Swallowing problems

Alternative names

Dysphagia - self-care

What to expect at home

Some people have a hard time swallowing foods or liquids. This is called dysphagia.

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 doctor if:


Kahrilas PJ, Pandolfino JE. Esophageal neuromuscular function and motility disorders. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 42.

Dysphagia. Rockville, MD. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders. October 2010. NIH publications 10-4307.

Review Date: 5/15/2014
Reviewed By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. 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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