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Having throat problem, feeling something struck in throat and difficulty in swallowing. Looking for advice

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ENT Specialist
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My dad is having a throat problem from the past 2 months. He is 77 years old. He has a feeling that something is stuck on the left side of the throat. He gets little pain occasionally. Sometimes he experiences difficulty in swallowing also. He has already been to the ENT specialist who has checked him and he has also had a scan done. All the reports are normal, The doctor has given him a medicine for gargling everyday 3 times. Its almost 1.5 months now, but dad says that there is very little improvement.
Request your advise on this.
Thanks.
XXXXXXX
Posted Tue, 27 Nov 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 24 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The most common cause for these symptoms will be acid reflux and lymphoid hypertrophy in the throat. There is always the possibility of a small foreign body as he has occasional pain.

2. You may get a videolaryngoscopy an a barium swallow done and share the images here.

3. I would like to review his scan images (not the report), if you can share these.

4. If all is normal, then the following may be happening. With age, the cartilages of the throat get calcified and the cervical spine undergoes degenerative changes. The entire throat and voice box are suspended from above by many delicate muscles and the entire structure slides along the cervical spine as we swallow, speak, yawn and so on. Any imbalance may cause discomfort and occasional pain. Cervical spine osteophytes are a common occurrence.

5. With the advent of small diameter flexible endoscopes, the process of swallowing may be observed by FEES (Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing) or FEEST (FEES with Sensory Testing). Neurological in-co-ordination may be observed.

6. The discomfort and pain may also be either a referred sensation from his throat, or a neuralgia. Get a Neurologist's opinion on this.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having throat problem, feeling something struck in throat and difficulty in swallowing. Looking for advice 22 hours later
Hello Doctor,
Thank you for your quick revert. Wanted to clarify here that my dad had his Barium test done last year and not this year as I mentioned earlier. This year the ENT Doctor had checked him with a probe twice and everything seemed to be normal. Also he does not experience pain while swallowing food as such, but he has occasional pain when he swallows saliva.
Another point I should mention is that he has very little hearing in his left ear. Don’t know if this is of help?
Thanks again.
XXXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Hi,

Thank you for your writing back.

1. His barium study done last year is normal.

2. Rule out anemia (low hemoglobin).

3. Get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) done to evaluate his hearing loss in the left ear. The only co-relation is if there has been a stroke in the past.

4. This is most probably age related. Rule out cervical spondylosis and calcification of the throat cartilages with age.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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