Dysphagia describes a fairly common symptom that produces difficult or painful swallowing. There are a wide variety of causes that can be benign or malignant. Serious disorders are less common, however, early diagnosis is essential if the disease is to adequately treated..
Causes of Dysphagia
Causes may be: foreign object lodging at back of throat, a scratch in the throat lining caused by a foreign object, insufficient production of saliva, esophageal spasm (loss of normal muscle movement of the esophagus), tumors (benign or cancer), stricture (narrowing of the passage), inflammation (esophagitis), infections, in children, malformation, delayed maturation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, hernia of part of the esophagus, nervous system disorder (stroke, myasthenia gravis) and outside pressure on the esophagus possibly caused by a goiter or aortic aneurysm.
Signs and Symptoms of Dysphagia
Symptoms of dysphagia include pain with swallowing and a feeling that food gets stuck in the throat. These symptoms may progress over several weeks. Choking or regurgitation of food can occur. There may be pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. If dysphagia leads to aspiration, some of the materials in the mouth or esophagus may gain access to the lungs. This will lead to infections with cough, fever, chest pain and productive sputum.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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