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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
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Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Dysphagia

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Overview

Dysphagia is defined as having difficulty moving food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Here, we are most concerned with swallowing disorders that develop in the mouth and throat. Patients who complain of food sticking in the chest are usually referred to gastroenterologists (digestive tract specialists).

7Common Symptoms

  • Coughing or choking while eating solid food or drinking
  • Liquids going down the wrong way
  • Food getting stuck in the throat
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Food or liquid coming out the nose while eating or drinking
  • Difficulty swallowing medications
  • Taking a long time to eat

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because swallowing disorders can have such a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life, we look for the underlying cause while teaching you exercises to help you swallow. Some of the most common causes are neurological conditions (such as Parkinsons and ALS), cancer of the head and neck, and respiratory diseases (such as emphysema). See below for treatment options.


Meet Our Team

We bring together physicians, speech-language pathologists, and other healthcare professionals to provide treatment to patients suffering from voice and throat disorders. Collectively, we are among the world’s most experienced – and most successful – laryngology, voice, and speech teams.


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