A to Z: Dysphagiaenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgSwallowing difficulties can affect many aspects of a child's health, including feeding, breathing, and overall growth.Dysphagia, swallowing disorder, deglutition disorder, trouble swallowing, swallowing, mouth, tongue, throat, pharynx, esophagus, stroke, head injury, neck injury, infection, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia, feeding tube, aspiration pneumonia, achalasia01/07/201503/29/201909/02/2019277608f9-5550-4ae5-aedd-c79a35feba91https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-dysphagia.html/<p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dictionary/"><img class="right" title="Parents image" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/P-atoZDictionary-enBT.jpg" alt="A to Z Dictionary 500 Go" name="5093-P_ATOZDICTIONARY2_ENBT.JPG" /></a></p> <p><strong>May also be called: Swallowing Disorder; Deglutition Disorder; Trouble Swallowing</strong></p> <p>Dysphagia (dis-FAY-gee-uh) is difficulty, pain, or discomfort when swallowing.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Muscle movements in the tongue and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mouth-teeth.html/">mouth</a> allow a person to swallow and move food into the throat, or pharynx. From the throat, food travels down a muscular tube in the chest called the esophagus to reach the stomach. If there is a problem with any of the muscles or body parts involved in the swallowing process, it can make swallowing difficult or even impossible. This is known as dysphagia.</p> <p>Older children and adults can describe the sensations of dysphagia to a doctor, but young babies may only show signs of feeding problems, breathing problems, or drooling between meals. Many conditions can cause dysphagia in a child, including infections, injuries, problems in the nerves or muscles, or problems in the structure or the cells of the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/digestive.html/">digestive</a> tract itself.</p> <p>Dysphagia is usually the result of another condition, but it can lead to serious complications of its own. People with dysphagia may not be able to eat enough to stay healthy or maintain a healthy weight. Pieces of food that are too large can get stuck and block the airway, making breathing difficult, and liquids that enter the airway can settle in the lungs and lead to a condition called aspiration pneumonia.</p> <p>Treatment for dysphagia involves treating the underlying cause and any problems that arise. Children may need speech therapy or physical therapy/occupational therapy to strengthen weak facial muscles and improve coordination.</p> <p>It's also important to learn about foods and ways of eating that make swallowing easier. In some cases, a feeding tube may be used to make sure that someone&nbsp;with dysphagia gets proper nutrition.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>Dysphagia is almost always a symptom of another condition. Treating that condition will usually help ease the swallowing problems. If dysphagia can&rsquo;t be cured by treating the underlying cause, changes in eating techniques, a modified diet, or the use of a feeding tube can greatly reduce the risk of complications.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
A to Z: Barrett's EsophagusLearn about complications of acid reflux and conditions that affect the esophagus and upper gastrointestinal tract.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-barrett.html/90e17370-1fc4-49bf-a72f-8f6326b91626
A to Z: Eosinophilic EsophagitisLearn about allergic reactions and diseases of the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-eosinophilic.html/d285ebd6-4b35-4283-8870-74ff107bcadf
A to Z: EsophagitisLearn about conditions that affect the esophagus and upper gastrointestinal tract.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-esophagitis.html/13648b47-8bdc-4ea3-b8d3-355ec91a6d08
Digestive SystemThe digestive process starts even before the first bite of food. Find out more about the digestive system and how our bodies break down and absorb the food we eat.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/digestive.html/f2005e0d-6586-4e09-94e7-65388be2bb40
Gastroesophageal RefluxWhen symptoms of heartburn or acid indigestion happen a lot, it could be gastroesophageal reflux (GER). And it can be a problem for kids - even newborns.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/gerd-reflux.html/e7bf2cbd-1676-4ca9-a5d4-5d70052c0344
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)Gastroesophageal reflux disease doesn't just affect old people who eat too much while watching TV. Active, healthy teens can have GERD too.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/gerd.html/a2ccead6-1b16-4eaf-9861-18e46ecd611b
Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube)Some kids have medical problems that prevent them from being able to take adequate nutrition by mouth. A gastrostomy tube (also called a G-tube) delivers nutrition directly to the stomach.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/g-tube.html/1e410045-813f-404e-92e4-1ca120e43ed5
Your Digestive SystemThe digestive system breaks down the food you eat. Learn how in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/digestive-system.html/2a59b1c6-c783-4de0-bb89-75a822f14849