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Esophageal Dysphagia

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by Stahl RJ

(Dysphagia, Esophageal; Difficulty Swallowing [Esophagus])

 

Causes

A number of conditions can cause esophageal dysphagia, such as:
  • Achalasia —affects the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus
  • Scleroderma —causes thickening and stiffening of tissues, joints, and organs; can lead to problems with the esophageal muscles
  • Esophageal stricture or esophageal ring—causes the esophagus to become more narrow
  • Esophageal tumors
  • Infectious esophagitis
  • Caustic esophagitis
  • Foreign bodies
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
 

Risk Factors

Many conditions and factors may increase your risk of esophageal dysphagia, like:
 

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause, but may include:
  • Esophageal dilation—Placing a tube-shaped device into the esophagus to widen the narrow part.
  • Surgery
  • Dietary changes—You may need to avoid eating foods that cause problems, like meat. Or you may need to eat only pureed food. In severe cases, a feeding tube may be needed to provide nutrition.
  • Therapy to improve swallowing—such as learning ways to prevent choking while eating.
  • Medications
 

RESOURCES

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
http://www.asha.org

Dysphagia Research Society
http://www.dysphagiaresearch.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
http://www.heartandstroke.com

Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologist
https://www.osla.on.ca

 

References


Communication facts: special populations: dysphagia—2008 edition. American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/Research/reports/dysphagia. Published 2008. Accessed August 13, 2013.


Dysphagia. Cedars-Sinai website. Available at: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Dysphagia.aspx. Accessed August 13, 2013.


Dysphagia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 2, 2013. Accessed August 13, 2013.


Dysphagia. World Gastroenterology Organisation website. Available at: http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/assets/downloads/en/pdf/guidelines/08%5Fdysphagia.pdf. Published 2007. Accessed August 13, 2013.


Font J, Underbrink M. Esophageal dysphagia. University of Texas Medical Branch website. Available at: http://www.utmb.edu/otoref/grnds/esoph-dysphagia-080206/esoph-dysphagia-slides-080206.pdf. Published February 6, 2008. Accessed August 14, 2013.


Palmer J, Drennan J, Baba M. Evaluation and treatment of swallowing impairments. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 15;61(8):2453-62. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000415/2453.html. Accessed August 14, 2013.


05/21/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Regan J, Murphy A, et al. Botulinum toxin for upper oesophageal sphincter dysfunction in neurological swallowing disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;5:CD009968.

 

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