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Choking signs, symptoms & causes

What Is Choking?  

When a person’s airway is suddenly blocked, Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (FBAO), commonly known as choking, occurs. Food, small toys or liquid blocks the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. There are different choking signs, symptoms & causes.

Types of Choking

Choking has two types. Partial choking and Complete choking. The latter being more dangerous and life-threatening. However, both types can cause pain and discomfort.

Choking in young kids & elderly

Choking is most prevalent in young kids and the elderly. Toddlers are curious about many things. They have a tendency to put objects in their mouths.

How is this a problem? Their ability to chew and swallow are still developing, the airway (trachea) included. Together, these make young kids highly susceptible to choking. 

According to todayonline, choking is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury deaths. The KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) sees about 550 paediatric cases of foreign bodies stuck in the throat every year.

However, it is totally different for elderly. As you grow older, swallowing difficulties develop. The condition known as Dysphagia, increases the risk of choking in elderly.

The main cause? Muscle weakness. Ageing causes muscles involved with swallowing to decrease in strength. This makes it difficult for elderly to chew, move food around the mouth and swallow. 

Choking Hazards

Choking on food creates an uncomfortable sensation in the throat or chest. Take a look below at some common foods that cause choking. Some of these are everyday food items that we consume, not knowing they are potential choking hazards.

food that causes choking

First Aid Management 

Identifying if someone is choking is not a difficult task. Why? There are signs and symptoms you can look out for which can help you differentiate choking and gagging. Additionally, if intervention is needed, there are techniques you can use to relieve FBAO. Read all about it in our next blog post!

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