Dysphagia in Tulsa, OK

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Dysphagia is described as the difficulty or inability to swallow food and liquid. There could be several factors that cause dysphagia. It could be a result of spasms in the muscle because your food was not chewed thoroughly or other internal situations. Dysphagia can also present as the sensation of food being stuck in your chest or neck. If you suspect you may be experiencing dysphagia or need treatment for dysphagia in Tulsa, OK, there is help available. Connect with our knowledgeable gastrointestinal provider at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location as soon as possible to so we can help you get back to your day-to-day life.

There are two variations of dysphagia, oropharyngeal and esophageal. The causes of dysphagia are unique to each variant.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia

When you experience trouble swallowing, you are likely experiencing oropharyngeal dysphagia. Neuromuscular causes are more common with this form of dysphagia. This is because the muscles found in the mouth, the back of the throat, and the upper esophagus directly communicate with the brain. Nerves in these structures can be damaged, causing problems with swallowing.

Sometimes, narrowed areas in the esophagus (strictures) or tumors growing in the back portion of the throat can cause trouble with swallowing.

Esophageal dysphagia

The condition referred to as esophageal dysphagia has many causes, some of the most common being:

  • Lack of esophageal muscle strength
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
  • Scarring in the esophagus from acid reflux (GERD)
  • Esophageal blockage due to a foreign body
  • Inflammation in the esophagus from acid reflux
  • Achalasia (the condition wherein the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is unable to relax during swallowing because of a problem with nerve control)
  • Esophageal spasms

Symptoms of dysphagia vary from person to person. The most common symptoms of dysphagia include (but are not limited to):

  • Food or liquid regurgitates via your nose
  • Lack of ability to swallow
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Gagging or coughing while swallowing
  • The feeling that food is stuck in your chest or throat
  • Food impaction (food getting stuck)
  • Pain in the chest
  • Drooling
  • Acid reflux
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Regurgitation
  • Unwanted weight loss

If you are displaying any of the symptoms of dysphagia listed above, please contact the nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location in Tulsa, OK to connect with a specialist.

At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, we perform a wide range of treatment options to help address our patient's individual needs. The most common treatments for dysphagia are:

  • Practicing exercises to re-stimulate nerves that initiate the reflex of swallowing
  • Practicing different swallowing techniques
  • Surgical intervention
  • Esophageal dilation
  • Medications for reduction of acid reflux, corticosteroids, or muscle relaxants
  • Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for extreme cases)
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If you or a member of your family are living with the symptoms of dysphagia in Tulsa, OK, help is available. It is important to visit your provider immediately if you are experiencing weight loss or vomiting in conjunction with difficulty swallowing. Request a consultation with a gastrointestinal specialist at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location at your earliest convenience.

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