Oropharyngeal Dysphagia & Aerophagia
What is it?
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is trouble or difficulty swallowing or starting a swallow in the mouth or portion above your food pipe. Sometimes people with oropharyngeal dysphagia feel that food or drink is going down the wrong pipe when they swallow. Aerophagia is inadvertent swallowing of air.
What are the symptoms?
Oropharyngeal dysphagia symptoms typically include:
- Trouble starting a swallow or transferring food from the front of your mouth to the back of your mouth and down the esophagus or food pipe
- The feeling of choking on food or food going down the wrong pipe
- Food or liquids coming out of your nose when you swallow
Aerophagia symptoms typically include:
- Excess belching or burping
- Feeling significant bloating or having a lot of gas
- Heartburn or reflux
How is it diagnosed?
Both oropharyngeal dysphagia and aerophagia can be diagnosed using a special X-ray with contrast that evaluates your swallowing. This is typically done with a swallow specialist present who can use a special camera to watch you swallow and make sure everything is working correctly.
How is it treated?
Treatment for oropharyngeal dysphagia and aerophagia varies based on the underlying cause. These treatments range from simple lifestyle modifications to more specialized care.