Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) means it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. Dysphagia may also be associated with pain. In some cases, swallowing may be impossible. Occasional difficulty swallowing, which may occur when you eat too fast or don't chew your food well enough, usually isn't cause for concern. But persistent dysphagia may indicate a serious medical condition requiring treatment. Dysphagia can occur at any age, but it's more common in older adults. The causes of swallowing problems vary, and treatment depends on the cause.
Treatment for dysphagia depends on the type or cause of your swallowing disorder. Oropharyngeal dysphagia for oropharyngeal dysphagia, your doctor may refer you to a speech or swallowing therapist, and therapy may include: Exercises: Certain exercises may help coordinate your swallowing muscles or restimulate the nerves that trigger the swallowing reflex. Learning swallowing techniques: You may also learn ways to place food in your mouth or to position your body and head to help you swallow.