Neurological Causes of Dysphagia

Dysphagia, otherwise known as a swallowing disorder, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort when swallowing or the inability to swallow. Swallowing is a very complex function of our body and is crucial to the health of our gastrointestinal system. Additionally, the throat allows us to ingest and serves as a respiratory function, so when there is a swallowing disorder that exists, not only is it painful, but it can also be life-threatening, too. 

There are two different categories of dysphagia, which are esophageal and oropharyngeal. Esophageal dysphagia is a condition characterized by the sensation of food lingering or getting stuck in the throat or chest after swallowing. On the other hand, oropharyngeal dysphagia refers to the decline of throat muscles that make swallowing difficult.

There are many different factors that can contribute to the cause of dysphagia--one of them being a neurological condition. The most common type of dysphagia caused by neurological conditions is oropharyngeal dysphagia.

Common Neurological Causes of Dysphagia

Some of the most common neurological causes of oropharyngeal dysphagia include:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Spine injury

There are many other types of degenerative neurological conditions that can contribute to dysphagia. If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulty swallowing or pain while swallowing, then it is best to consult with a highly experienced gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks. At the Gastroenterology Center of Thousand Oaks, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia. Feel free to contact our team to schedule a consultation to get the help you need.

Symptoms of Dysphagia Caused by Neurological Disorders

Patients who suffer from oropharyngeal dysphagia may experience a number of different symptoms when they attempt to swallow, including but not limited to:

  • Pain
  • Choking
  • Gagging
  • Coughing

If you experience any of the above symptoms when swallowing, then it is imperative that you schedule a consultation with our team who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia in Thousand Oaks. Contact our team to learn how we can help!

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