Health care providers typically treat dysphagia with drugs, exercises, and procedures that open the esophagus, or with surgery. Your treatment will depend on the cause, the seriousness, and any complications you may be experiencing.
Your treatment will depend on what is causing your dysphagia. Treatment for dysphagia includes:
- Exercises for your swallowing muscles – If you have a problem with your brain, nerves, or muscles, you may need to do exercises to train your muscles to work together to help you swallow. You may also need to learn how to position your body or how to put food in your mouth to be able to swallow better.
- Changing the foods you eat – Your doctor may tell you to eat certain foods and liquids to make swallowing easier.
- Dilatation – In this treatment, a device is placed down your esophagus to carefully expand any narrow areas of your esophagus. You may need to have the treatment more than once.
- Endoscopy – In some cases, a long, thin scope can be used to remove an object that is stuck in your esophagus.
- Surgery – If you have something blocking your esophagus, you may need surgery to remove it.
- Medicines – Prescription medicines may help prevent stomach acid from entering your esophagus. Infections in your esophagus are often treated with antibiotic medicines.
There are many different problems that can prevent the throat or esophagus from working properly. Some of these are minor, while others are more serious. If you have a hard time swallowing once or twice, you probably do not have a medical problem. But if you have trouble swallowing on a regular basis, you may have a more serious problem that needs treatment.