Swallowing Disorders


CONDITIONS

Swallowing Disorders

Swallowing disorders, or dysphagia, are a group of conditions that cause difficulty and pain while trying to swallow food or fluid. Common symptoms include coughing during or right after eating or drinking, food getting stuck in the esophagus, hoarseness, regurgitation, frequent heartburn and gagging. Due to these symptoms, patients may have poor nutrition and dehydration; they also have an increased risk of developing pneumonia and lung disease due to food or liquid entering the airway (aspiration). Swallowing disorders can sometimes be caused by congenital abnormalities, a constricted esophagus, an esophageal blockage or growth, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Treatments may include speech therapy, diet and nutrition counseling, medication and possibly surgery if the disorder is caused by a severe condition.
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