Difficulty with swallowing is the feeling that food or liquid is stuck in the throat or at any point before the food enters the stomach. This problem is also called dysphagia.
This may be caused by a brain or nerve disorder, stress or anxiety, or problems that involve the esophagus, the tube leading from your throat to your stomach.
Dysphagia - self-care
What to Expect at Home
Symptoms of swallowing problems include:
Symptoms may be mild or severe.
Most people with dysphagia should be checked by a health care provider if the symptoms persist or come back. But these general tips may help.
You may need someone to remind you to finish swallowing. It may also help to ask caregivers and family members not to talk to you when you are eating or drinking.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your provider if:
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Matsuo K, Palmer JB. Dysphagia. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 129.
Pandolfino JE, Kahrilas PJ. Esophageal neuromuscular function and motility disorders. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 43.
Review Date: 4/18/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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