Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that is common among all age groups, especially the elderly. People with swallowing disorders experience difficulty passing food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Many factors, most of which are temporary and non-threatening, contribute to this condition.
A University of Florida ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician can help you determine what is causing your swallowing disorder.
Common Dysphagia causes:
- Poor teeth
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Common cold
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Paralyzed or incomplete closure of the vocal cord
- Mouth tumor
- Throat tumor
- Esophagus tumor
Many swallowing disorders can be treated through surgery or swallowing therapy with the aid of a speech pathologist.
University of Florida ENT physicians are trained to treat voice disorders such as vocal nodules (singer's nodes) and vocal fold paralysis, which can be one-sided or unilateral. Patients with unilateral paralysis have symptoms of a weak or "breathy" voice. The most common cause of unilateral paralysis is injury to the nerves that control the muscles in the voice box or larynx. There are many causes for vocal fold paralysis and other tests are sometimes required to find the cause.
University of Florida ENT physicians can perform the following surgical procedures to treat vocal fold paralysis:
- Arytenoid adduction
- Medialization thyroplasty
- Vocal fold injection