Dysphagia Specialist

Bay Ridge Endoscopy PLLC

Maher Almoudarres, M.D.

Gastroenterologist located in Brooklyn, New York, NY

If you’re having difficulty swallowing, you could have dysphagia. Dr. Maher Almoudarres is a skilled gastroenterologist who can evaluate your symptoms and provide treatment solutions. With over 20 years practicing in the Brooklyn community of New York City, Dr. Almoudarres offers a personalized approach to diagnosing and treating your gastrointestinal inflammation, diseases, and disorders. For solutions to your esophageal or pharynx problems, call Maher Almoudarres, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

Dysphagia Q & A

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is a condition characterized by difficulty or pain when swallowing. In extreme cases, you may not be able to swallow at all, even liquids and saliva.  

Additional symptoms of dysphagia include:

  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Regurgitation
  • Feeling that food is stuck in throat or chest
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Gagging or coughing when swallowing

This disorder can make it difficult to consume proper nourishment, leading to other health problems.

What causes dysphagia?

Your ability to swallow is the result of a complex system of muscles and nerves within the esophagus and pharynx (throat), the swallowing centers in the brain, and the nerves that connect them to each other.

Several things can lead to dysphagia. They are organized into two primary types: oropharyngeal and esophageal.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia is due to problems with nerves, muscles, pharynx, esophagus, or other swallowing structures, while esophageal dysphagia is the sensation of feeling that food is stuck in your throat or chest after swallowing.

Conditions that can cause dysphagia include:

  • Strokes that damage swallowing muscles and nerves
  • Cancers of the neck, esophagus, or head
  • Narrowing of the esophagus due to infection, irritation, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Cognitive decline related to dementia

Symptoms of dysphagia can also be caused by achalasia, which is a rare disease that affects the muscle of the lower sphincter and lower esophageal body.

When dysphagia isn’t effectively managed, it can cause coughing and choking.

How is dysphagia diagnosed and treated?

Your personal medical history provides valuable information to help Dr. Almoudarres reach a diagnosis.

In addition to a full physical exam, Dr. Almoudarres evaluates the details of your symptoms to find the cause of your dysphagia. These might include pre-existing conditions like stroke or a history of GERD.

Treating dysphagia depends on the precise cause. To reach an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Almoudarres conducts an extensive exam with each patient in order to recommend the best treatment plan based on your dysphagia symptoms and unique needs. Based on your exam, Dr. Almoudarres might also recommend gastrointestinal testing.

To find solutions to manage your dysphagia, call Maher Almoudarres, MD, or schedule your appointment online today.