There are two distinct types of dysphagia, a swallowing disorder that refers to difficulty moving food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. Each stems from different conditions, and each is diagnosed and treated differently. Duke specialists are experts in diagnosing the type and cause of your dysphagia. They offer a range of treatments to alleviate your discomfort and help you eat and drink without distress.
Esophageal dysphagia typically results from a motility disorder or a physical obstruction that prevents food and drink from passing easily through the esophagus. Motility disorders and obstructions that lead to esophageal dysphagia include:
- A narrowing of the esophagus (strictures)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Achalasia or other motility disorders such as Jackhammer esophagus
- A benign or cancerous growth or blockage
- Zenker’s diverticulum
Learn About Esophageal Dysphagia
We use a variety of tests to diagnose esophageal dysphagia. It can often be alleviated with minimally invasive surgical or endoscopic procedures.
In addition, Duke University Hospital is proud to be named the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 10 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is more likely to occur in older adults and is often linked to radiation treatment following cancer, a neurological condition or a muscular disorder including:
Learn About Oropharyngeal Dysphagia
This type of dysphagia benefits from therapy provided by speech pathologists. They create a personalized program of rehabilitative swallowing exercises to help prevent choking and gagging and create a safer environment for swallowing.