Symtoms and Treatments for Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

Difficulty in swallowing (Dysphagia) is common among all age groups, especially the elderly. When the difficulty does not clear up by itself, in a short period of time, you should be an Otolaryngologist.

Causes of Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

Any interruption in the swallowing process can cause difficulties.

  • It may be due to simple causes such as poor teeth, ill-fitting dentures, or a common cold.
  • One of the most common causes of Dysphagia is Gastroesophageal Reflux. This occurs when stomach acid moves up the esophagus to the pharynx causing discomfort.
  • Other causes may include Stroke, Progressive Neurologic Disorder, the presence of a Tracheostomy tube, a tumor in the mouth, throat or esophagus or surgery in the head, neck or esophageal areas.

Dysphagia Symptoms May Include

  • Drooling
  • A feeling that food or liquid in sticking in the throat
  • Discomfort in the throat or chest
  • A sensation of a foreign body or “lump” in the throat
  • Weight loss and inadequate nutrition due to prolonged or more significant problems with swallowing
  • Coughing or choking caused by bits of food, liquid or saliva not passing easily during swallowing and being sucked into the lungs

Treatment of Dysphagia

Many of these disorders can be treated with medication. Drugs that slow stomach acid production, muscle relaxants and antacids are a few of the many medicines available.

Treatment is tailored to the particular cause of the swallowing disorder. The Speech- Language Pathologist may make recommendations that include therapy for your swallowing and/or diet modifications.

North Carolina EENT has offices in Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill for treatment of Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

Contact us today!  Make an appointment at one of our nearby offices, to discuss treatment options.