Nothing takes the enjoyment out of eating a hearty meal or taking down a refreshing drink quite like not being able to actually swallow it. Swallowing disorders or Dysphagia is a condition which is most likely to affect the elderly, babies, and those with nervous system or brain complications. It can range from having difficulty swallowing to being completely unable to swallow, depending on how advanced the condition is and where its root cause is. Having dysphagia obviously causes mild to severe discomfort when eating and drinking but it also leads to other medical problems such as malnutrition, dehydration and more serious complications such as recurrent pneumonia.
We all have incidents where we find it difficult to swallow because of swollen, painful tonsils, or after a visit to the dentist’s office, for example. However, when the incidents become a daily nuisance, it becomes necessary to see a throat doctor.
What causes Dysphagia?
It is very important to work on a case by case basis when trying to figure out the underlying cause of dysphagia in a patient. Knowing each individual’s medical history is very beneficial in making the diagnosis.
Some causes linked to the nervous system are:
Benign and malignant tumors in the mouth, throat, or esophagus can also interfere greatly with swallowing.
Our clinic has the best ear, nose, and throat doctors; they will examine each patient and discuss their medical history thoroughly before giving a final diagnosis. Endoscopies and/or biopsies may be required depending on each case.
Is there a treatment for dysphagia?
Treatment is possible for dysphagia depending on your diagnosis. dysphagia caused by strokes, for example, will most likely heal along with the stroke. Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis patients will be given medication in order to treat their swallowing complications and tumors will be removed. Some positions or strategies may be recommended to help the individual swallow more effectively. Also, trying specific foods and liquid textures may be suggested for easier and safer swallowing. There are as many possible treatments as there are causes, that is why it is important to visit a reputable throat doctor in Houston in order to get the best treatment possible for your specific case.