Swallowing Disorders

Learn About Swallowing Disorders from Albany’s Top Ear Nose & Throat Doctor

Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) is common among all age groups, especially the elderly. This may be caused by many factors, most of which are temporary and not threatening. Difficulties in swallowing rarely represent a more serious disease though when the difficulty does not clear up by itself in a short period of time, you should see an otolaryngologist–head and neck surgeon.

What causes Swallowing Disorders?

Any interruption in the swallowing process can cause difficulties including simple causes such as poor teeth, ill fitting dentures or a common cold. One of the most common causes of dysphagia is gastroesophageal reflux. This occurs when stomach acid moves up the esophagus to the pharynx, causing discomfort. Other causes may include: stroke; progressive neurologic disorder; the presence of a tracheostomy tube; a paralyzed or unmoving vocal cord; a tumor in the mouth, throat, or esophagus or surgery in the head, neck or esophageal areas.

What are the Signs of a Possible Swallowing Disorder?

  • Drooling
  • A feeling that food is sticking in your throat
  • Discomfort in your throat or chest
  • A sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing or choking caused by bits of food, liquid or saliva not passing easily during swallowing
Meet our Staff

Susan C. Hare, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech - Swallowing - Voice -  Evaluations and Therapy

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Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation
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American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA)