What is dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)?
Dysphagia, also known as difficulty swallowing, is the inability to swallow foods easily. When you have dysphagia, it can feel like you have to work extra hard to swallow, and it may even be painful. Persistent trouble swallowing normally indicates an underlying issue with the esophagus, mouth, or pharynx. Some causes of dysphagia include:
- Acid reflux and GERD
- Neck and throat masses
- Thyroid disease
- Neurological conditions (like stroke and ALS)
If you have been experiencing recurrent swallowing problems, please reach out to Cross Timbers ENT. Our specialists uncover the cause of dysphagia and provide treatment options for North Texas patients.
"Friendly staff, Marsha was wonderful getting me to the proper depts. for assistance. Greatly appreciate her immense help. She made the scheduling of my surgery a very pleasant and hassle free one. Victoria Prado"- P.H. / Google / May 26, 2021
"Knowledgeable and caring!"- B.L. / Google / May 26, 2021
"Was very personable and put me right at ease. Discussed all of my options and let me make the decisions."- Z.B. / Facebook / May 12, 2021
"I have had horrible allergies for years. Prior to coming to Crosstimbers ENT, I had as many as 5 sinus infections each year, which meant I had as many rounds of antibiotics prescribed by my GP. Since opting for a relationship with Crosstimbers, I have learned effective alternative methods of controlling my sinus issues. I still have allergies, but I haven't had a sinus infection in nearly 3 years. Thanks to Allergy Specialist, Jennifer Taylor, she has identified my allergies and she is doing an awesome job of helping me overcome my issues. Thanks Jennifer Taylor, Jennifer Paris and Dr Shellenberger."- D.B. / Google / May 12, 2021
"Jennifer Taylor is very professional and does and Outstanding job."- D.G. / Google / May 12, 2021
How is dysphagia identified and treated?
To diagnose dysphagia, your ENT professional will assess your symptoms and medical history, and an endoscope may be used to check your throat. Other diagnostic tests may include a barium swallow (esophagogram) test or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). From there, a personalized treatment plan will be created based on your diagnosis. If you have thyroid disease or a neck or throat mass, surgery may be needed. If the probable cause of dysphagia is acid reflux or GERD, we will start medications to reduce the reflux. For swallowing disorders linked to neurological conditions, you may need to work with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and start swallowing therapy. Your therapist can teach you special exercises to help coordinate the muscles and stimulate the nerves involved with swallowing.
see a doctor for dysphagia
If you deal with persistent trouble swallowing that affects your daily life, it's probably time to visit a specialist. The experts at Cross Timbers ENT provide patients with relief for dysphagia through innovative techniques and treatments. We offer convenient appointment times at our offices in Arlington, Mansfield, and Midlothian, TX. Schedule your visit today.