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Procedure - Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia)

Do you have trouble swallowing? Does it interfere with your ability to get proper nutrition or does it cause pain? Difficulty swallowing is known as dysphagia and it can severely impact a person’s day-to-day life. In some cases, patients are unable to swallow at all. While it can occur at any age, it is most common in older adults. If you have dysphagia, specialists at Ogden Clinic in Utah can perform tests to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your swallowing disorder.

Symptoms of Dysphagia

There are several symptoms that point to a swallowing disorder including:

  • Inability to swallow
  • Pain while swallowing, also called odynophagia
  • Coughing or gagging when trying to swallow
  • Drooling
  • Feeling like food is stuck in your throat, chest, or behind the sternum
  • Being hoarse
  • Having recurrent heartburn or regurgitation
  • Avoiding certain foods or having to cut food into tiny pieces because of difficulty swallowing
  • Losing weight unexpectedly
  • Dysphagia can be caused by a variety of conditions including, but not limited to, a narrowed esophagus, foreign bodies lodged in the throat, gastroesophageal reflux disease, tumors of the esophagus or damage from radiation therapy, neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, and diffuse spasm.

    Tests for Swallowing Orders and Dysphagia

    Ogden Clinic offers several tests to diagnose the cause of swallowing disorders.

    Endoscopy: A lighted instrument is passed through the throat which allows your doctor to view the esophagus.

    Manometry: A small, thin tool is inserted into the throat and is connected to a pressure recorder. This tool measures the muscle contractions of the esophagus as you swallow.

    Barium X-ray: During this type of X-ray, you will swallow a drink containing a barium solution, which allows the esophagus to be seen clearer on the X-ray.

    FEES: The FEES, or fiber-optic endoscopic swallowing evaluation, uses a special camera, called an endoscope, with a light to view the throat and esophagus as you swallow.

    If you have trouble swallowing, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Contact us at Ogden Clinic in Utah to learn more about swallowing disorders, or dysphagia, today.


Walker, Megan, CCC-SLP
4650 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT
801-475-3000