Swallowing Problems

You come to a table with a beautiful spread of chicken, pizza, salad, and rolls to only find out you have dysphagia. Dysphagia has nothing to do with indigestion, but everything to do with swallowing. Swallowing is an involuntary action that comes naturally. When you eat, I’m sure you are not thinking about how the food is going to get into your stomach. It is a process that just happens. Some people are not able to enjoy such a wonderful dinner spread. Why is that? They have trouble swallowing. Dysphagia is not a disease but a symptom of another problem.

Swallowing is a complex process that happens in four phases:

The phases explain how the food goes from the table to your stomach. Let us take a journey with a slice of pizza to see how it ends up in your stomach.Dysphagia

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When it comes to conditions of the ears, nose and throat, it takes the skill and finesse of an experienced ENT Specialist | Otolaryngologist.

There are hundreds of Otolaryngologists to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat procedures take the skill and finesse of an experienced Otolaryngologist. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Otolaryngologists – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.

For your peace of mind, Top10MD Otolaryngologists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.

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Diseases Associated with Dysphagia

The process of swallowing is very detailed. Any malfunction in just one of those steps may result in dysphagia. The brain is a vital part of the process because it gives the body permission to swallow. Dysphagia results from a range of different diseases.  

Brain Diseases

Muscle Dysfunction as a result of:

Other Diseases:

Dysphagia is not limited to just these problems; these are some of the most common causes.

Food has a tendency to get stuck or cause choking. Anytime you have persistent choking; it can be a result of dysphagia. Other symptoms of dysphagia include the feeling of food being stuck in your throat. If the muscles are not contracting properly, food may sit in the pharynx or esophagus too long. Swallowing is not meant to be painful, and if it consistently results in pain, this too can be a sign of dysphagia. Pneumonia is not a disease that has the tendency to be recurrent. Recurrent pneumonia may be a sign that food and liquids are entering into the lungs. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk with your physician.

Diagnosing Dysphagia

There are multiple ways to diagnose dysphagia. One way is cineradiography. Cineradiography requires the use of a camera that takes internal pictures. Endoscopy is another tool used to diagnose dysphagia. Instead of using just a camera, a tube is placed down the throat, and it makes images that the physician can interpret. Manometry is a test that measures both the strength and timing of esophageal contractions as well as sphincter relaxation. One of the last forms of diagnosis is a pH test. This test is primarily for acid reflux diagnosis.

Treating Dysphagia

DysphagiaTreatment is dependent upon the cause of the dysphagia. Brain diseases have no cure; therefore,
dysphagia is unable to be treated. Some problems may resolve themselves without any treatment at all. Muscle related dysphagia may require therapy. For instance in the case of stroke, a specialist is needed to strengthen and retrain those muscles. Treatment may require a change in diet. Your food may have to be liquefied. If you are eating solids, you may have to eat slower and chew your food more thoroughly.

Dysphagia affects 1 in 17 people and nearly 10 million Americans total (Broward Health). If you are suffering from dysphagia, the good news is that you are not the only one. Dysphagia can have a negative effect on your health. Food is important for survival, and there are not many people I know that dislike eating. If you are suffering from dysphagia, talk with a physician. Do not continue to suffer from choking or esophagus pain. The sooner you speak with a physician, the sooner a diagnosis can be made. Get the help you need so you can continue to enjoy that tasty pizza.

FIND A TOP10MD ENT | OTOLARYNGOLOGIST NEAR YOU

When it comes to conditions of the ears, nose and throat, it takes the skill and finesse of an experienced ENT Specialist | Otolaryngologist.

There are hundreds of Otolaryngologists to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat procedures take the skill and finesse of an experienced Otolaryngologist. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Otolaryngologists – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.

For your peace of mind, Top10MD Otolaryngologists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.

Take Control of Your Health & Schedule a Consultation Today!

Find Your Swallowing Problems Specialist
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