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Dysphagia is a term used to describe someone’s inability or difficulty to swallow food or liquid. There are several reasons why someone might experience dysphagia. It might be due to muscle spasms, because they didn’t chew their food well enough, or other internal issues. Dysphagia can also refer to the sensation of food being stuck in the neck or chest.
There are two different types of dysphagia and the cause is unique for both types.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is difficulty starting a swallow. Neuromuscular causes are more common with this type of dysphagia. This is due to the fact that the muscles of the mouth, back of your throat, and upper esophagus have direct connections with the brain and these nerves can be damaged causing complications.
Sometimes strictures (narrowed areas in the esophagus), or tumors growing in the back of the throat can cause you to have a hard time swallowing.
Esophageal dysphagia has many various causes, some of the most common being:
The most common symptoms and signs of dysphagia include:
Schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist today if you experience any combination of the above symptoms regularly. It is important to see your doctor if weight loss, or vomiting accompanies your difficulty swallowing.
The most common treatments for dysphagia include:
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