Updated: Jul 6, 2020
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.
Most of us enjoy eating and drinking supports good health and brings enjoyment. Some people, however, experience difficulty with the process of swallowing, a condition known as dysphagia.
This condition can lead to other health issues, such as poor nutrition, dehydration, pneumonia and other respiratory conditions.
For treatment, you may be referred to a speech-language pathologist to improve the strength of your swallowing muscles.
Dysphagia can be caused by certain medical conditions, including:
Cancer of the mouth or throat
Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's or ALS
Age-related changes in older adults
If you experience any of these problems, discuss them with your physician:
Food or liquid spilling out of your mouth
Unintentional weight loss
Frequent throat clearing
Change in voice sound after eating and drinking
Feeling of food getting caught in your throat
Bringing food back up (regurgitation)
Having frequent heartburn.