Esophageal dysphagia is a condition that affects the swallowing process and causes discomfort or difficulty in swallowing. It occurs when the esophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach, doesn’t function properly. This can lead to food or liquids getting stuck in the esophagus, or they may move too slowly into the stomach.
Symptoms of Esophageal Dysphagia
The following are the common symptoms of esophageal dysphagia:
Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) – This is the most common symptom of esophageal dysphagia. The patient may feel like food or liquids are stuck in the throat or chest, or they may have a choking sensation.
Painful swallowing (odynophagia) – This is another common symptom of esophageal dysphagia. The patient may experience a burning or sharp pain in the chest, neck, or throat while swallowing.
Regurgitation – This is when food or liquids come back up into the mouth. It may be accompanied by a sour or bitter taste.
Chest pain – This is a less common symptom of esophageal dysphagia. Chest pain may occur along with difficulty swallowing or regurgitation.
Unintended weight loss – This may occur if the patient is unable to eat enough food due to dysphagia.
Coughing or choking while eating or drinking – This is a common symptom of esophageal dysphagia, especially if food or liquids are getting stuck in the esophagus.
Treatment for Esophageal Dysphagia
The treatment for esophageal dysphagia depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Some of the treatments for esophageal dysphagia include:
Medications – Antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and other medications can help to manage the symptoms of esophageal dysphagia.
Endoscopic procedures – Endoscopy is a procedure that involves the use of a flexible tube with a camera attached to it. The endoscope is inserted into the esophagus to diagnose the underlying cause of esophageal dysphagia. Some common endoscopic procedures include dilation, stent placement, and removal of a foreign body.
Surgery – In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat esophageal dysphagia. The type of surgery will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, a fundoplication procedure may be performed to tighten the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus.
Lifestyle changes – Making some simple lifestyle changes can help to manage the symptoms of esophageal dysphagia. For example, eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding large, heavy meals, and avoiding lying down after eating can help to reduce the symptoms of dysphagia.
Esophageal dysphagia is a condition that affects the swallowing process and causes discomfort or difficulty in swallowing. The symptoms of esophageal dysphagia include difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing, regurgitation, chest pain, unintended weight loss, and coughing or choking while eating or drinking. The treatment for esophageal dysphagia depends on the underlying cause of the condition and may include medications, endoscopic procedures, surgery, and lifestyle changes. If you are experiencing symptoms of esophageal dysphagia, it is important to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.