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Difficulty in swallowing


What do you mean by Difficulty swallowing?

Difficulty swallowing refers to the condition in which a person is not able to swallow foods or liquids with ease. In this condition, one may even choke on their food or liquids while trying to swallow. It is also known as Dysphagia. It usually occurs in babies, older adults or people with brain or nervous system disorders.

What are the cause of Difficulty in swallowing?

Difficulty in swallowing may occur due to following reasons:

  • Stroke/brain or spinal cord injury
  • Problems with nervous system – Post polio syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease
  • Problems with immune system – Polymyositis, dermatomyositis
  • Esophageal spasm
  • Scleroderma
  • GERD
  • Esophagitis
  • Diverticula
  • Esophagealtumor
  • Masses outside esophagus – lymph nodes, tumor, bone spurs
What are the symptoms of Difficulty in swallowing?

The most common symptoms of Difficulty in swallowing are:

  • Unable to swallow food or liquids in first go
  • Choking or cough when you try to swallow food
  • Feeling pain while swallowing
  • Sensation that something is stuck in your throat/chest
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of weight because of inability to eat food
How can Difficulty in swallowing be treated?

The treatment for Difficulty swallowing depends on the location where you have problem. The doctor may also treat the underlying cause to help relieve the symptoms. The various treatment options include:

  • Swallowing therapy
  • Dietary changes
  • Feeding tubes
  • Medications
  • Botox injections
  • Surgery (in severe cases)