(Difficulty Swallowing [Esophagus])
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Esophageal dysphagia is a problem that happens with swallowing. It feels like food is stuck in the food pipe (esophagus). The esophagus is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.
Treatment can improve swallowing.
Esophageal dysphagia is caused by:
Things that raise the risk of esophageal dysphagia are:
Symptoms of esophageal dysphagia are:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will run tests to find the cause of swallowing problems. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on the cause. Options may be
There are no known guidelines to prevent esophageal dysphagia.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Dysphagia Research Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologist
Chilukuri P, Odufalu F, et al. Dysphagia. Mo Med. 2018;115(3):206-210.
Dysphagia. Cedars-Sinai website. Available at: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/d/dyphagia.html. Accessed July 30, 2021.
Dysphagia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/esophageal-dysphagia. Accessed July 30, 2021.
Dysphagia. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/esophageal-and-swallowing-disorders/dysphagia. Accessed July 30, 2021.
Swallowing disorders in adults. American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/Swallowing-Disorders-in-Adults. Accessed July 30, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 7/30/2021