Swallowing problems

Description

Difficulty with swallowing is the feeling that food or liquid is stuck in the throat or at any point before the food enters the stomach. This problem is also called dysphagia.

This may be caused by a brain or nerve disorder, stress or anxiety, or problems that involve the tube leading from your throat to your stomach-the esophagus.

Alternative Names

Dysphagia - self-care

What to Expect at Home

Symptoms of swallowing problems include:

Symptoms may be mild or severe.

Home Care

Most people with dysphagia should be checked by a health care provider. But these general tips may help.

You may need someone to remind you to finish swallowing. It may also help to ask caregivers and family members not to talk to you when you are eating or drinking.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if:

References

Brown DJ, Lefton-Greif MA, Ishman SL. Aspiration and swallowing disorders. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 209.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders. Dysphagia. Rockville, MD. October 2010. NIH publications 13-4307. Updated March 9, 2016. www.nidcd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/health/voice/NIDCD-Dysphagia.pdf. Accessed May 28, 2016.

Pandolfino JE, Kahrilas PJ. Esophageal neuromuscular function and motility disorders. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 43.


Review Date: 5/11/2016
Reviewed By: Subodh K. Lal, MD, gastroenterologist with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, Austell, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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