Dysphagia | Treatment


How is dysphagia treated?

Treatment for your dysphagia will depend on what is causing it.

If poor eating habits are the cause, you may be taught how to improve your ability to swallow, such as chewing carefully or drinking more water while eating. Or you may need to change positions while swallowing. This could be as simple as turning your head at a different angle.

Your doctor may also work with you to find foods that are easier for you to swallow. You might need to do exercises to strengthen your swallowing muscles, such as your tongue and your esophagus.

Sometimes, medicine or other treatments may be used to treat the cause of dysphagia. For example, if your dysphagia is caused by heartburn, your doctor might suggest taking an antacid or acid reducer before every meal. If you have a muscle problem causing dysphasia, a medication called botulinum toxin may be used to relax throat muscles, making swallowing easier.

If your dysphagia is caused by a tumor or if something else is blocking the esophagus, you may need surgery to treat these problems.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 09/09