Dysphagia - Symptoms

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Besides difficulty in swallowing, what other symptoms did you experience with dysphagia?

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Swallowing-related symptoms

With neurological problems, there may be difficulty initiating a swallow because the bolus cannot be propelled by the tongue into the throat. Elderly individuals with dentures may not chew their food well and therefore swallow large pieces of solid food that get stuck. (Nevertheless, this usually occurs when there is an additional problem within the pharynx or esophagus such as a stricture.)

The most common swallowing symptom of dysphagia, however, is the sensation that swallowed food is sticking, either in the lower neck or the chest. If food sticks in the throat, there may be coughing or choking with expectoration of the swallowed food. If food enters the larynx, more severe coughing and choking will be provoked. If the soft palate is not working and doesn't properly seal off the nasal passages, foodparticularly liquids--can regurgitate into the nose with the swallow. Sometimes, food may come back up into the mouth immediately after being swallowed.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: MJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I have noticed over the past two years, that sometimes when I am eating and I swallow, it feels like it is caught in my throat. I stop, totally empty my mouth, and relax my throat as much as I can. I take sips of liquid, even though it is painful to go down, and if I do swallow it feels like my throat is closing up and is tight. Finally, after a minute or so it stops. Then I can eat normally. For the past 10 years I have taken Excedrin every day, which does contain aspirin.

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Comment from: Mag, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I have been diagnosed with GERD and have a Schatzki's ring, which results in a narrowing of the esophagus. My dysphagia symptoms usually happen when eating chunky things like bagel or steak. It feels like it gets stuck and is quite painful. I have to stop eating, and can get some relief by sticking my finger down my throat to force vomiting. Symptoms can last 30 to 45 minutes. Long lasting relief can be had by having a gastroenterologist do a dilation (stretching) of the narrowed part of the esophagus. I have this done every 2 to 3 years.

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