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Trouble swallowing, also known as Dysphagia, is a common issue amongst all age groups. This is often an temporary and non life-threatening issue that can be treated easily.

What are the symptoms of Dysphagia?

  • Drooling
  • A feeling that food or liquid is sticking to the throat
  • Discomfort in the throat or chest
  • A sensation of a foreign body or “lump” in the throat
  • Weight loss and inadequate nutrition due to prolonged or more significant problems with swallowing
  • Coughing or choking caused by bits of food, liquid, or saliva not passing easily during swallowing, and being sucked into the lungs
  • Voice change

What Causes Swallowing Disorders?

Swallowing disorders can derive from a multitude of causes including a common cold or poor teeth. Other causes may include hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, stroke, progressive neurological disorder, the presence of a tracheotomy tube, a paralyzed or unmoving vocal cord, a tumor in the; mouth, throat, or esophagus, or surgery in the head, neck, or esophageal areas.

Swallowing problems can also be linked to some medications such as:

  • Nitrates
  • Anticholinergic agents found in certain antidepressants and allergy medications
  • Calcium tablets
  • Aspirin
  • Iron tablets
  • Vitamin C
  • Antipsychotic
  • Tetracycline (used to treat acne)

How is Dysphagia Treated?

  • Medication – These medications can include those aimed at slowing stomach acid production, muscle relaxants, and antacids.
  • Diet – Changes in diet such as eating a bland diet with smaller, more frequent meals may be suggested.
  • Elimination of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine.
  • Reduce weight and stress.
  • Avoid food within 3 hours of bedtime.
  • Elevate the head of the bed at night.

If you or a loved one suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, please contact one of our patient concierge at 817-332-4060 to schedule an appointment today!

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