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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Food hanging up in my throat and passing out!

08/22/2000

Question:

Some times when I eat food it will get stuck in my esophogus. When it does, I will take a drink of water to try and wash it down. It is then when I feel like I`m going to pass out and today I did. I felt it coming on and was able to make it to the floor to keep from hurting my self. I did pass completly out. It was the first time that I did go out completly. I had my esophogus scoped about 2 months ago and they said every thing was fine and that they couldn`t find any thing that would make my food hang up. They said that the food would hang up and put pressure on my vega nerve(?) and that was what was causing this. What do you think?

Answer:

This is an extremely unusual situation. The question that needs to be addressed is why does this only happen once in a while. You need to think about the circumstances surrounding these episodes. Does this happen with certain foods? Does it only happen at certain times of the day? Are you under a lot of stress when this happens? The other thought is that food getting stuck in your esophagus should not make you pass out. Food would have to get stuck in your windpipe or voice box for you to have trouble breathing. If food gets stuck there and it is not dislodged by a Heimlich maneuver or a cough, you will die. You will pass out but you will not wake up. You need to have your voice box examined by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to determine if the voice box if functioning properly. Then the next step can be determined. Good luck.

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati