What Is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the term for difficulty swallowing. If you have been diagnosed with dysphagia, you have trouble swallowing foods and liquids and having them pass normally into the stomach.

When you swallow, food and beverages pass into the esophagus (the muscular tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). Ordinarily, the esophagus moves food to the stomach through a process called peristalsis (a rhythmic, wavelike motion). If you have dysphasia, an obstruction or disorder of the esophagus prevents food from moving normally into the stomach.

It’s important to treat dysphagia to ensure that you are receiving proper nutrition and to avoid aspiration pneumonia, a lung infection caused by inhaling food and liquid into the lungs.