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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Sunflower seed shell stuck in throat

02/10/2010

Question:

I was eating sunflower seeds last night and I unintentionally swalled a piece of the shell. It is now stuck in my throat. I have tried eating bread, drinking lots of water, gargling and drinking hot beverages. It`s still in my throat and this morning feels worse. I`m scared. What should I do?

Answer:

Usually in a scenario like this the seed is not still in your throat.  Usually the seed passes but will often cause some irritation of the throat that makes it feel like something is still in your throat.

It usually takes a few days to a week for the throat to heal and for the sensation to resolve.  If this pain continues to get worse over 3-4 days then maybe an antibiotic or a thorough inspection is needed.  If it gets better over a 3-4 day period, nothing more is needed.

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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