Dysphagia or swallowing difficulties can often go unnoticed, because the underlying disease that causes this disorder is generally the focus during medical evaluation and treatment- such as stroke, head and neck cancer, brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, or other factors related to aging.
Although many patients describe dysphagia as the sensation of difficulty swallowing, the way each person experiences it depends on where the problem originates: in the mouth or throat.
If you experience any of the following signs when swallowing food, you should consult a healthcare professional (doctor, nurse, dietitian, speech therapist, pharmacist, etc.) to do a complete examination.
Other less obvious symptoms of a swallowing problem are:
- The need to crush food or thicken water and drinks to be able to swallow them.
- Eliminating certain foods from the diet due to difficulties swallowing them.
- Unintentional weight loss.
Be sure to consult a healthcare professional if you detect any signs or symptoms of dysphagia.
Use the EAT-10 tool to measure the severity of dysphagia symptoms.
- American Speech-Language Hearing Association: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/Swallowing-Disorders-in-Adults/