How to Remove Popcorn Shell in Throat

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You're sitting on your couch enjoying a movie, happily munching on a bowl of popcorn. Suddenly, as you swallow a mouthful, something goes wrong. There is a scratchy feeling, like there is a large lump in your throat. A popcorn shell has stuck in your throat. Don't panic; just follow a few simple steps and you can remove it, getting back to your movie as soon as possible--although probably without the rest of your popcorn.

Things You'll Need

  • Soda pop
  • Water
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Banana
  • Tortilla

Drink liquids first. Start with a drink of water and see if that washes down the popcorn shell. If that doesn't work, try soda pop. Sometimes the fizzing action helps to wash down the piece of popcorn, so try something very fizzy like ginger ale.

Eat something to grab onto the shell if the liquids don't work. Try a slice of fluffy bread, a ball of sticky rice or a banana. Most of these foods will grab onto the foreign object and help to slide it down your throat. If these don't work, try a piece of tortilla eaten without chewing. The large piece of tortilla sometimes has enough friction to grab the popcorn hull and remove it.

Go to the emergency room or nearest clinic if all the above remedies don't work. Popcorn shells left in your throat can cause swelling, problems swallowing or breathing and infections in the throat. Do not leave it in, thinking that it will work its way out. Take care of the problem right away.

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