If you have a swallowing disorder, you may have difficulty swallowing and may also have pain while swallowing. Some people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble swallowing liquids, foods or saliva. This makes it hard to eat. Often, it can be difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish your body.
Anyone can have a swallowing disorder, but it is more likely in the elderly. Swallowing problems often happen because of other conditions, including
Medicines can help some people, while others may need surgery. Swallowing treatment with a speech-language pathologist can help. You may find it helpful to change your diet or hold your head or neck in a certain way when you eat. In very serious cases, people may need feeding tubes.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
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References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 23 July 2008
Topic last reviewed: 12 July 2008