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Dysphagia is trouble swallowing. It occurs when you have trouble moving food or liquid from your mouth to your esophagus or down to your stomach. It may occur when you eat, drink, or any time you try to swallow.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You choke on your own saliva.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • You cannot eat or drink liquids at all.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You lose weight without trying.
  • Your signs and symptoms get worse, or you have new signs or symptoms.
  • You have signs or symptoms of dehydration, such as increased thirst, dark yellow urine, or little or no urine.
  • You get colds often.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need to change the texture of the foods you eat to help reduce choking problems. Your healthcare provider may show you how to thicken liquids or soften foods to make them easier to swallow.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.