Dysphagia - Definition

March 2017


Definition


Dysphagia is defined etymologically as a difficulty in eating, but more specifically indicates a feeling of discomfort when swallowing, which can be localized in the mouth, larynx, or esophagus. It is not painful and is described by patients as the feeling of a stop or blockage of food. Dysphagia may be due to difficulty swallowing a foreign body, nervous disorders, drugs, inflammation of the esophagus, large esophageal diverticula, esophageal motor disorders, or compression of the esophagus by a tumor. It may also be due to stress: this is called globus hystericus. Depending on the suspected diagnosis, an esophageal endoscopy or other test may be performed.

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