In the act of swallowing, there are three phases:
- The first – oral, solid and liquid food with the help of the tongue is directed to the posterior part of the oropharynx.
- The second is the pharyngeal, the swallowing reflex is caused by touching the food of the back wall of the pharynx. It is regulated by the swallowing center, located in the medulla oblongata.
- The third is esophageal, it is associated with the coordination of peristalsis of the esophagus and stomach. When swallowing lowered palatine curtains rise up and close the upper part of the pharynx, the epiglottis temporarily closes the entrance to the larynx. Food enters the esophagus, connecting the throat and stomach. Promotion of the food lump occurs due to the wave-like movements of the esophageal walls due to contraction of their muscles.
How are swallowing disorders manifested?
The degree of swallowing disorder varies: from difficulty, painful, to a person’s complete inability to swallow solid food, and in rare cases liquid. It is possible to return food from the esophagus to the oral cavity (regurgitation).
Causes of difficulty swallowing
Causes of the disorder can be diseases of the digestive tract, infection. Violation of swallowing is the result of diseases of the nerves, blood vessels, muscles. The reason that it is difficult to swallow may be esophageal cancer.
Swallowing difficulty occurs due to an increase in the lymphoid ring of the pharynx, for example, for sore throat, scarlet fever, infectious mononucleosis and diphtheria. If swallowed, there is severe pain, the patient is not able to take solid food. Such patients are given food in liquid form. The cause of impaired swallowing can also be rabies.
The growth of tissues in the neck and chest, or tumors in these areas can also cause dysfunction of swallowing.
Benign tumors of the esophagus are relatively rare, usually more often diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which men are more susceptible to. A malignant tumor usually appears near one of the physiological narrowings of the esophagus. The tumor is accompanied by the following symptoms: difficulty swallowing, inability to swallow food, pain behind the sternum, regurgitation and unpleasant smell from the mouth.
Narrowing of the esophagus
The reason for the narrowing of the esophagus, causing a violation of ingestion, can be not only tumors, but also injuries (especially severe burns by chemicals). In rare cases, the cause may be congenital narrowing of the esophagus or its blockage.
A spasm of the esophagus (convulsive contractions) most often occurs when a person swallows a large solid food lump, which gets stuck in the esophagus, which leads to a convulsive contraction of muscles around it, and the spasm is accompanied by severe pain. When softening food spasm passes. The cause of esophagism can be brain tumors, diseases of the nerves and muscles, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia, myopathy, brain stem tumors.
Inflammation of the esophagus
Esophagitis often occurs when the acidic contents are thrown from the stomach into the esophagus, which is possible with cardiac sphincter insufficiency and hernias of the diaphragmatic opening of the esophagus (a small part of the stomach escapes through the opening of the diaphragm into the chest; this results in the restriction of the stomach).
The child must be weaned gradually, gradually accustomed to normal food. After eating, vomiting is possible in a healthy baby. The reason that it is difficult to swallow may be congenital aortic abnormalities, for example, narrowing of the lumen of the esophagus.
Mental diseases can cause temporary dysfunction of swallowing or permanent dysphagia, for example, in hysteria, depression.