Do you frequently experience discomfort or the feeling of taking more time and effort to swallow? You may have a Swallowing Disorder.
We hardly think about it and that’s one of the great things about swallowing but swallowing is actually a complex and very important function of our bodies.
Swallowing involves numerous nerves and muscles located in the mouth, throat, and food pipe (esophagus). A portion of swallowing requires an intentional action on your part (voluntary) but much of swallowing happens on its own, without you thinking about it (involuntary).
There are 3 Stages of Swallowing:
1st Stage of Swallowing: The tongue pushes food or liquid into the throat.
2nd Stage of Swallowing: The epiglottis (a small flap that keeps food from entering your windpipe) folds over the larynx (where your vocal cords and windpipe are located) so the food continues down to your stomach and not your lungs.
3rd Stage of Swallowing: The esophagus contracts and relaxes to move the food and liquid down into the stomach and rest of the digestive system.
Issues or pain with any portion of the swallowing process may indicate a swallowing disorder.
There are various causes of swallowing disorders. They include:
Our specialists at Northeast Atlanta ENT will conduct a thorough history of your symptoms and perform a physical exam if you are experiencing any difficulty or pain with swallowing. If further testing is determined to be necessary, some of the following may be ordered or scheduled:
Having a hard time swallowing every now and then, especially if you eat or drink too quickly or you don’t chew your food well enough, is not reason for concern. However, if you frequently experience discomfort or the feeling of taking more time and effort to swallow, you may have a swallowing disorder. Contact us today at one of our three convenient locations in Dacula, Johns Creek, and Lawrenceville for an evaluation by one of our specialists.