Difficulty in swallowing
What is difficulty swallowing?
Difficulty swallowing, medical term "dysphagia", is a common symptom often due to obstructive or motor disorders associated with the esophagus, as well as caused by diseases of the oral cavity, throat (pharynx and larynx), neuromuscular disturbances, etc.
The difficulty swallowing can range from mild discomfort, such as throat discomfort, a feeling of lump in throat, to a severe, uncontrollable disorders in muscles that are responsible for control of chewing and swallowing. Particularly in the esophageal cancer and throat cancer, the difficulty swallowing is typical progressive worsening, from mild throat discomfort when swallowing, to retention feeling when swallowing food or drinking water, to difficulty swallowing only when eating food, to difficulty in swallowing saliva, phlegm, water.
The difficulty swallowing can be painless or painful. Painful swallowing often occurs in advanced cancer. Progressive difficulty swallowing is the most common and most typical esophageal cancer symptoms.
Difficulty swallowing in supraglottic throat cancer
In throat cancer early, the patient may have a foreign body sensation or throat discomfort. Subsequently, sore throat appear, become serious when swallowing. A severe pain can hinder eating. With the increase in size of throat cancer, patients have a difficulty swallowing in advanced and late stage.
The glottic throat cancer and subglottic throat cancer generally do not cause difficulty swallowing, if the glottic type develops upwards to supraglottic area, the patients may also have difficulty swallowing.
Difficulty swallowing causes
- Supraglottic throat cancer, pharyngitis (viral, bacterial), the oropharynx damage (mechanical, chemical), pharyngeal diphtheria, pharyngeal tuberculosis, pharyngeal cancer, pharyngeal abscess.
- Esophagitis (bacterial, fungal, and chemical), esophageal benign tumors, esophageal cancer, esophageal foreign body, esophageal muscle dysfunction (cardia achalasia disease, diffuse esophageal spasm, etc.), extreme enlargement of thyroid.
- Bulbar paralysis, myasthenia gravis, organic phosphorus insecticide poisoning, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, cricopharyngeal achalasia.
- Rabies, tetanus, botulism, iron deficiency difficulty swallowing (Plummer-Vinson syndrome).
- Hysteria, depression, anxiety disorders.
- difficulty swallowing due to motor disorders, often associated with nerve center injured and disorder of muscles that are involved in the swallowing action.
If you have difficulty swallowing, you should contact your doctor to identify the cause. Continuous, progressive difficulty swallowing accompanied by pain is an important indication for esophageal cancer, as well as throat cancer sometimes.