Object Stuck in the Throat

Topic Overview

Sometimes after you swallow a pill it may feel like it "got stuck" or didn't go all the way down. This feeling usually goes away within 30 to 60 minutes if you drink liquids or eat a piece of bread.

You may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in your esophagus. But when symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Rapid, noisy, or high-pitched breathing.
  • Increased drooling.
  • Trouble swallowing, pain when swallowing, or complete inability to swallow.
  • Gagging.
  • Vomiting.
  • Refusing to eat solids.
  • Pain in the neck, chest, or abdomen.
  • Feeling that something is stuck in your throat.

If an object is stuck in your esophagus, your doctor will need to remove it.

Most swallowed objects pass through the digestive tract without any problem and show up in the stool within 7 days. But a swallowed object can scratch, irritate, or puncture the digestive tract, causing bleeding. Blood in the vomit can appear bright red or look like coffee grounds (partially digested blood) and usually comes from the stomach, esophagus, or throat.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
David Messenger, MD
Last Revised July 3, 2013

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