How awful: teenager gets stung in her throat

Honeybees are terrifying to some, but imagine having one of their stingers stuck in your throat? It actually happened to a 13-year-old girl-- she was sitting by a pool when the insect flew into her mouth. She immediately started coughing, and over the next few hours she began feeling pain in her throat and right ear, and had difficulty swallowing. Her parents took her to an ear, nose and throat doctor, who used a device called a laryngoscope to examine the back of her throat, voice box, and vocal cords. The doctor found a honeybee stinger pierced through a flap of cartilage at the back of the throat called the epiglottis. Doctors successfully removed the stinger, and her symptoms went away.

The doctors successfully removed the stinger from the girl's throat, and her symptoms went away. They never found the rest of the bee, however, and suspect the insect was likely ingested, coughed up or spit out by the teen.

If a stinging insect flies into a person's mouth, Zalvan said he recommends coughing gently to remove it. If that does not work, drinking water can help wash it down, he said.

If any symptoms develop, such as a change in voice, wheezing, neck or throat pain, trouble breathing or swallowing, go to the emergency room, especially if you have a known insect allergy, Zalvan said.


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