Swallowing disorders, also known as dysphagia, are conditions whereby one takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Dysphagia can impact both health and quality of life if not addressed in a timely manner.
There are certain conditions that can cause swallowing disorders. These include:
Damage to the brain or nerves as a result of:
Problems with the head, neck, or esophagus, such as:
There are two main types of dysphagia:
During the diagnosis of swallowing disorders, the specialist will:
The type of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the swallowing disorder. The treatment options include:
The specialist can assist in improving your swallowing skills through:
Swallowing disorders, also known as dysphagia, are conditions that affect the ability to swallow food or liquid safely and efficiently. It can occur at any stage of swallowing, from the mouth to the throat and esophagus.
The symptoms of swallowing disorders can vary depending on the underlying cause and the stage of swallowing affected. Common symptoms include coughing or choking during or after swallowing, sensation of food getting stuck in the throat or chest, pain or discomfort while swallowing, regurgitation of food or liquids, weight loss, and recurrent respiratory infections.
The outcome of treating swallowing disorders depends on the underlying cause and individual factors. In some cases, swallowing disorders can be managed effectively, allowing individuals to eat and drink with minimal difficulties. However, for some underlying conditions, such as progressive neurological disorders, swallowing difficulties may be chronic and require ongoing management.
It is advisable to seek medical attention if you are experiencing persistent or worsening difficulties with swallowing, coughing or choking during or after swallowing, unexplained weight loss, or recurrent respiratory infections. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, conduct appropriate tests, and provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.