ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

The Difficulties of Dysphagia Explained


Since food and water are essential to human existence, the difficulty in swallowing is indeed a health issue that affected individuals should pay attention to.  In particular, every affected person should consult with their ENT doctor / ENT specialist since he or she may be affected with dysphagia. Let’s take a look at its difficulties and understand what can be done about them.


Know the Difficulties of Dysphagia


The difficulty in swallowing, known as dysphagia in medical circles, is a common health issue among all age groups. The elderly, furthermore, are among the most affected because of their aging bodies.


Dysphagia isn’t just about difficulty in swallowing. To be more specific, it refers to the difficulty of passing solid food and/or liquid beverages from the mouth to the stomach.


Pain may also be associated with the longer time and greater effort needed to move food and beverages.  In some cases, swallowing becomes impossible because of the pain that accompanies the action.


Other symptoms can include:


  • Drooling
  • Malnutrition and/or weight loss caused by the significant problems in swallowing
  • Choking or coughing even on bits of food, sips of water, and even saliva
  • Discomfort in the chest or throat
  • Feeling of food or liquid being stuck in the throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Regurgitation of food


You are well-advised to keep a diary of your symptoms so that you can tell your ENT doctor about them. The more detailed you are about these matters, the more likely your doctor can arrive at a definitive diagnosis. You will then benefit from an effective treatment plan.


End Your Difficulties with Dysphagia


While it’s rarely a symptom of an underlying serious illness, such as a progressive neurological disorder or cancer, it can be inconvenient for the affected individual. Fortunately, most cases clear up on their own, usually within a short period of time.


But when it doesn’t do so within a week or two, known as persistent dysphagia, you should see your doctor for initial medical evaluation. You may be referred to an otolaryngologist for a more in-depth evaluation of your case.


Your treatment will depend on the specific causes of your dysphagia. Your ENT doctor will also determine your type of dysphagia and tailor your treatment plan accordingly.


A few notes on the treatment plans for each type:


  • In oropharyngeal dysphagia, the treatment usually include exercises to coordinate the swallowing muscles, usually under the guidance of a swallowing therapist.
  • In esophageal dysphagia, an esophageal dilation is necessary. Surgery to remove an esophageal tumor, pharyngeal diverticula, or achalasia will likely be recommended.


Medications may also be prescribed along with the therapy for best results.  No matter your treatment plan, you should follow through with it since your overall well-being will depend on it.



HK ENT Specialist

offering ENT services,

Hearing aids prescription,

Swallowing disorder assessment and treatment,

Head and Neck Oncology,

Sleep disordered breathing Management,

and Facial Plastic Surgery, etc.


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