Difficulty swallowing can range from a minor annoyance, to a serious condition that impacts your health. Prolonged difficulty swallowing could lead to malnutrition if you are not able to swallow food properly. There are many treatment options available depending on the cause of your difficulty swallowing and your ENT specialist’s recommendation.
Difficulty swallowing that is caused by a problem with nerves, muscles, or brain signals could be improved with certain exercises. By working with a speech pathologist, exercises can retrain your brain and muscles to help you swallow properly. Changing your body position and how you eat can also improve your ability to swallow more efficiently.
If you have a narrow esophagus causing difficulty swallowing, you might benefit from treatment with dilation. During this treatment, a device will be inserted down into the esophagus and used to expand narrowed areas.
Removing a Blockage
Difficulty swallowing could be the result of an obstruction in the esophagus. In this case an endoscopy can be used to locate and remove the blockage with a long, thin scope. If there is a blockage in the esophagus that can’t be removed with endoscopy treatment, surgery might be required. This type of blockage could be caused by a tumor or diverticula.
Trouble swallowing can be the result of another condition such as GERD, heartburn, or esophagitis causing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Medication can be prescribed to treat these conditions and fix your swallowing difficulty. Medication can also be prescribed to treat difficulty swallowing due to an infection in the throat.
If you experience difficulty swallowing, an ENT specialist can assist you with finding the cause and the right treatment plan for you. If you are in the Tuscaloosa, AL area, contact our office today for more information or to schedule an appointment!