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Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - Conditions & Treatments | SingHealth

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - Symptoms

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - How to prevent?

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of oropharyngeal dysphagia include:

  1. Neurological Disorders
    Patients who have suffered a previous stroke or spinal cord injury can have difficulty swallowing. Other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis can cause difficulty in swallowing.
  2. Cancer/Tumours
    The presence of certain cancers may cause difficulty in swallowing (e.g. tongue cancer). Additionally, patients who have undergone surgery or radiotherapy to the head and neck region may also develop difficulty swallowing.

Causes of oesophageal dysphagia include:

  1. Oesophageal Tumour
    Tumours in the oesophagus can cause obstruction. Difficulty swallowing is usually progressive and usually starts, with solid food and later as the tumour grows larger, liquids.
  2. Achalasia
    This is a condition where the lower oesophageal muscle (sphincter) fails to relax adequately to allow food to enter the stomach from the oesophagus.
  3. Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease
    When the muscle in the lower oesophagus (sphincter) is inappropriately lax, acid from the stomach can reflux back into the oesophagus. This can lead to spasm and even scarring and narrowing of the oesophagus.
  4. Oesophageal Stricture
    Narrowing in the oesophagus can be a result of scarring from repeated irritation by acid reflux from the stomach or other caustic substances, previous radiotherapy or previous procedures done.
  5. Connective Tissue Disease
    Connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma can sometimes cause hardening of the tissue in the oesophagus and cause it to become stiff. This can in turn cause difficulty in swallowing.
  6. Oesophageal Spasm
    In this condition, multiple involuntary poorly co-ordinated contractions of the oesophagus occur after swallowing.
  7. Foreign Body
    Objects that get lodged can block the passage of food down the oesophagus. This is seen more commonly in older people who may have difficulty chewing their food well and resultantly swallow a large piece of food bolus that gets lodged in the oesophagus.

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - Preparing for surgery

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - Post-surgery care

Dysphagia Difficulty in Swallowing - Other Information