Dysphagia / Swallowing Disorders


An estimated 15 million people in the United States have the current diagnosis of dysphagia.

Approximately one million people annually receive a new diagnose of dysphagia.

Nearly 60,000 people die each year from complications associated with swallowing disorders.*

People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing and may also experience pain while swallowing. Some people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva. Eating then becomes a challenge. Often, dysphagia makes it difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish the body. Other serious health risks can occur such as aspiration, pneumonia, dehydration, weight loss and airway obstruction.

At Swallowing Diagnostics, LLC and The Swallowing Disorders Center of Connecticut, we not only properly diagnose the cause of dysphagia but determine dietary and compensatory strategies for treatment.

COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS YOUR PATIENTS WILL REPORT

  • Coughing and choking with swallowing
  • Difficulty initiating swallowing
  • Pain while swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Food sticking in the throat (globus)
  • Avoiding certain foods
  • Pressure or pain in chest
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Bringing food back up (regurgitation)
  • Sialorrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition & Dehydration
  • Lengthy feeding times (30 min or more)
  • Change in dietary habits
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Change in voice or speech
  • Gurgling sound in throat
  • Bad breath
  • Nasal regurgitation


POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DYSPHAGIA

  • Stroke or traumatic brain injury
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Parkinson's
  • Spinal Osteoarthritis
  • Thyroid enlargement
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Status/Post general surgery
  • Intubation
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Developmental problems due to premature birth or low birth weight
  • Myopathy
  • Laryngectomy
  • Pharyngectomy
  • Head and neck surgery (oral cavity cancer)
  • Cervical brace, cervical spondylosis
  • Aging
  • Cerebal palsy


Use of certain medications: antihistamines, anticholinergics, antidepressants and antihypertensives that affect salivary gland function or the neurology of swallowing


See our Resources page for more information.

*National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control.​