Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Can You Swallow Your Tongue?

A good first step you need to do when you notice someone having seizures is to put something into their mouths to stop the person from swallowing. do you think?

Wrong. The ill-intentioned act is an error that could harm those you’re trying to assist.

It’s not possible for someone to swallow their tongue. As a person loses significant amount of muscle control during an epileptic seizure, there’s the tissue inside your mouth below your tongue which holds it in its place.

Although a person’s tongue does not move significantly during a seizure there’s a possibility that they could chew their tongue. If something is lodged in their mouth during an epileptic seizure, they may be severely injured.

It is important not to put anything into the mouth of a person who is experiencing a seizure in order to avoid hurting them or causing them to choke upon the object.

Why is it impossible to swallow your tongue

As per Johns Hopkins Medicine, it is physically impossible to swallow the tongue.

It is an muscle which connects the mouth. A stretch of tissue known as the lingual frenulum joins the tongue’s base to the lower part of the mouth and the lower jaw. The connection stops people from swallowing the tongue.

There is a misconception that some people accidentally swallow their tongues in a seizure, or when they suddenly become unconscious. But, some people employ the phrase “swallowing the tongue” to describe the tongue sliding into the throat that could hinder airflow.

Seizure first aid

Seizures are quite frequent. Around 1 out of 10 people will experience one seizures in their lives, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. There are many types of seizures. Each having distinct symptoms, but typically, these symptoms are similar.

The majority of seizures are generalized seizures (also known as grand mal seizures). When experiencing these seizures, one could suffer from:

rigid muscles or muscles that are stiff.

Rapid and random muscle movements

loss of consciousness

trauma to the tongue or cheeks from biting may result in a loss of control over the body

jaw is stiff or locked

loss of bladder control and loss of control over bowels

face that is blue

odd shifts in emotions, taste or vision generally prior to the time that seizures begin.


Sensations of tingling


crying out

Knowing what you should do if you spot someone suffering from seizures can be useful. If you notice someone has seizures, here’s what to do. Trusted Source.

When the seizure occurs

Aid the person to get down to a safer position if they begin to shake when standing.

Gently turn the person on the other side to avoid the risk of aspiration (breathing the foreign object into the airways).

Remove any potentially dangerous objects such as anything that is sharp or hard away from the area in order to prevent injuries.

Put something like folded towels or a jacket beneath the head to keep it in place and secure.

Take off the eyeglasses of the person in the event that they’re wearing glasses.

Take off the tie, collar or other jewelry that is worn around the neck since they can cause a person to be unable to breathe.

Start observing the seizure. It’s imperative to dial 911 or the emergency line if the condition continues for more that five minutes. Examine the wrist or neck to determine whether there’s an emergency tag. Get emergency assistance if it’s indicated on the tag.

Keep the person in your care until the seizure is gone when they’re in a state of consciousness. When they’re awake, it might take a while before they’re able communicate again.

After seizure

When the person stops seizure for a while and is sitting comfortably, assist them in a secure location. If they’re able to talk to you and can understand what you’re saying and are calm, inform them that they’ve suffered a seizure.

Be at peace. Be gentle with the person you are comforting and the others close to you who observed the seizure.

You can ask an Uber or other service to assist the person with seizures to be able to return home without danger.

Do not do these things if you spot a person who is having seizures.

Do not try to restrain or hold the person.

Avoid placing anything in the mouth of the person.

Do not attempt to administer CPR or mouth-to-mouth Resuscitation. Most people will begin breathing normally following an epileptic seizure.

Do not offer water or food until they’re fully alert.

Do I need to call 911?

Many people who suffer from seizures do not require urgent medical treatment. To decide whether calling 911 or calling the emergency line is required consider these questions. If you can answer any of the questions above are “yes,” call for assistance:

Does this person have a first time experiencing seizures?

Does this person have difficulty breathing or waking up after the seizure?

Did the seizure last longer than 5 minutes?

Did this person have an additional seizure since the first one was over?

Did the patient suffer any injuries in the course of the seizures?

Did the seizure occur in the water?

Does this person suffer from chronic health issues like heart disease or diabetes or is she pregnant?

Does this person have an Emergency Medical Tag that I have to call for assistance in the event of seizures?

Bottom line

Many people were told that someone suffering from seizures could swallow their tongues, that’s absolutely not the case.

Be careful not to put anything into the mouth of someone who is having seizures because it could cause harm or the person.

Understanding what happens in seizures and knowing how to react can be a great aid for someone else in the future. Since seizures are very frequent, you could eventually be asked to assist.