What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a condition that refers to difficulty swallowing and takes more effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach, which can be painful or uncomfortable. In severe cases, swallowing may be impossible. Dysphagia can certainly impact one’s quality of life and can be experienced at any age; however, it is more common in older adults.
There are many different potential causes of dysphagia. If you experience this symptom once or twice, it is usually nothing to worry about. However, if it is a recurring problem, then it is important to contact a doctor.
Because there are so many different potential causes of dysphagia, treatment can vary depending on its underlying cause.
Symptoms and Complications of Dysphagia
Symptoms of dysphagia may include:
- Pain and discomfort while swallowing
- The sensation of food being stuck in the throat or chest
- Frequent throat clearing
- Dehydration from the inability to eat or drink
Causes of Dysphagia
Dysphagia is usually caused by a condition or illness that affects the muscles and nerves in the tongue, throat, and mouth. At-risk individuals are those who suffer from:
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
- Abnormal growths, structural changes, or tissue damage in the mouth or esophagus
- Disorders that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, etc.
- Allergies to food causing microscopic inflammation of the esophagus, otherwise known as eosinophilic esophagitis
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Muscle or nerve function that comes with aging
Contact Our Team to Speak to a GI Doctor in Thousand Oaks
If you are experiencing difficulty swallowing, then it is important to see a doctor. At the Gastroenterology Center of Thousand Oaks, our team is dedicated to helping our patients who experience dysphagia. Contact our team today to schedule a consultation with the best GI doctor in Thousand Oaks.