We provide comprehensive care for patients with swallowing disorders.
Your throat is a tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx. The technical name for the throat is pharynx.
Throat problems are common. You’ve probably had a sore throat. The cause is usually a viral infection, but other causes include allergies, infection with strep bacteria or the upward movement of stomach acids into the esophagus, called gastric reflux. Many throat problems are minor and go away on their own. Treatments, when needed, depend on the problem.
If you have a swallowing disorder, you may have difficulty or pain when swallowing. Some people cannot swallow at all. Others may have trouble swallowing liquids, food or saliva. This makes it hard to eat. Often, it can be difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish your body. Anyone can have a swallowing disorder, but it is more likely in the elderly.
Conditions that can cause throat discomfort and swallowing disorders include:
- Acid reflux (stomach acid backup into the throat)
- Diseases that paralyze the vocal cords
- Growths due to a virus or cancer
- Head or spinal cord injury
- Infections (tonsillitis)
- Laryngitis or pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx)
- Spasms (spasmodic dysphonia)
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders