Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Swallowing Difficulty Types

There are two main types of dysphagia.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is caused by a stroke or neurological disease, which results in weakness of the tongue or throat muscles. The person has difficulty moving food and liquids past the throat, resulting in choking and coughing.

Esophageal dysphagia
Esophageal dysphagia is caused by narrowing or obstruction of the esophagus. Solids get stuck after passing into the esophagus. This is the most common form of dysphagia and causes a feeling like something is stuck deep in the chest after swallowing.

Continue to Swallowing Difficulty Anatomy

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swallowing Difficulty References
  1. Achem SR, Devault KR. Dysphagia in aging. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 May-Jun;39(5):357-71. [15815202]
  2. Cook IJ, Kahrilas PJ. AGA technical review on management of oropharyngeal dysphagia. Gastroenterology. 1999 Feb;116(2):455-78. [9922328]
  3. Leslie P, Drinnan MJ, Ford GA, Wilson JA. Swallow respiratory patterns and aging: presbyphagia or dysphagia? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005 Mar;60(3):391-5. [15860480]
  4. Rubenstein JH, Inadomi JM. Dysphagia drives doctors to diagnose a disease: pitfalls in interpreting observational studies. Gastrointest Endosc. 2005 Jun;61(7):809-11. [15933680]
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