Dysphagia in Washington
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What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a term used to describe an individual's difficulty or inability to eat or drink food and liquid. There are several reasons why an individual may experience dysphagia. It may result from muscle spasms, failure to masticate (chew) their food thoroughly, or other internal problems. Dysphagia can also refer to the sensation of food feeling trapped in one's neck or chest. If you experience such symptoms and need treatment for dysphagia in Washington, help is available. Contact our experienced gastrointestinal providers at Washington Gastroenterology today to learn more regarding solutions we can offer to assist you in getting back to an improved life.
What causes dysphagia?
There are two variations of dysphagia, and the causes are unique for both types.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia involves difficulty starting to swallow. Neuromuscular factors are more common in this variety of dysphagia. This is because the muscles of the mouth, the back portion of your throat, and the upper esophagus directly connect with the brain. Nerves in these locations are not immune to damage, which can result in complications with swallowing.
Sometimes, narrowed areas in the esophagus (strictures) or tumors developing in the posterior side of the throat can cause you to have a hard time swallowing.
Esophageal dysphagia has numerous causes, a few of the most frequent include:
- Inflammation in the esophagus due to reflux
- Esophageal muscle weakness
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Esophageal scarring from acid reflux (GERD)
- Esophageal blockage due to a foreign body
- Achalasia (a condition where the lower esophageal sphincter can’t relax during swallowing because of a problem with nerve control)
- Spasms in the esophagus
What are the symptoms of dysphagia?
The most common symptoms and signs of dysphagia include (but are not limited to):
- Food or liquid regurgitates via your nose
- Excessive salivation
- Pain when swallowing
- Lack of ability to swallow
- Unwanted weight loss
- Coughing or gagging while swallowing
- The feeling that food is stuck in your chest or throat
- Food impaction (food getting stuck)
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Acid reflux
- Chest pain
Should you experience any symptoms of dysphagia or trouble swallowing, please call a Washington location in your community to connect with a GI specialist near you.
How is dysphagia treated?
At Washington Gastroenterology, we perform a variety of treatment options to help meet the personalized needs of our patients. Common treatments for dysphagia include:
- Practicing exercises to re-stimulate nerves that trigger the reflex of swallowing
- Learning different swallowing techniques
- Dilation of the esophagus
- Medications to reduce acid reflux, muscle relaxers, or corticosteroids
- A liquid diet or feeding tube (for severe cases)
Help your swallowing difficulties subside
If you are experiencing the symptoms of dysphagia in Washington, help is available. Request a consultation with a local digestive health specialist at Washington Gastroenterology immediately if you are experiencing any combination of the above-listed symptoms consistently. If weight loss or vomiting accompanies your swallowing difficulties, it is imperative to visit your provider without delay.
Very well organized and efficient clinic. The procedure and results were explained thoroughly and I appreciated the prompt call with the pathology results. My only complaint is not being able to get in more quickly for a follow up visit to address my continuing symptoms.
They always listen to my concerns and strive to find answers to any issues I face. The staff is very kind and knowledgeable.
I find Dr Mohan, thorough and will continue to resume medical tests with a solution.
I have a good experience and I like it, I liked the way you handle your client and I was very pleased
Great Doctor, very knowledgeable. Took her time to explain the process & results with me. And the staff was very welcoming.