3 doctors weighed in:

What happens when a foreign object inhaled into the lung if it isn't taken out?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
1 doctor agrees

In brief: A lot of things

Worst case, large enough objects can close the windpipe, cause suffocation and death.
Smaller objects can cause infection, pneumonia, lung abscess, chronic cough, chronic phlegm, coughing blood, collapsed lung, recurrent fever, wheezing, chest pain ...Etc. In some cases, if small enough, nothing happens.

In brief: A lot of things

Worst case, large enough objects can close the windpipe, cause suffocation and death.
Smaller objects can cause infection, pneumonia, lung abscess, chronic cough, chronic phlegm, coughing blood, collapsed lung, recurrent fever, wheezing, chest pain ...Etc. In some cases, if small enough, nothing happens.
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Dr. Carlo Hatem
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In brief: Variable

Inhaled foreign objects in the lungs are often coughed out if they are small.
Larger ones or infected bodies can cause symptoms until they are removed (looking like asthma or causing pneumonia or an abscess). It depends on the health of patient, the material inhaled, where it sticks in the lungs, how long it has been there and whether there are other lung problems.

In brief: Variable

Inhaled foreign objects in the lungs are often coughed out if they are small.
Larger ones or infected bodies can cause symptoms until they are removed (looking like asthma or causing pneumonia or an abscess). It depends on the health of patient, the material inhaled, where it sticks in the lungs, how long it has been there and whether there are other lung problems.
Dr. C. michael Bowman
Dr. C. michael Bowman
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