Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
We have mentioned a few things that could cause your swallowing difficulty. In addition to those possible causes, your symptoms could come from a narrowing in your upper esophagus (from a muscular tightening or spasm, a scar, or inflammation). Occasionally swallowing difficulty is the first symptom of a muscle weakness problem, such as myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy. Several medications (particularly medicines to treat psychiatric symptoms) can cause swallowing difficulty as a side effect because they may interfere with your mouth and throat muscle coordination.
Tests that might be recommended by your doctor include laryngoscopy (viewing of the larynx through your nose or mouth with a camera on a flexible, narrow rod), video swallowing study (this study uses an x-ray technique called fluoroscopy to videotape your swallowing while you consume samples of foods or drink containing a material that can show up on x-ray), esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD (viewing of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera on a flexible, narrow cord), barium swallow (x-ray views of the esophagus after you swallow a liquid that shows up on x-ray), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain, or antibody test (blood test) for the condition myasthenia gravis.
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