Dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, may cause difficulty or pain when swallowing. Some people are unable to swallow at all. It is also possible for others to have trouble swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva. It is difficult to eat because of this. Consequently, the body often struggles to get enough calories and fluid to function properly.
A swallowing disorder can affect anyone, but it is more common in older adults.
The condition is mostly secondary to other health conditions like:
- Disorders of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy
- An oesophageal problem, such as GERD or acid reflux.
- Having a stroke
- Injuries to the head or spinal cord
- Head, neck, or oesophageal cancer
Treatment depends on the cause and degree of dysphagia. In some cases, medicines can help, while in others, surgery may be necessary. Speech-language pathologists can assist with swallowing treatment. Eating in a certain way or changing your diet might help. The need for feeding tubes may be necessary in very serious cases.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about swallowing disorders, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/swallowing-problems-dysphagia/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych