(Dysphagia, Esophageal; Difficulty Swallowing [Esophagus])
by Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
Dysphagia refers to difficulties during the swallowing process. Esophageal dysphagia occurs when swallowing problems happen in the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that transports food from the throat to the stomach
A number of conditions can cause esophageal dysphagia, such as:
Risk Factors TOP
Many conditions and factors may increase your risk of esophageal dysphagia, like:
Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests will be done to assess your swallowing function. These may include:
Your throat may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
Your esophageal muscles may be tested. This can be done with an esophageal manometry test.
Treatment depends on the cause, but may include:
You can reduce your risk by getting early treatment for any related condition, like GERD.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Dysphagia Research Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologist
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Font J, Underbrink M. Esophageal dysphagia. University of Texas Medical Branch website. Available at: http://www.utmb.ed... . Published February 6, 2008. Accessed August 14, 2013.
Palmer J, Drennan J, Baba M. Evaluation and treatment of swallowing impairments. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 15;61(8):2453-62. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000415/2453.html . Accessed August 14, 2013.
Last reviewed August 2013 by Daus Mahnke, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 8/14/2013