Dysphagia is a technical term for difficulty swallowing. It
is often associated with disorders that cause a
blockage or motor difficulty in the esophagus. The
esophagus is the natural tube in the body that food
travels down to enter the stomach. Some people with
dysphagia have difficulty swallowing foods, but they can
swallow liquids. These individuals typically have an
esophagus tumor (tissue that grow more rapidly than
normal), which is referred to as esophageal cancer.
Assessing for dysphagia.
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Some people with dysphagia have a condition known as lower esophageal ring. Lower
esophageal ring is a ring of tissue located at the area where the esophagus and the
stomach connect together. Both tumors and lower esophageal ring can cause blockages,
making it hard for food to travel down the esophagus.

Some people with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing both food and liquids. These
individuals tend to have motor disorders, such as achalasia. Achalasia is an abnormal
condition in which the muscle does not relax. Achalasia tends to occur in the lower part of
the esophagus.

Dysphagia comes from the Greek word "dys-" meaning "bad or difficult” and the Greek
word “phagein” meaning “to swallow.” Put the words together and you get “to swallow bad
or difficult.
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