What To Do If You Have Trouble Swallowing

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.
Sanjeev Balamohan, M.D.

Difficulty swallowing, also known as dysphagia, can impair an individual’s normal daily functioning of eating solid foods, drinking liquids, and swallowing saliva the body produces. Dysphagia can be felt as a lump in the throat, coughing when swallowing, or pain when swallowing. When this involuntary body control is impaired, it can result in weight loss, lack of nutrition, and dehydration.

Dysphagia may develop from the following:

  • common cold
  • esophageal reflux
  • mouth/throat cancer
  • thyroid disease
  • stroke
  • progressive neurological disorder
  • trauma to vocal cords
  • certain medications (i.e., calcium tables, aspirin, iron tables, vitamin C, just to name a few)

To determine the cause and prevent nutrition issues, an appointment with an ENT specialist is recommended. Our ENT doctors will perform a thorough exam of the mouth and throat to determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment. Sometimes, further tests such as a formal swallow study is recommended. Treatments can include medication, lifestyle changes, swallowing therapy and/or surgery.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, please schedule an appointment with us today so we can determine the underlying cause and create a treatment plan. Schedule your appointment at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center today. Call 847-685-1000

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