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What causes choking? 17 possible conditions

Choking occurs when a piece of food, an object, or a liquid becomes lodged in the throat. Children often choke as a result of placing foreign objects into their mouths. Adults normally choke due to breathing in fumes or eating or drinking too rapidly.  Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Swallowed (or Inhaled) Foreign Object

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Anyone can swallow a foreign object. However, infants and toddlers have a natural tendency to put things in their mouths, which puts them at higher risk.

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2

Near Drowning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Near-drowning is a term used to describe almost dying from suffocating under water. It is the last stage before actual drowning, which often results in death.

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3

Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is a neuromusclar disorder. It results in weakness of the skeletal muscles, and can cause double vision and drooping of the eyelid.

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4

Anaphylaxis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Anaphylaxis can occur when you have a severe reaction to certain allergens. Learn what the symptoms are and what to do if this happens.

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5

Food Allergy Basics

Food allergies are overblown responses by the immune system to foods that aren't typically harmful - like eggs and peanuts. Continue reading and learn more about food allergies, and how to prevent or treat sever...

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6

Allergies Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Learn about what causes allergies, the different types of allergies, and how they're treated.

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7

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder occurs when you live in fear of a panic attack. You may be having a panic attack when you feel sudden, overwhelming terror with no obvious cause.

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8

Agoraphobia With Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are feelings of sudden fear without reasonable cause. Agoraphobia is another type of anxiety disorder. Read about symptoms and treatment.

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9

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which you briefly stop breathing during sleep. The moments of apnea can occur repeatedly throughout the night. The interruption of your breathing happens may indicate a proble...

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10

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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11

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder. It first presents with problems of movement. Smooth and coordinated muscle movements of the body are made possible by a substance in the brain calle...

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12

Stroke Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. Learn about the signs of a stroke and what to do.

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13

Spinal Cord Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A spinal cord injury, or damage to the spinal cord, is an extremely serious type of physical trauma. It will likely have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life. According to the Nationa...

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14

Muscular Dystrophies

Muscular dystrophies are a group of inherited diseases that damage and weaken your muscles over time. This damage and weakness is due to the lack of a protein.

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15

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping cough is a serious respiratory infection that can be deadly for infants and young children, but adolescents and adults can get it too. Vaccination is available.

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16

Polio

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that attacks the body's nervous system.

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17

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

The things you've wanted to know about MS are all in one place. Learn more about symptoms, treatment, and lifestyle management.

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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