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?
- 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:
- Anticholinergic agents found in certain antidepressants and allergy medications
- Calcium tablets
- Iron tablets
- Vitamin C
- 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!