Do you experience pain while swallowing? Do you choke or cough while swallowing? You might be showing signs of dysphagia! When dysphagia is not treated immediately, it can lead to weight problems, dehydration and pneumonia. To treat dysphagia, you should know its symptoms. What are the symptoms of dysphagia? Read on…
Dysphagia is a condition in which a person faces difficulty in swallowing. When a person experiences difficulty in swallowing at a few instances, it is not a cause of concern. A person can experience difficulty in swallowing when he chews too fast or doesn’t chew food well enough for swallowing. The problem arises when the person experiences difficulty in swallowing frequently.
There are 2 types of dysphagia:
- Esophageal dysphagia: In oesophageal dysphagia the person gets a sensation of food hung up at the base of the throat or at the point he has swallowed his food.
- Oropharyngeal dysphagia: In Oropharyngeal dysphagia, the throat muscles get weakened which leads to difficulty in swallowing.
What are the symptoms of dysphagia?
The symptoms of dysphagia are as follows:
- Pain while swallowing
- Pain in chest
- Unexpected weight loss
- Foods come up after its swallowed
What causes esophageal dysphagia?
Esophageal dysphagia is caused due to following conditions:
- Foreign object: When food or foreign object partially blocks the esophagus, it can lead to esophageal dysphagia. This is usually seen in older people with dentures.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): When acid from stomach moves up to the esophagus, it can lead to spasm or narrowing of lower esophagus, it results in esophageal dysphagia.
- Esophageal tumors: When esophageal tumors are present in the esophagus, it can lead to esophageal dysphagia.
What causes oropharyngeal dysphagia?
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is caused due to following conditions:
- Cancer: When a person suffers from cancer and takes treatment for cancer, he can face oropharyngeal dysphagia.
- Neurological disorders: Disorders like sclerosis, muscular dystrophy etc can lead to oropharyngeal dysphagia.
- Neurological damage: Neurological damages like stroke or spinal cord injury can lead to oropharyngeal dysphagia.
What are the risk factors of dysphagia?
The factors that increase the risk of dysphagia are as follows:
- Age: As a person grows old his esophagus can wear and tear that can cause difficulty in swallowing. Conditions like stroke, Parkinson’s diseases etc can also cause difficulty in swallowing.
- Certain disorders: Certain neurological or nervous system disorders can cause difficulty in swallowing.
What happens when dysphagia is ignored?
When a person ignores dysphagia he can get serious complications like the following:
- Weight loss: When a person suffers from difficulty in swallowing food, he might avoid consuming food. This will lead to malnutrition and it will subsequently lead to weight loss and dehydration.
- Respiratory issues: If the food swallowed by a person mistakenly enters his airway and if he still tries to swallow his food, he might suffer from pneumonia and upper respiratory infections.
If you ignore dysphagia, it can lead to pneumonia, hence if you suffer from any of the symptoms of dysphagia; consult a speech pathology doctor at eVaidya now!
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