Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Possible Food Aspiration.
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Possible Food Aspiration.

Perhaps someone could help me.

I have been told by my friends and family i could be a hypochondriac, and i tend to cause my own symptoms when i am afraid of a disease or condition (i'm realizing this because the symptoms are really only apparent when i'm thinking about them).

The problem i'm having is i believe i may have inhaled a piece of food (a cheerio). This happened about 3 days ago and i don't really have any symptoms other than a little bit of a twinge in my right lung. I called the hospital and they said if i have any symptoms to come in..unfortunately i am in a bad financial position right now and can not afford any medical treatment (not unnecessarily anyway). Basically what i would like to know is, what are some of the definitive symptoms of food inhalation? Is it a serious problem? and is it possible to have little or no symptoms? and when should i become concerned? Research on the subject has done nothing but scare the life out of me.

I imagine the lungs must have some kind of mechanism for removing foreign substances..but i don't know.

Any input anyone may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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The symptoms of food inhalation depend on the degree to which the food is irritating.  A bone or chili pepper would be much more irritating than a cheerio.  The lungs are able to remove foreign objects.  In fact, the cheerio has probably already been broken down and carried away by your body.  However there is no guarantee of that.  Inhaled foreign objects can cause irritation and cough.  They can even lead to infection, but a bland food such as a cheerio is unlikely to do this.

Unless a cough persists or recurs or fever or discolored phlegm occurs, there is probably no need to seek medical attention at this time.
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A related discussion, Possible inhalation of a kernel of corn was started.
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A related discussion, lungs was started.
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