Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties.
Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others can't swallow at all.
Other signs of dysphagia include:
Over time, dysphagia can also cause symptoms such as weight loss and repeated chest infections.
You should see your GP if you have swallowing difficulties.
Dysphagia is usually caused by another health condition, such as:
Dysphagia can also occur in children as the result of a developmental or learning disability.
Dysphagia can be caused by problems with the:
Read more about the causes of dysphagia.
Treatment usually depends on the cause and type of dysphagia. The type of dysphagia you have can usually be diagnosed after testing your swallowing ability and examining your oesophagus.
Many cases of dysphagia can be improved with treatment, but a cure isn't always possible. Treatments for dysphagia include:
Dysphagia can sometimes lead to further problems. One of the most common problems is coughing or choking when food goes down the "wrong way" and blocks your airway.
Some people with dysphagia have a tendency to develop chest infections, such as aspiration pneumonia, which require medical treatment.
Dysphagia can also affect your quality of life as it may prevent you enjoying meals and social occasions.
Read more about the complications of dysphagia.
For more information read our Dysphagia factsheet.
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