Have you recently noticed pain or difficulty when swallowing? When a person has trouble moving food or liquids down the esophagus, it is known as dysphagia. Without proper treatment, this condition can lead to malnutrition and frustrating disruptions to one’s normal routine. In advanced cases, a person may get to the point where they cannot swallow at all. Dysphagia can occur at any age, but it is most commonly seen in older adults. Douglas Anderson is an ENT specialist in Utah, who has over 25 years of experience treating patients with symptoms of dysphagia and choking.
Symptoms of Dysphagia and Choking
Some of the most common symptoms of swallowing disorders, like dysphagia and choking include:
· Sensation that food is stuck in your throat, chest, or behind the sternum
· Pain when swallowing, also known as odynophagia
· Drooling, coughing, or gagging while attempting to swallow
· Inability to swallow
· Experiencing frequent heartburn or regurgitation
· Being hoarse
· Avoiding certain foods because of difficulty swallowing
Diagnosis and Treatment of Dysphagia and Choking
Douglas Anderson, MD may use a variety of tests to diagnose your dysphagia and choking disorder, including an endoscopy, manometry, barium X-rays, and a swallowing evaluation. Depending on the cause of your swallowing disorder and its severity, your doctor may recommend several types of treatment.
Learning exercises and swallowing techniques: For certain types of dysphagia, your doctor may recommend exercises and swallowing techniques to coordinate swallowing muscles or stimulate swallowing nerves.
Medications: Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its associated swallowing problems may be prescribed an oral medication to reduce stomach acid. When dysphagia interferes with a person’s ability to get proper nutrition, their doctor may recommend a special liquid diet or a feeding tube.
Surgery: When the symptoms of dysphagia and choking are caused by a tumor, vocal cord paralysis, bony outgrowths, or a blockage, your doctor will want to remove the problem surgically.
Are you concerned that you may have a swallowing disorder? Reach out to our office to schedule your appointment with Douglas Anderson, MD in Ogden. He is here to get you back on track and relieve your uncomfortable symptoms.