Swallowing Disorders

Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, MI

Swallowing disorders can affect anyone, making it difficult or impossible to eat or drink. The team of otolaryngologists at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center use advanced technology to diagnose and treat swallowing disorders at their offices north of Detroit in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, Michigan. If you or a loved one has trouble swallowing, call or book an appointment online today.

Swallowing Disorders Q & A

What are swallowing disorders?

Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, is a condition that can affect all age groups, but is more common in elderly adults. The condition involves trouble passing food and liquids from your mouth to your stomach. If left untreated, swallowing disorders can lead to drastic weight loss from insufficient calories.

 

What causes difficulty swallowing?

Medical conditions that can cause difficulty swallowing include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Injuries to your head or spinal cord

You might also have trouble swallowing due to a temporary issue, such as poorly fitting dentures or a sore throat associated with the common cold.

What are the symptoms of a swallowing disorder?

You may have a swallowing disorder if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Voice changes
  • Feeling like food or drinks get stuck in your throat
  • Feeling like there’s a lump in your throat
  • Coughing or choking when you try to swallow
  • Weight loss due to inadequate nutrition

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center for accurate diagnosis.

 

How are swallowing disorders diagnosed?

First, your Lakeshore ENT physician thoroughly examines your neck, mouth, and throat and reviews your medical history. This exam may include one of the following procedures to provide visual information about the state of your larynx and esophagus:

Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallow (FEES)

This test involves inserting a flexible tube with a tiny camera through your nose. The camera displays images of your larynx as you swallow. Your doctor may ask you to swallow foods and drinks of various consistencies to determine the cause of your dysphagia.

Transnasal esophagoscopy

This test is similar to the FEES in that it requires passing a tiny camera through your nose, but the transnasal esophagoscopy examines your esophagus instead of your throat.

How are swallowing disorders treated?

Treatment depends on your unique condition. Many swallowing disorders improve with medication management or changes in the way you chew and swallow.

If your condition is severe or doesn’t improve with treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. The team at Lakeshore ENT includes expert head and neck surgeons skilled in the most advanced techniques available.

If you suspect you may have a swallowing disorder, call or use online booking to schedule an appointment at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center today.

*Click here to learn more about our Professional Voice & Swallowing Center