Care and Treatment for Swallowing Disorders
Why Choose Treatment for Swallowing Disorders at University of Colorado Hospital?
University of Colorado Hospital's otolaryngology clinic provides the most up-to-date, sophisticated, and comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of throat disorders available in the Rocky Mountain region.
What are Swallowing Disorders?
Swallowing problems (dysphagia) cause pain and discomfort. In severe cases, patients are unable to swallow at all and have trouble getting enough nutrients to the body.
Poor swallowing may leave food in the windpipe, which can lead to bacterial infection. This is especially dangerous if the food enters the lungs, as it can lead to pneumonia.
Dysphagia can be caused by:
- Weak muscles and nerves used for swallowing
- Head injury
- Narrowing of the esophagus (the muscular tube that runs from the back of the neck to the stomach) because of irritation or infection
- Cancer of the head, neck or esophagus
- Birth defects
Dysphagia can be treated with medications, surgery or through exercises under the direction of a speech-language pathologist, a provider who specializes in diagnosing changes caused by diseases in tissues and body fluids.