What are some common causes of choking in an adult?

If a conscious adult is choking, his or her airway has been blocked by a foreign object, such as a piece of food or a small toy; by swelling in the mouth or throat; or by fluids, such as vomit or blood.

Common causes of choking include:
  • Trying to swallow large pieces of poorly chewed food.
  • Drinking alcohol before or during meals. (Alcohol dulls the nerves that aid swallowing.)
  • Wearing dentures. (Dentures make it difficult to sense whether food is fully chewed before it is swallowed.)
  • Eating while talking excitedly or laughing, or eating too fast.
  • Walking, playing or running with food or objects in the mouth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.