Anyone who hasn’t had an officially diagnosed disorder still knows how uncomfortable it can be when your food goes down your throat the wrong way, you have a coughing fit, or find it difficult to swallow something. Swallowing disorders can cause discomfort or even pain every single time you try to eat, or even drink. You may not have even realized that swallowing disorders exist, what the different ones to watch out for maybe or which illnesses can distinctly affect your ability to swallow.
What Causes a Swallowing Disorder?
There are many different reasons why swallowing disorders may occur, but they are usually the result of an external factor or another condition.
Causes can include:
- Dry mouth, in which chewing or swallowing is more difficult
- Brain or nerve damage (such as through suffering a stroke, injury or disease)
- Teeth problems
- Surgery on the mouth or neck
- Mouth or throat cancer
Here are some illnesses or conditions that can affect your ability to swallow.
Caused by an infection, this illness is when the tonsils swell at the back of the throat. This cannot only make normal swallowing extremely difficult and painful but can then cause problems and difficulty with eating and drinking, too.
On top of swollen tonsils and difficulty swallowing, you can also suffer from an extremely sore throat, which means even when you manage to get food or drink down, it can be painful.
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How can you relieve the symptoms of tonsillitis?
Your doctor may provide antibiotics for a bacterial infection, and you can ease pain and discomfort through throat medicine, painkillers, or even trying cold and soothing food if you can manage it.
This is a condition defined specifically as a swallowing problem. Some people with this condition may not be able to swallow at all, while others may find they cough, choke or bring food back up. The inability to keep food down, or eat at all, can lead to weight loss and further health problems.
How can you relieve the symptoms of dysphagia?
Your doctor will prescribe the best course of action, which usually includes therapy such as muscle or speech therapy to target the way in which you swallow. You can also use food thickening products, like SimplyThick.
While those with this condition are able to swallow, the result is a very painful experience. You could even have this condition alongside dysphagia. Odynophagia means you can experience pain in the mouth, throat, or esophagus after consuming food or drink.
How can you relieve the symptoms of odynophagia?
Treatment can vary, but a doctor may prescribe medication or even surgery to relieve the symptoms. It may also be that odynophagia will recover on its own, if your swallowing pain is related to another illness or condition, like a painful bout of flu.
This may not seem an obvious one, but excessive snoring can lead to extreme dry mouth and throat pain. A dry mouth can then result in issues with comfortably swallowing.
How can you relieve snoring?
Trying to tackle snoring can be done with many different healthcare avenues. Maintaining a healthy weight as well as eliminating smoking and alcohol can be beneficial. You may also need to adjust your sleeping position, or clear your airways before bed.