Dysphagia is the sensation that food is sticking or other difficulties swallowing.


Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a problem with initiation of swallowing caused by neurologic or muscular diseases such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and ALS. People with these conditions may notice pooling of food in the cheeks or an ability to move food to the back of the mouth. Coughing or sputtering suggests aspiration. Nasal regurgitation occurs if the soft palate fails to close.


Esophageal dysphagia can be due to mechanical obstruction, such as can occur with rings, strictures, or cancer, or problems with motility, as can occur with diffuse esophageal spasm, scleroderma, or achalasia. Barium swallows or endoscopy can help identify the source of problems.


Strictures can be