, although inadequate, flow of air into the lungs. Prolonged or complete choking results in asphyxia which leads to anoxia and is potentially fatal. Oxygen stored in the blood and lungs can keep a person alive for several minutes after breathing stops.

Choking can be caused by:

  • Physical obstruction of the airway by a foreign body.
  • Respiratory diseases that involve obstruction of the airway.
  • Compression of the laryngopharynx, larynx or vertebrate trachea in strangulation.
  • Laryngospasm, a temporary closing of the vocal cords, which simulates the feeling of choking.

Obstruction of the airway can occur at the level of the pharynx and the trachea. Foods that can adapt their shape to that of the pharynx (such as bananas, marshmallows, or gelatinous candies) can be a danger not just for children but for persons of any age.

Choking due to a foreign object resulted in 162,000 deaths in 2013 up from 140,000 deaths in 1990.

Questions and answers on "Choking"

I've been suffering from this choking/gagging stuff since the end of Oct 2013. Sometimes, it's so bad I can't breathe, can't inhale or exhale that is when it's the scariest. My doctor has run all kinds of tests and have not found anything.
What do I do now that my doctor has decided not do any more tests?

doctor1 MD

Thank you for coming on HCM.
The Ayurveda has secret. Your enlightened doctor has told you there is nothing wrong. OK. We will say you not to worry.
I will treat you along the lines of Pratishyay in Ayurvedic terms. The treatment may last for 16 weeks or so. It will be most economic and without...

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Hi I am 30 y/o. I have been having very forceful coughing either in the middle of trying to drink fluids or immediately after drinking fluids and also during "vigorous" activity. Choking, desperately gasping for breath. Why? What could this be? What should I do about it?

doctor1 MD

Hi,

Welcome to the forum. I can understand your concern for coughing in middle of drinking fluids.
probably it is because of superior laryngeal nerve paralysis. The symptoms you enumerated matches with the same and the nerve controls the functions told by you.

YOU can conform it form a ENT doctor...

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I am 77 yrs old and live in Centralia, IL. I see a psychiatrist in St. Louis, MO. He has prescribed Lorazepam for the past 10 years and Triazolam for the past 5 or so years. Now I want to discontinue all these benodiazapenes because they are causing problems like throat choking, etc. But when I do what the doctor advises (start with .5 tab.twice a day on Lorazepam instead of 1 mg. twice a day), I get withdrawal symptoms. He is not helping me hardly at all. I was unaware of the consequences and that he had put me on two of these drugs. I think I need IP hospital help to get off of them. I have been declined by a lot of detox facilities due to having a central line for water. I am down to 3 ft. of bowel because of Crohn s, but I take complete care of my catheter needs each night and am in good health otherwise. Any ideas would be appreciated. My e-mail address is YYYY@YYYY . Thank you.

doctor1 MD

Hi there,

Thanks for your query. I fully understand your dilemma.

Since you get withdrawal symptoms following reduction in lorazepam dose, I would recommend that you FIRST start tapering off the dose of Triazolam VERY GRADUALLY, by 25mcg every one week.

Once your reach a minimal effective dose of...

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MY 24 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IN LAW HAS HAD A BABY 3-4 WKS AGO. SHE DID NOT USE ANYTHING FOR PAIN AND HAD QUITE A LABOR AND DELIVERY. SHE HAS BEEN PLAGUED BY HEADACHES EVER SINCE, AND CANNOT SLEEP WELL EVEN THO BABY DOES. A FEW AYS ASO SHE DEVELOPED A FACIAL PROBLEM WHERE HER VHEEK DROPPED AND HER EYE TWITCHED AND HER ARMS TINGLED. THEN IT MOVED BILATERALLY ON HER FACE. NOW HER BACK IS IN GREAT DISCOMFORT AND SHE HAS WEAKNESS IN HER FACE, ARMS AND LEGS. SHE SLURS HER WORDS AND CANNOT TOLERATE WHOLE FOODS AS THEY CAUSE CHOKING. SO FOR FOR TESTING, SHE HAS HAD A CAT SCAN AND A SPINAL TAP. HER VITALS HAVE BEEN NORMAL BUT WBC SOMEWHAT ELEVATED. CURRENTLY SHE IS BEING TREATED FOR GUILLIAN BARRE SYNDROM WITH IMMUNOGOBLIMS, PLEASE HELP! SHE NEES TO BE REASSURED SHE CAN RETURN TO HER LIFE OF TAKING CARE OF HER NEWBORN DAUGHTER! THQNK YOU FOR ANY HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE!

doctor1 MD

Hi, it appears that she has developed post partum eclamptia, or tetanus, in a subclinical condition. I advise you to consult a physician for diagnosis and treatment. In PPE there will be rise in B.P, in tetanus there will be lordosis of the spine.
I wish her good luck. thank you....

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I have a dry mouth all the time...has had it for yrs. About 3 weeks ago I got sick with a scratchy throat and spitting up white foam, coughing until I would throw-up chuncks of white foam nearly choking to death. Can lay own at night and get any sleep, because I start coughing and throws up from my scratchy throat. I've been on Nexium for about 14 years for acid reflux and nothing has helped for that. I've been to an ENT doctor, but everything seems ok, except I have a deviated septum. I have a very sore throat right now from al the coughing and throwing up. I'm tired of being sick and no one seems to know the problem. I'm thinking about going to the ER right now. Hope someone can help me. Thank you

doctor1 MD

Hi Dear,

Welcome to HCM.

Understanding your concern. As per your query you have sore throat, choking, coughing and throwing up which is due to granular pharyngitis or upper respiratory tract infection. I would suggest you to avoid eating and drinking acidic , spicy and hot food and beverages. Do...

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swallowed watermelon down wrong pipe, not obstructing breathing, just unpleasant. what can i do?

doctor1 MD

Hi loretta,
If you have swallowed watermelon through larynx you would not have writing question in internet and waiting for answer, instead you would have been in emergency department, Dont worry i think food may be in pyriformfossa or in oesophagus so you are feeling like that, consult ENT...

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I choked on some food and could not breath untill i cough up some food, along with blood. I had trouble breathing last night i had to take short breaths or it would hurt had to sleep setting up all night. I am breathing better know but still have sharp pain off and on in the middle of chest and with a bigger breath i have pains in my right lung Did i get food in my lung and can something still be stuck in throat sometimes it still hurts to swallow

doctor1 MD

Hello and thank you for asking in HCM.

I can understand your concern.
As you explain your situation it seems to me that some little food had probably in the wrong way had enter in the airways. The normal response of the airways is a strong cough with pain and sometimes with sore throat.
Usually...

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my son has random episodes of choking and unable to catch his breath or clear throat of something while in the shower. with his episode tonight, he almost passed out. what are possible causes of something like this. he s been checked out for asthma, been allergy tested and had his tonsils out.

doctor1 MD

Hello,
Welcome to HCM,
Your son may be having upper respiratory tract infection or allergy to detergents he using.
As he was tested for allergy and positive to some of the allergen, he needs to avoid that, but your is not complete.
If he is having sore throat, mucus, fever and cough it will be in...

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Hi
Can u tell me if something is wrong? For the last few months I notice I have this saliva in back my throat
... With a whitish tent to it. I have to hack cough it out because its like choking me. I was with a friend and when shed lay down I remember her choking now less then 1 year later I'm doing it. I was drugged by this person. Do u think she gave me something by drinking after her? Or what it could be? It's like some whitish slippery film that collects in back throat.

doctor1 MD

Hi there, thanks for asking. It could be a sign that you have breathing problem during your sleep. If you snore, you should know that sleep apnea is a disease that you should be checked for. The issue that you had this problem after using alcohol or drug is that airway problem during night is...

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Recent questions on  Choking

doctor1 MD

I choked on some food and could not breath untill i cough up some food, along with blood. I had trouble breathing last night i had to take short breaths or it would hurt had to sleep setting up all night. I am breathing better know but still have sharp pain off and on in the middle of chest and with a bigger breath i have pains in my right lung Did i get food in my lung and can something still be stuck in throat sometimes it still hurts to swallow

doctor1 MD

I have a dry mouth all the time...has had it for yrs. About 3 weeks ago I got sick with a scratchy throat and spitting up white foam, coughing until I would throw-up chuncks of white foam nearly choking to death. Can lay own at night and get any sleep, because I start coughing and throws up from my scratchy throat. I've been on Nexium for about 14 years for acid reflux and nothing has helped for that. I've been to an ENT doctor, but everything seems ok, except I have a deviated septum. I have a very sore throat right now from al the coughing and throwing up. I'm tired of being sick and no one seems to know the problem. I'm thinking about going to the ER right now. Hope someone can help me. Thank you

doctor1 MD

I ve been suffering from this choking/gagging stuff since the end of Oct 2013. Sometimes, it s so bad I can t breathe, can t inhale or exhale that is when it s the scariest. My doctor has run all kinds of tests and have not found anything. What do I do now that my doctor has decided not do any more tests?

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