Fishbone Stuck in Throat?
This is one of the most common fears among people who love eating fish. After all, we eat fish that taste good, regardless of what kind of bones they have. Of course we're careful, but sometimes, bones can be overlooked and swallowed, and get stuck.
What causes a bone to get stuck is a contraction of the throat muscles, which causes the bone to lodge itself in the wall of the throat. This can be painful and annoying, but it's not really something to worry about too much. You can either wait patiently and hope that the bone dislodges itself, go straight to the doctor, or do several things at home to help the bone move along.
If you don't want to rush to the emergency room, below you will find several things you can do yourself to get rid of that bone.
Having a bone stuck in your throat can be extremely uncomfortable. You will feel worried, irritated, and may even feel like vomiting (if you have a strong gag reflex). Other times, you may not notice it at all except when using your throat for certain things (like when you swallow). Sometimes you know exactly what happened right when you swallow, but other times it's hard to know for sure if there's a bone stuck in your throat or not.
If you're unsure, stand in front of a mirror or get some help from a friend. Use a flashlight to try to find the bone, if possible. Most of the time, it may not be possible since the bone might be located too deep in the throat.
Even if you're not entirely sure if there's a bone or not, or exactly where it's stuck, the methods described below should help you.
Methods for Removing Fish Bone from Throat
Try these methods only if there is no bleeding and the pain is bearable. Otherwise, a doctor’s care is the best way to go. I suggest using all these methods, again and again, in order to help dislodge that bone from your throat.
- Drink lots of water, preferably with a pinch of salt added. This can help dislodge a small fish bone.
- Swallow some solid food. Try small balls of boiled rice or bites of banana or bread. If that doesn't work, some say that eating something sticky and thick, like marshmallows or bread with peanut butter, might do the trick. The food may catch on the bone and pull it along down to your stomach.
- In China, they say that diluted vinegar will do the trick, soften the fish bone, and make it dissolve. Although the amount of acetic acid in the vinegar might be too little to soften the bone, it's worth a try.
- Folklore says to drink orange or lemon juice. The citric acid is believed to do the same trick of softening the bone.
- Some countries use olive oil. The oil will coat the throat and help the bone slide down. The oil will offer some soothing relief for the irritation, as well.
- Lastly, the “modern method” consists of drinking some bubbly soda.
Bone in Throat: What NOT to Do
- Avoid coughing or straining your throat, as it might push the bone further into the esophagus.
- Never try inserting any object into your throat to remove the fishbone. That might work for a clogged sink, but this is different!
- Do not try to push or massage the throat externally with your hand, as the fish bone can get jammed.
- If none of these remedies work, and you can't dislodge the bone, don’t just suffer; go to a doctor to have it removed. Leaving a fishbone stuck in your throat for more than a day might result in infection.
- If your throat swells or becomes constricted, or if your breathing is impaired, don't wait, just go to the doctor.
I hope it worked! Be sure to check out the comment section below to see what methods worked for readers, and add your story to help others!
hi on February 28, 2018:
it's been there since last night, its now morning. i have a pb sandwich so hopefully that helps. will it go away on its own
Krispy on October 07, 2017:
Tried everything mentioned.
Olive oil and huge gulp of water did the trick,instantly relieved
George Naliyan on August 25, 2017:
Take a morsel of rice or banana
Thats what I do and it works!!
shaina on August 20, 2017:
I dont kno what to do I ate lots of bread n nothing worked n my throat feels uncomfortable so someone tell me what to do
Chandra lekha Chatterjee on August 18, 2017:
Thanks for great and useful imformati
kanna on March 21, 2017:
thanks...still hurts...will try these
Cynthia on January 24, 2017:
Peanut butter just helped me. Thank you for this information. I was getting worried, thought I had to go to the ER. Thanks again.
Ada on October 30, 2016:
Tried, bread, salt water, nuts and lots more not written here, took a spoon or more of vegetable oil, and it's gone. Thanks for this
clm on October 03, 2016:
This article is very helpful. Coke did it for me.
iwani poloko on July 31, 2016:
a banana really works
Eroshini on July 27, 2016:
My 11yr old son got a fish bone stuck in his throat we tried rice balls, water, olive oil, soda with lime, banana and many things over hours didn't work. After few hours we again tried a few warm rice balls and yes the rice balls went down the throat and the fish bone came out the mouth. The rice balls story is the oldest method that works.
jesse on July 02, 2016:
A friend told me to jump off a chair, and it worked!
affluent. on July 01, 2016:
The Bread and olive oil worked for me instantly. Thanks
yuliana on April 11, 2016:
I got fish bone in my troat last 4days and i tried all the things like bread,banana,coke,olive oil,salt water,lemon juice but did not work :((( very sad really suffering ,i guest i have to go to the clinic for help:((
Laure on March 30, 2016:
Thank you so much!!!! I was so scared I accidentally felt like I swallowed somthing and I ate some break and coughed out the fish bone :D thank you!!! Never eating fish with bones again. Thanks!!
tyra on January 29, 2016:
it didnt work ;( my only option is to got to a clinic. but im afraid of medical people
momo on January 12, 2016:
please help, the bone has been stuck for over 12 hours now and i tried the banana trick and it didn't work :'(
densie, new York on January 07, 2016:
Jan 6 , 2016
Thanks sooo much,in my throat for over 24 hrs,then I went on Google, I did the bread and peanut butter, out in a minute
Asha on November 16, 2015:
Eating cashew helped my 4 year old daughter at 10 pm, thanks
mrpine on November 12, 2015:
Gargled salt water and off it went...thanks for the tips.
Bsilky on October 28, 2015:
I tried pop last nite wen it 1st hpnd tried vinegar and lemon juice none wrkd then i ended up puking and it didnt wrk either then i tried some bread and thgt it wrkd and it did mostly but still hv sm there so need new ideas ty so much ppl ur awesome and very helpful
red on October 06, 2015:
Get a xray at the er and the Dr will call a E N T Dr in to remove it please you don't want a infection in your throat Thank God for hospital E R God is amazing
minette mccrimmon on October 03, 2015:
Please God, Go,to a ENT doctor they go down your nose and take the fish bone out your throat! ! in less then five minutes because they remove mine September 31,2015 I love my ENT doctor they rock thank God for them all!!!!!!!! God is Good
Dr D's advice on September 17, 2015:
Eat a raw cracked egg yoke and a slice of bread! It definately works!
}Yoko on September 12, 2015:
Salt water worked!
ARUN THAKUR on September 01, 2015:
Sir I have also problem last night fishbone stuck in my throat ....pls suggest me best way to it out
Cabz on August 30, 2015:
how will you know if your throat get infected?
Wasik Billah on August 01, 2015:
Tried rice, puffed rice, biscuits, lemon water with salt...none of them. I guess I have to go to a doctor.
Sankar.. on July 25, 2015:
Thanks... tried water. Tried bread. Tried rice. Didn't work. Disappointed... was reading all the comments thinking where would I have coke at 2:30 am. Checked the refrizara Just kept on swallowing and to my utmost pastonishment it was gone.. bingo.
Kristy on July 16, 2015:
I have a fish bone stuck in my throat and I'm just a kid and I'm really scared plz find me a way to get it out
Prasen on July 06, 2015:
It really works...Fish bone struck in my father's throat ..i did the bread trick..& it really works...Thx a ton for this really usefull tips..
monali on June 28, 2015:
please help me
Yogesh Shrikhande on June 21, 2015:
Thanks very Much Cold Drink Solved My Problem But My Throat Get Infected Any Solution for Infection
Jen on June 12, 2015:
I have fish bone in my throat for last nite now my throat was painful I try olive oil,banana, marshmallow, line, rice did not work what should I do? Pls help me thanks
Shaan on June 02, 2015:
i swallowed a fish bone and I tried banana but it did not work so I have a glass of lemon and soda mixed I had a sip and I burbed and it was out of my throat
Jose on May 16, 2015:
.....drink olive oil followed by bread. It worked!!!
yow on May 14, 2015:
It didn't help at all! Did the salt and water, peanut butter with bread, rice, and coke...and it didn't work!!!!
Nancy Zhang on May 06, 2015:
Seriously i tried everything, Coke only soothes it for awhile peanut butter just makes my throat all sticky lemon and limes just made me throw up, rice and bananas don't get me started...
raimond on April 26, 2015:
what is naga treatment? I have a fish bone almost 3months still not remove anybody help me remove this..my neck still swelling bigger and bigger..
vj on April 23, 2015:
Very helpful ate something solid and it was pushed down..
ss on March 13, 2015:
Avi on March 03, 2015:
I have to share this! Fish bones can be removed by Naga treatment. Using wild animal natural ability. No surgery , just a rub on the thoart and its gone after 10 minutes.....I have done it myself twice or thrice.
kneec on February 25, 2015:
Thanks for all the suggestions. Feel better now
ace on February 13, 2015:
i think cake help a lot really :)
chen on February 09, 2015:
I'll try to eat Egg Pie and I drink Pearl Shakes and some bananas :D
Ebo on January 17, 2015:
Really need help
Hz on November 17, 2014:
Had the same problem. Tried banana, coco cola etc for 1 hour... failed.. Went to hospital, went to specialty hospital, took x-ray. Scheduled endoscope appointment. In last attempt took big bowl of rice followed by banana ! and its gone :)) feel like dancing :)))
ymsmash on November 09, 2014:
i pulled it out using my hands
u don't even need to go to the doctor just be a man and pull it out
im a bit horrified to see so much blood in my fingers but who cares at least i got it
jack on October 03, 2014:
Does coke really work?
jessie on October 01, 2014:
Its not working!i ate banana ,drank coke and water with salt ,then peanut but did not work
syafiq on September 14, 2014:
I started to get headed and i tried swallowing bread but did not work.
Nour on September 06, 2014:
Got Homeo medicine, pls pray for me
Coral on July 20, 2014:
Take 1-2 spoons olive oil then eat some solid food like banana or rice to push it down.
june on July 16, 2014:
I did everything in the list ... first with a flashlight, found it and I did
The water and a pinch of salt ... didn't work I did feel it move down a bit.
next the solid food I got a banana ended up eating two.. didn't go down .. The bread felt like it was helping but I still felt it and could see it.
Next olive oil, just two table spoons and I felt like throwing up. This one did however helped me not feel it so much so I could sleep that night. before sleeping I did however had some coke .. I just really wanted it to go down. it didn't work but I tried.
The next morning I had lots of water & my mom got me some apple Vinegar & with 3 drinks I coughed it up.
Thanks for the tips tho !! it helped me not freak out too much :) Hope my comment helps others.
yammu on July 15, 2014:
I use fifth method. Lime juice work for me. Thank you ^-^
Sailosi on June 30, 2014:
Now I hate eating fish
Kitty on June 26, 2014:
Bread works! Thank you!!!
Lucy on June 09, 2014:
M.Abbasi on June 06, 2014:
Thanks a lot
It is very useful informations
My wife was suffering and we tried olive oil after that the fish bone gone
This is awesome
vernessa bass on May 27, 2014:
I got pièces fishbone stuck in side my throat
Dalila on May 02, 2014:
I tried everything and it didn't work but eating a carrot worked
BallerMD on April 24, 2014:
Got a big piece of stubborn bone stuck in my throat. Though I could see it I still could not reach it. The nurse at my VA hospital told me to come to the ER since it felt like it was cutting into my throat when I swallow. Thinking there should be an easier solution, I came here and found your tips. First tried drinking a full glass of water - no luck. Next up? Halfway threw eating a thick piece of bread, "wa la", bone is gone... THANKS SO MUCH - No need to go to the ER!
Shakeel on April 11, 2014:
Cokes worked for me....thanks.....
chrisie on April 01, 2014:
This was really helpful, the orange juice worked I actually coughed up a huge bone right after I drank half a cup of orange juice.
Lay on March 23, 2014:
Sorry but you not helping me
Lay on March 23, 2014:
Thank for helping get the fish bone out my throat
Mudar Ahmed Abdulsat on March 09, 2014:
i went to a nose, ear and throat doctor and he pulled it in two seconds, please go to a doctor and he will solve it instantly.
Mark on March 04, 2014:
Guys, this is interesting.
Here's what i tried so far,
1. Tried a bulk of rice - didn't work
2. 2 bananas - didn't work
3. Bread - nope
4. dink coke - not again
I tried bubble gum, 2 stick, chew it for a while, voila, my throat was cleared.
ac on March 04, 2014:
Coke works! It made the pain go away. Aft we spending hours at the hospital, I find it funnh thag coke made it better instead of the doctor. Thank god for coke.
I on January 27, 2014:
Unless you have a fish bone in your throat you would not panic.... But I have tried everything ... Now going for the whiskey ....
Rj on January 24, 2014:
About five large bites of carrots(chewed) worked for me. The bone was lodged in my upper throat. With every bite the bone made it further down. I think any dense food like carrots or broccoli would work. I would try this before you drink oil or some salt concoction.
Honey on December 28, 2013:
Thanks God ....bnana works well eat bnana wid speed
kiwi on December 28, 2013:
So far nothing is working. I can feel it in my throat but can't reach it. I have a headache now.
sophie on November 19, 2013:
Thank you for the advise, after 2 sips of coke i felt the bone dislodged. My misery ended.
nba on November 16, 2013:
thanks a lot
grace on November 07, 2013:
lemon soda with salt added works
NOT on November 06, 2013:
Pooja on November 04, 2013:
Its not working plz help mi out plz
znylmhine on October 26, 2013:
Coke much better...thnk'z....
sasha on October 07, 2013:
Drank Olive Oil but didn't work.
Sahida on September 26, 2013:
what can i do to get rid of fish bone.
fish bones suck on September 23, 2013:
it didn't work at all. =(
Norma on September 18, 2013:
Thanks for the advice about choking fish bone remedy, I got the idea how to eliminate the discomforts...by drinking coke...Godbless..
Al on August 29, 2013:
Thanks a zillion. You're an Angel
anon on July 29, 2013:
Thanks for the help
me. on June 03, 2013:
coke works :)
KLGirl on April 30, 2013:
I experienced this problem last night!
Being Asian, I gulped down rice and banana. Didn't work.
Then my son asked me to drink vinegar because he read it from "Top Survival Tips" a book by Asiapac Books Singapore.
Happy to report, it worked!
Nick on April 23, 2013:
Thanks a lot
Atif on March 29, 2013:
Thank You. This helped in an emergency.
shah farhan on March 26, 2013:
Hari on January 25, 2013:
It's very helpful to me......:)
Abhishek on December 31, 2012:
thanks a lot for this useful information. it helped a lot.
rox505 on September 14, 2012:
Nice and very useful. Fishbones in your throat are very irretating and i found this very useful.
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on May 03, 2012:
Very interesting hub. Fish bones do panic me, so I found this hub very useful.