What is dysphagia and what are some common causes of it?

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sciencesolve | Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Dysphagia represents an illness that makes difficult or impossible the swallowing process. Usually, the dysphagia is caused either by disorders of the central nervous system or obstructive lesions. The disorders of the central nervous system that lead to dysphagia can be classified as nondegenerative or degenerative.

The location where the swallowing process becomes difficult can help to classify the dysphagia in 4 categories: oropharyngeal, esophageal, esophagogastric, and paraesophageal.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia represents the difficulty of the movement of food bolus from the oral cavity into the pharynx and then to the upper esophagus.

Esophageal dysphagia is described by the difficulty of food transport between the upper and lower esophageal sphincter. Esophageal dysphagia is caused either by physical obstruction of the segment located between the upper and lower esophageal sphincter, or the abnormalities of motility of this segment.

Esophagogastric dysphagia represents the difficulty of passing of the food from the lower esophageal sphincter to the stomach. The esophagogastric dysphagia can be caused by achalasia of the lower esophageal sphincter or mass lesions of the gastric cardia.

Obstructive or inflammatory lesions can also lead to dysphagia. Usually, the inflammatory lesions are caused by reflux esophagitis.

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anjna's profile pic

anjna | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Dysphagia mean difficulties in swallowing of food, this food may be solid or liquid.

The common causes of dysphagia are as follows:-

1. Dysphagia after swallowing of (a)solid only eg. carcinoma oesophagus, Schatski ring, peptic stricture, reflux oesophagitis,       gastric carcinoma.

(b)dysphagia to solid & liquid both:- Scleroderma, achalasia cardia, psychiatric patient, diffuse oesophageal spasm etc.

2. Dysphagia for swallowing of (a) solid:-Tonsillitis, pharyngitis, benign & malignant tumors of pharynx, congenital web,    Zenker's diverticulum etc.

(b) solid & liquid:- myopathy, myasthenia gravis, stroke, parkinson's disease.

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