Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing is a symptom of many different medical conditions. These conditions can include nervous system và brain disorders, muscle disorders, and physical blockages in the throat. Treatment for swallowing issues varies depending on the cause of the issue, but can include antibiotics, changes to your eating habits and sometimes surgery.
Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that is often noted in stroke survivors. It can affect the oral and/or pharyngeal phase of swallowing.

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What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia is simply defined as a swallowing disorder. It can occur in any of the three phases of swallowing:


Dysphagia is often noted in stroke survivors and can affect the oral and/or pharyngeal phase of swallowing. The patient may cough or choke while attempting lớn swallow saliva, liquids, or food. A speech-language pathologist often assesses a patient’s ability khổng lồ swallow in order lớn determine the risk of aspiration, (food or liquid going into the lungs) which potentially may lead to lớn a lung infection or pneumonia.

Stroke survivors are at risk for silent aspiration. Silent aspiration is when food and liquid enter into the lungs without any coughing or choking. In these patients, there are no outward signs or symptoms of a swallowing problem.

What does it mean lớn have sầu difficulty swallowing?

When we swallow, many muscles & nerves work together to get food or drink from our mouths inkhổng lồ our stomachs. Trouble with swallowing can originate anywhere in the mouth, throat or esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube in your throat that carries food & water lớn your stomach.

Swallowing problems can be mild or severe. The treatment varies depending on what’s causing the problem. Sometimes, doctors can prescribe medication lớn help you swallow. If you’re unable to swallow anything at all, you may need a feeding tube lớn get the nourishment you need.

Possible Causes

What can cause difficulty swallowing?

Many disorders, diseases & conditions can cause trouble swallowing. Doctors separate swallowing problems into lớn three types:

Oral cavity dysphagia: The problem is in the mouth. Typical causes include tongue weakness after stroke, difficulty chewing food or neuromuscular problems.Oropharyngeal dysphagia: The problem is in the throat. This can be a result of a neurological or muscular problem.Esophageal dysphagia: This is a problem of the esophagus. This can be caused when something blocks or compresses the esophagus, there’s a muscular disorder or there are pouches in the esophagus.

What conditions can cause swallowing problems?

Possible causes of swallowing difficulties can include:

Care & Treatment

How is dysphagia diagnosed?

Diagnostic tests for swallowing disorders vary. Typical tests include:

Flexible laryngoscopy: This demo is done by an ENT (ear, nose and throat) speciadanh mục. It involves placing a small scope in your nose & looking at your throat & vocal cords.Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES): Performed by a speech therapist, this thử nghiệm involves passing a small camera inkhổng lồ your nose & feeding you dyed liquids and food khổng lồ see how you are swallowing. During the test, your provider will also look to see if the food is getting into lớn your airway (aspiration).Modified barium swallow: During this thử nghiệm, a speech therapist gives you different foods và liquids lớn chew & swallow. The food will be covered with barium, a minty tasting liquid or pasty material. Barium allows images of your mouth, throat & esophagus khổng lồ be seen on X-ray images. The speech therapist will tell you when to chew & swallow and the radiologist will take X-ray images while you’re swallowing.

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Esophagram: In this thử nghiệm, you drink barium & the radiologist takes pictures of your esophagus.Esophagoduodenoscopy (EGD) or upper endoscopy: This kiểm tra involves a healthcare provider called a gastroenterologist (GI) who places a scope down your throat. The scope continues down your throat, inkhổng lồ your esophagus & down into your stomach. This demo is used to lớn look for any narrowing, tumors or Barrett’s esophagus.

How is dysphagia treated?

Treatment for difficulty swallowing depends on the cause và severity of the problem. Your treatment might include:

Medication và lifestyle changes: Treatment for GERD includes drugs to control acid reflux. Your doctor may also recommkết thúc changing your diet and eating habits.Other medical therapy: If a neurological condition makes it difficult for you khổng lồ swallow, your doctor can offer solutions. Your options might include botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections lớn relieve muscle spasms or surgery khổng lồ enlarge the esophagus.

What kinds of rehabilitation help with swallowing problems?

Some people find rehabilitation helpful. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can teach you exercises to lớn strengthen your swallowing muscles. To swallow safely, your SLPhường may recommend:

Changing how you eat and drink: Your therapist will guide you lớn take smaller bites and chew food thoroughly. You may need lớn add a special thickening powder to your drinks, since watery liquids can be tough lớn swallow.Sitting upright while eating: To reduce the risk of choking, your therapist will show you the best way to sit while eating. You can also learn to tilt your head to lớn make swallowing easier. These techniques reduce the risk of liquid getting inkhổng lồ your airway (aspiration).Clearing your throat: Therapists can teach you how lớn clear your throat with a little cough if liquid or a small piece of food gets stuchồng.

Will I need a feeding tube for difficulty swallowing?

If you can’t get enough of the vitamins & nutrients you need, you are losing significant amounts of weight, or if you have a high risk of choking, your doctor may recommkết thúc a feeding tube. This medical device delivers nutrients directly khổng lồ your intestines or your stomach. Your doctor will discuss your options with you.

When to lớn Hotline the Doctor

When should I Call giamcanherbalthin.com doctor about difficulty swallowing?

You should see your doctor to lớn determine the cause of your swallowing difficulties. hotline a doctor right away if you’re also having trouble breathing or think something might be stuchồng in your throat. If you have sầu sudden muscle weakness or paralysis và can’t swallow at all, call 911 or go khổng lồ the emergency room.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps tư vấn our mission. We vị not endorse non-Clevel& Clinic products or services.Policy

Clevelvà Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps tư vấn our mission. We vị not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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