Swallowing is so routine that most of us don’t even think about it.
But for some people, swallowing is painful or can be more difficult than normal. Known as dysphagia, it is an especially common diagnosis among seniors.
“Dysphagia can be part of the normal aging process,” says Dr. Ernie Gelb, an experienced family medicine and geriatrics physician who practices at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Holmestown Road in Myrtle Beach. “But there are also a whole host of medical issues that can result in some form of dysphagia.”
Conditions that can cause dysphagia include a past stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Certain pharmaceuticals can also cause the condition, especially if muscle weakness is a potential side effect.