Swallowing Issues

Swallowing Issues

Swallowing Issues services offered in Chelmsford, Concord and Woburn, MA and Nashua and Derry, NH

Trouble swallowing can cause all kinds of problems, from preventing you from eating enough to causing you to choke. At Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates in Chelmsford, Woburn, and Concord, Massachusetts, as well as Nashua and Derry, New Hampshire, the team of ear, nose, and throat specialists provides evaluations and personalized treatment for swallowing issues of all kinds. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or book online today. 

What are swallowing issues?

Swallowing issues, also called dysphagia, are problems with pushing foods and drinks from your mouth into your esophagus so they can reach your stomach. Swallowing normally comes easy, and most people can do it on command. However, if you lose the ability to swallow, you may be at risk of choking. 

The team at Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates evaluates the change in your swallowing function. They go over your medical history and ask about when and how the swallowing problems started. They also evaluate any other symptoms with trouble swallowing, such as:

  • Drooling
  • Hoarseness
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Throat pain
  • Coughing
  • Trouble chewing

Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates offers in-office fiberoptic examinations of the throat that allow them to evaluate structural issues and conditions causing dysphagia. 

What causes swallowing issues?

There are many causes of swallowing issues, both severe and benign. Some swallowing problems are short-term and go away on their own, while others require intensive ear, nose, and throat care or even surgery. 

The team at Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates evaluates and treats swallowing issues due to:

  • Acid reflux
  • Goiter
  • Esophagitis
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Mononucleosis

Swallowing issues can also result from various neurological disorders, head injuries, or radiation and chemotherapy for throat cancer. 

How are swallowing issues treated?

The team at Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates works closely with you as you find a way to manage your swallowing issues. They typically recommend non-surgical options first and use surgery when other treatments fail. 

Your treatment plan might consist of a variety of strategies, including:

  • Swallowing exercises
  • Alternative swallowing strategies
  • Posture adjustments
  • Dietary changes
  • Medications

For very severe swallowing issues, swallowing exercises and alternative strategies might not suffice. You may need to adopt a liquid diet or require a feeding tube. However, these strategies are for severe cases, and it’s unlikely you’ll require them.

Surgery may be necessary to remove growths from the esophagus that inhibit swallowing or to widen the esophagus. 

For more information about swallowing problems and treatments for them, call Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates or book an appointment online today.