Phone: 818.986.5500

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Swallowing Disorders

What diseases can cause swallowing problems?

A wide range of diseases cause swallowing problems, including:

  • Dysfunction of the swallowing muscles in the mouth and throat
  • Narrowing of the esophagus (the food tube) due to tumor or gastric acid reflux
  • Diseases of the brain affecting motor control such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
  • Loss of sphincter muscle relaxation (achalasia)

What are the symptoms of a swallowing problem?

Patients with swallowing problems exhibit the following:

  • Frequent choking
  • Pain during swallowing
  • Recurring respiratory infections

How are swallowing problems diagnosed?

If you have a swallowing problem, your doctor needs to determine first where exactly the problem is, whether it is in the mouth, the throat or the esophagus. In addition, several tests are used to evaluate a swallowing problem:

  • Endoscopy. An endoscope is passed down the esophagus, allowing viewing of the insides of the throat and esophagus on a screen for the doctor to evaluate.
  • Manometry. A test that measures esophageal contractions.
  • Cineradiography. The patient is filmed using an X-ray machine with video-recording capacity while swallowing a liquid preparation visible under X-ray (for example barium).

When do I need to see a doctor?

If you are having trouble with swallowing, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Patients with swallowing problems face the risk of respiratory problems as well, so delaying treatment may only further complicate this problem. Food getting caught in the respiratory tract also causes complete obstruction of the airways, which is a medical emergency and may result in death.

For innovative, state-of-the art facial plastic and ENT surgical care, come to SoCal ENT. To schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Namazie, please call us at 818.986.5500, or you can use our online Request an Appointment form.

 

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