Swallowing Disorders Specialist

ENT and Allergy Specialists -  - Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

ENT and Allergy Specialists

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in Bryn Mawr, Pottstown, Phoenixville, and East Norriton, PA

If you’re having trouble swallowing, see the talented medical experts at ENT and Allergy Specialists for a diagnosis and treatment recommendation so that they can help bring you relief. Call one of the four offices in Bryn Mawr, Pottstown, Phoenixville, and East Norriton, Pennsylvania or book an appointment online to prevent the long-term complications that stem from swallowing disorders.

Swallowing Disorders Q & A

What are Swallowing Disorders?

Occasional problems with swallowing are common, but if you have a disorder it means you have trouble swallowing all of the time. Dysphagia, the clinical term for swallowing disorders, can occur in any of the three stages of the swallowing process:

  • Oral phase, which involves moving food and drink into the throat
  • Pharyngeal phase, which is when you start squeezing food down the throat, including closing off the airway so food doesn’t interfere with breathing
  • Esophageal phase, which involves opening and closing the esophagus so that food squeezes down to the stomach

 

What are the Symptoms of a Swallowing Disorder?

It’s hard to ignore problems with swallowing. Signs that you should seek treatment include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Trouble breathing following meals
  • Food that gets stuck in your mouth or leaks out when you eat
  • Taking a long time to chew and swallow
  • Wet sounds in your voice after you eat or drink
  • Coughing during or immediately after consuming food and beverages

 

Swallowing disorders can cause complications that include poor nutrition, aspiration, and pneumonia. You may also grow self-conscious about your eating style and avoid social meals.

What Causes Swallowing Disorders?

Diseases and medications can cause swallowing disorders, including:

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy, ALS, and cerebral palsy
  • Brain or spinal cord injury
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer of the throat, mouth, or esophagus

 

Physical abnormalities, such as dental problems or head and neck injuries, can also cause swallowing disorders.

How are Swallowing Disorders Treated?

The doctors at ENT and Allergy Specialists perform a physical exam, eating analysis, and special tests, such as modified barium swallow or endoscopic assessment, to diagnose your condition.

They then recommend a comprehensive treatment strategy. This may involve medication, physical therapy to improve the strength and dexterity of your chewing and swallowing muscles, and recommendations for foods that are easier to consume. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct issues interfering with your swallowing abilities.

If difficulty swallowing is causing you discomfort, consult ENT and Allergy Specialists for diagnosis and treatment. Call one of the four locations or make an appointment online.

What we offer

Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy Services