Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment of Difficulty Swallowing CMC

Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, is a symptom that can result from various underlying causes and related conditions

Common Causes of Difficulty Swallowing

  1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus can cause irritation and difficulty swallowing.
  2. Esophageal Stricture: Narrowing of the esophagus due to scar tissue, often caused by chronic acid reflux, can obstruct the passage of food.
  3. Achalasia: A disorder in which the lower esophageal sphincter fails to relax, making it difficult for food to enter the stomach.
  4. Esophageal Tumors: Benign or malignant growths in the esophagus can obstruct the passage and cause swallowing difficulties.
  5. Neuromuscular Disorders: Conditions like muscular dystrophy or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can affect the muscles used for swallowing.
  6. Stroke: Damage to the brain or nerves involved in swallowing can result in dysphagia.
  7. Zenker’s Diverticulum: A pouch that forms in the throat can trap food and cause difficulty swallowing.
  8. Pharyngeal or Esophageal Spasms: Uncontrolled muscle contractions in the throat or esophagus can lead to swallowing problems.
  9. Medications: Some drugs can cause dry mouth or muscle weakness, contributing to dysphagia.
  10. Infections: Conditions like thrush or candidiasis in the throat can make swallowing painful and difficult.

Difficulty Swallowing
Proper evaluation of difficulty swallowing often involves a medical history, physical examination, imaging studies (barium swallow, endoscopy), and sometimes a swallowing evaluation with a speech-language pathologist. Clemenceau Medical Center Hospital offers specialized care to diagnose and manage the specific condition causing dysphagia, ensuring appropriate treatment and relief for patients. Early diagnosis is crucial to address any underlying medical conditions and improve swallowing function.

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