Symptoms of Dysphagia

Symptoms of dysphagia may include:

  • Hesitation or inability to swallow
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Constant feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Food sticking in the throat
  • Food coming up (regurgitation) through the throat or nose
  • Chest pain or discomfort when swallowing
  • Difficulty swallowing solid foods
  • Frequent, repetitive swallowing
  • Excessive throat clearing
  • “Gurgly” sounding voice after eating
  • Hoarse voice or recurrent sore throat
  • Coughing during or after swallowing
  • Necessity to “wash down” solid foods
  • Recurrent episodes of pneumonia
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Food or stomach acid backing up into your throat (acid reflux)
  • Unexpected weight loss

In infants and children, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Low interest in feeding or meals
  • Tension in the body while feeding
  • Refusal to eat foods that have certain textures
  • Lengthy feeding or eating times (30 minutes or longer)
  • Food or liquid leaking from the mouth
  • Coughing or gagging when eating or nursing
  • Spitting up or vomiting during feeding or meals
  • Strained breathing while eating and drinking
  • Poor weight gain or growth

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