Have you been having difficulty swallowing lately? Your gastroenterologists at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in East Patchogue, NY, can offer a diagnosis and provide treatments that will help make swallowing easier.
Common causes of swallowing problems
Difficulty swallowing can be very upsetting, but trouble swallowing doesn't necessarily mean that you have a serious medical condition. Swallowing issues can occur for many reasons, including:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): Trouble swallowing and a lump-in-the-throat sensation can accompany GERD. The condition occurs when stomach acid flows backward in the esophagus, the tube that delivers food to your stomach.
- Stress: Stress can trigger a variety of physical symptoms, ranging from headaches to nausea to difficulty swallowing.
- Esophageal Spasms: Spasms in your esophagus may make it hard to swallow.
- Esophagitis: Inflammation of your esophagus could be the reason you're having trouble swallowing.
- Herpes: A herpes infection in your mouth, throat or esophagus may be to blame for your swallowing issues.
- Goiter: A goiter occurs when your thyroid gland becomes enlarged. The goiter presses against your throat, making swallowing difficult.
- Neurological Disease: Swallowing difficulties may accompany some neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.
- Damaged Nerve: You may have trouble swallowing if a nerve was damaged during surgery or radiation therapy.
- Narrowing of the Esophagus: Your esophagus may have narrowed due to an infection, scar tissue, ulcers, or radiation treatment.
- Dry Mouth: Have you noticed that your mouth is dry when you have trouble swallowing? Saliva helps food pass through your throat easily. If you don't produce enough, you might find that swallowing is a little challenging.
- Growths: Both non-cancerous and cancerous growths can cause swallowing difficulties.
During your visit to the Suffolk County gastroenterology office, your gastroenterologist may recommend a few tests to determine why you're having difficulty swallowing. Treatments vary depending on the cause of your problem. Medication to relax the esophagus or treat GERD, dilation treatment to enlarge a narrowed esophagus, Botox injections to stop spasms, anti-anxiety medication to reduce stress, or surgery to remove growths are among the treatment options.
When difficulty swallowing becomes a frequent problem, it's a good idea to visit your East Patchogue, NY, gastroenterologists at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associations. Call (631) 289-0300 to schedule an appointment with their Patchogue office.