Symptoms of a fish bone stuck in the throat normally include discomfort and the feeling that something is stranded in the throat area. However, in more severe cases, symptoms may also include blood in the saliva and difficulty swallowing or breathing. So if it is not possible to solve this problem at home, it is recommended you go to the emergency room.
A simple way to remove a small fish bone stuck in your throat is to eat a banana because it is soft and probably will not hurt the esophagus when passing through. This works because, as they pass over the fish bone, the banana pieces will cling to the fish bone and push it into the stomach, where it will eventually be dissolved by the gastric acid.
However, there are also three other simple techniques that can be used, such as:
Coughing is the body's first defense mechanism against changes in the throat and airways, since coughing pushes air hard enough to displace any foreign body, such as a fish bone.
So, in the moment, it’s important to follow the instinct to cough, as it may help release the fish bone from the throat, causing a sense of immediate relief.
2. Eat bread or cooked rice
This technique works in a similar way to the banana. You should take a piece of bread and then dip it in milk. When it is quite wet, you should squeeze the bread and make a small ball that can be swallowed whole. Once swallowed, the bread sticks to the fish bone and can help to push it into the stomach.
Other foods that can be ingested to loosen the spine are well-cooked rice or potatoes because, even though they are soft, they can stick to the bone.
3. Drink a little olive oil
Unlike water, olive oil is not easily absorbed and therefore helps to hydrate the walls of the throat longer and may cause the natural movements of the esophagus to push the fish bone out.
So, it is better to drink a little olive oil than water, since it is more lubricating. If you cannot drink pure olive oil, you should drink a mixture of water with a little olive oil, for example.
What you should not do
It is important to avoid using any type of utensil or even the fingers to remove the fish bone, especially when it is not visible, as lesions on the esophageal wall can end up causing more discomfort and increase the risk of infection.
When to go to the doctor
Most cases can be treated at home, however it is important to go to the emergency room whenever you cannot remove the fish bone using one of the techniques mentioned above, or if you experience:
- Very intense pain;
- Heavy bleeding;
- Difficulty breathing.
Generally, the doctor can remove the fish bone using special tweezers, but in the most difficult cases it may be necessary to perform a minor surgery to remove the fish bone. In these cases, it is not usually necessary to stay hospitalized, as it is a very simple surgery that sometimes does not even involve cuts to the skin.