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Swallowing Disorder

swallowing painDysphagia

A swallowing problem (dysphagia) makes eating and drinking harder to do. Dysphagia is a disorder that can be described as difficulty getting food from the mouth to the stomach safely. Choking and loss of food may be more likely when you have dysphagia. This often happens due to a lack of control over food or liquid, secondary weakness in the facial muscles or tongue.

Symptoms of swallowing disorders may include:

  • Drooling
  • A feeling that food or liquid is sticking in the throat
  • Discomfort in the throat or chest (when gastroesophageal reflux is present)
  • 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

A fiberoptic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) test is used to see if you have dysphagia. During the FEES test, a thin, flexible tool called an endoscope is thread through your nose and down your throat. Parts of your throat are viewed as you swallow.