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EAR, NOSE AND THROAT

Swallowing Disorders

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

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 mucous, 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:

  • Cleansing diets or diet change

  • Allergy treatments (hyperlink)

  • Supplements

  • Medications

 

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

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