We experience difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, at one point or another, usually when we attempt to swallow large food or when we eat too quickly. When dysphagia happens occasionally, there’s no cause for concern as it’s quite normal. But if you experience persistent dysphagia, you should see your ENT doctor as soon as possible.
Your persistent difficulty may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. This is particularly true if it’s associated with discomfort or pain, perhaps extreme difficulty in swallowing that makes it impossible.
But before getting to your doctor’s clinic for your appointment, you may want to prepare a list of questions and be ready to answer questions from your ENT doctor. The exchange of questions and answers will contribute to a better appointment.
List Down Your Questions
On the phone while setting your appointment, you should ask about pre-appointment restrictions necessary for diagnostic exams. You may have to restrict your diet, for example. You should also list down your symptoms – what they are, when they started and how they are manifested – as well as your medications, drugs and supplements.
You should also write certain key personal information that may have affected your ability to swallow. These can include surgery, medications and major life changes and stressful events.
And don’t forget to list down a few basic questions. You don’t want to forget a question in the clinic and remember it when you’re already at home.
Don’t hesitate asking these questions as you are well within your rights to do so. Just be courteous so you can get the answers you’re seeking for.
Anticipate Your Doctor’s Questions
The appointment is, of course, a two-way street. Your doctor will also ask questions intended to determine the possible causes of your dysphagia and their corresponding treatments.
The questions your doctor will likely ask and for which you should ideally have ready answers are:
The back-and-forth exchange will eventually narrow down the possible causes of your difficulty in swallowing. Be honest in your answers even when it seems embarrassing – your ENT doctor has probably heard and seen it all in his line of work.
If you have been experiencing symptoms such as voice changes, constant coughing, pain when swallowing, ear pain and sore throat that has not disappeared for more than two weeks, get yourself checked by a qualified ENT doctor. It could be nothing but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
HK ENT Specialist Ltd.
Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre
For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,
Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,
Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services