Difficulty swallowing, also known as dysphagia, occurs when an individual requires more time or more work to pass solid foods or liquids from the mouth to the stomach.
Dysphagia can develop for a number of reasons, and the difficulty can occur at one or more points during the swallowing process.
For example, some patients may have difficulty with chewing or sucking foods and moving them to the throat. Others may have difficulty moving food down the throat or from the throat to the esophagus to the stomach. In some cases, there is an underlying condition that is causing dysphagia, but that is not always the case.
It is very important to seek medical treatment for this condition, as it can lead to weight loss, regurgitation or vomiting, or breathing obstructions.