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The Endoscopy Center, Inc.:

(605) 721-8121

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2820 Mt. Rushmore Road
Rapid City, SD 57701

Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

What is dysphagia?

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the proper term used to describe conditions relating to difficulty swallowing. Often divided into two categories: esophageal dysphagia and oropharyngeal dysphagia, dysphagia can be triggered by a wide variety of conditions ranging from neurological disorders to GERD, radiation therapy and more.

What are the symptoms of dysphagia?

What are the symptoms of dysphagia?

A variety of symptoms may present themselves in those with dysphagia including:

  • An inability to swallow/pain while swallowing
  • Regurgitation
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss
Common causes of dysphagia/causes of difficulty swallowing.

Common causes of dysphagia/causes of difficulty swallowing

The causes of dysphagia are extensive and can range from scarring from acid reflux to infection, nervous system disorders, autoimmune conditions and more. Tonsillitis, GERD, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have all shown the potential to result in dysphagia.

Diagnosing Dysphagia.

Diagnosing Dysphagia

Dysphagia may be diagnosed using a variety of methods including manometry, pH monitoring, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and more. 

Dysphagia treatment options.

Dysphagia treatment options

Treatment of dysphagia varies based on the severity and cause of the difficulty swallowing. Based on these factors, your doctor may prescribe a variety of medications and antibiotics to reduce swelling, manage GERD and acid reflux, and to relieve muscle spasms resulting in discomfort while swallowing. If the dysphagia is caused by a stricture or narrowing in the esophagus, your doctor may perform esophageal dilation during an upper endoscopy. Dysphagia may also be remedied by changes in diet, regularly exercising swallowing muscles, and properly chewing food.

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