Possible inhalation of a kernel of corn
by weewow, Jun 04, 2008
Similar to another question posted here, I think I accidentally inhaled a kernel of corn this evening , although I am not sure. My gag reflex was not triggered, but the kernel entered my throat rapidly as I was inhaling through my mouth; I don't recall swallowing as a reflex, either. I don't think I am having symptoms, although I feel a slight irritation/lump in my throat as I attempted to "cough it out" forcefully several times.

Waht symptoms should I expect in the event that the kernel of corn did indeed enter my airway, instead of going down my esophagus? Can the lungs eventually eject a food particle as dense as a kernel of corn with the skin intact? I has a bout of strep throat last week (secondary to being intubated for a laparoscopic procedure). I am otherwise very healthy.

This discussion is related to Possible Food Aspiration..
Related Discussions
Member Comments (4)
by crystalfresh, Jun 04, 2008
If you inhaled the corn I don't think you would be wondering if you did. Something that large would cause quite a bit of choking.

If you chocked just once you probably cleared it. The weight of the food would generally fall to the back where if can fall all on it's own with out swallowing and not in to your breathing tube.

In any event, your lungs do clean them selves out. Something this large would eventually break down and be carried out. But you would would seriously feel it if you did inhale it. I have inhaled small bits of food. Wow, do I feel it and have always been able to chock it out. No mistake.

But I am not a doctor, so this is only my opinion.
by danielo, Mar 23, 2009
I inhaled crusted salmon with pinenuts and sundried tomatoes on Jan 3rd and since I am uninsured I have had to live with this. I have constant shortness of breath, sweating, and light pains throughout my throat and chest. I just got a strept infection 2 weeks ago which I will have to go back to the primary care doctor for. I have trouble sleeping 4-5 nights a week and when I do sleep better it is because I am making up for what I lost. I am finally going to hopefully be insured by April 1st and am seeing a throat,nose, and ear doctor. I hope it can be easily removed wherever in my system it went as I know it has to be a pinenut salmon would be long ago rotted away I imagine. I hope you were taken care of and the corn kernal is gone.
by SWDale, Feb 12, 2013
I also had corn enter my airway and did not cough it up as I usually do with other things.  I have a problem of breathing in food or liquid, but it has turned to mucus slipping in in my sleep and this time corn slipping in as I was swallowing.  I could feel how low it slipped.  I tried to force a cough but this did not work.  Two days later I had a fever and tight chest.  I knew it was related so I took puffers.  This freed mucus that had built up but did not free the corn.  It has been two weeks and it has not cleared.  I use puffers every 3 hours and a symbacourt inhaler twice a day.  When this has happened with rice in the past I think the macrophages or microphages take care of it and it eventually gets absorbed by my lung tissue.  The corn is not as easy for my system to break down and I am awake coughing every night. Is there a medical procedure that can help clear this from my lungs?
by coutus, Jan 31, 2014
Excerpt from Weewow: "Similar to another question posted here, I think I accidentally inhaled a kernel of corn this evening , although I am not sure. My gag reflex was not triggered, but the kernel entered my throat rapidly as I was inhaling through my mouth..."
***This person is most likely referring to an UNPOPPED kernel--it happened to me last night!  The weight of the kernel enabled it to bypass the body's security measures--in just the right confluence of conditions: inhaling while taking in a mouthful of popcorn.  Now I am worried that the hard kernel is in my lungs and because of the difficulty of its composition, that it will not break down but will fester & I will develop a lung infection or other adverse consequences. Please don't reply to this crystalfresh, I just wanted to clarify it for you and resubmit this legitimate question to this post.  Any one else who may have helpful information, I welcome your comments. Thank you all for your posts, this has not happened to me before and this is reassuring to find.