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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Difficulty Swallowing: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Throat Disorders

Difficulty Swallowing

Alternate Names : Dysphagia

Difficulty Swallowing | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment is directed at the cause, if known. For example, a person with an infection may need antibiotics. If cancer is the cause, surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy may be advised. Someone with permanent narrowing may need surgery or another procedure to widen the constricted area. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is commonly treated with medications that decrease stomach acid. Speech therapists can help the person with swallowing difficulties learn to swallow effectively.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Side effects depend on the treatment used. For example, antibiotics may cause allergic reactions or stomach upset. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding or infection.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

A person with an infection may have no further trouble after the infection goes away. Someone with a stroke may have permanent trouble swallowing. He or she may even need an artificial feeding tube if they are having a lot of trouble eating. A person with cancer may die if the treatment is not successful.

How is the condition monitored?

Changes or any response to treatment should be reported to the healthcare provider. Other monitoring is related to the cause. For example, a person with cancer may need repeated x-rays to monitor the cancer.

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Difficulty Swallowing: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed: 08/07/01

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