Food’s journey through - Advices

Qauestion:: Hello, when I drink water or eat food, it frequently gets into the airway, what can be the cause of it? Could you tell me how to perform first aid procedure myself?

In this text, you will be informed about the following:

  • Food’s journey through your digestive system;
  • Function of the epiglottis;
  • What is the cause of food “going down the wrong pipe”;
  • First aid.

We’ll provide general information. There are two passages in our throat: airway and esophagus.
Airway supplies air into the lungs, and food enters the stomach through the esophagus. Albeit, it encounters small cartilage, i.e., epiglottis at the crossroad. Every time we swallow something, it reflexively closes down the airway, and bite moves to the esophagus, albeit epiglottis sometimes has delayed reaction.
A bite can go down the wrong pipe mostly when:

  • You try to swallow large bites of poorly chewed food;
  • You consume alcoholic beverages before or during eating – alcohol loosens nerves that take part in swallowing;
  • You use dental prosthesis;
  • You eat too fast;
  • You speak fast or laugh during eating.

In this case, a patient shouldn’t make a sharp movement, shouldn’t consume additional food.

In terms of performing first aid on your own, inhale slowly through your nose and cough so the food that went down the airway is discharged.
It’s necessary to call for help, sooner will you be in the hands of a professional, the better.

On behalf of National Center of Surgery, wish you health!

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