Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, occurs when it takes additional effort to move liquids and foods from your mouth to your stomach — an act that most of us tend to take for granted — or are experiencing pain when swallowing. In the most extreme of cases, you may not be able to swallow at all.
Causes of Swallowing Difficulties
Dysphagia can be caused by a number of ailments, including throat blockage, acid reflux, tumors, nervous system disorders, and more.
Though it is not uncommon for swallowing difficulties to subside on their own, if you are someone who is experiencing chronic dysphagia, the most important thing you can do is to see a throat specialist. Leaving your dysphagia untreated can cause additional health issues, such as dehydration and malnutrition. Additionally, you might be overlooking more extreme diagnoses, such as an unidentified throat tumor or neurological disorder.
Our team of throat specialists are experts in the causes, treatment, and diagnosis of dysphagia, and can create a personalized treatment plan based on your specific experience of swallowing difficulties.
Symptoms of Swallowing Difficulties
- Inability to swallow
- Pain while swallowing
- Excessive clearing of the throat
- The feeling of food getting stuck in your throat or chest
- Chronic heartburn
Treatment of Swallowing Difficulties
Treatment of swallowing difficulties will vary depending on the type and cause of your condition. Though dysphagia often temporary, there are a series of tests and better swallowing techniques that can be employed to help you lead a more normal and comfortable way of life.
Simple Tips to Reduce Swallowing Difficulties
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take smaller bites of food while eating
- Chew slowly and carefully
The first and best step in reducing your swallowing difficulties is to seek professional help. If you have swallowing concerns for yourself or a loved one, please call our practice today. We’d love to help you.