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Difficulty Swallowing

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Difficulty Swallowing

An estimated 15 million people in the United States suffer from dysphagia.

Dysphagia is another term for difficulty swallowing or a feeling that something is stuck in your throat.

Dysphagia Causes:

Dysphagia can be caused by a variety of factors. It is usually temporary and a symptom of other ailments, such as post nasal drip, thick mucus, reflux, or infections. Dysphagia can also be caused by any condition that weakens or damages the nervous system, such as Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s disease, head injuries, or stroke. Cancer of the head, neck, or esophagus may also cause swallowing problems, and treatments for those types of cancers can also cause dysphagia.

Dysphagia Symptoms:

Dysphagia can be associated with:

  • Throat clearing
  • Drooling
  • Hoarseness
  • Heartburn
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Gagging

Dysphagia Treatment:

Treatment options for dysphagia depend on the severity of symptoms and underlying cause. Common treatment options include:

In rare cases of cancer or severe dysphagia, referral to the appropriate head and neck doctor will be made.

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Linda D. Dahl, MD