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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for difficulty in swallowing in an elderly person

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Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 1391 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 3 Apr 2017 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hello,
my dad just turned ninety three and up until three weeks ago has been in good health. It started with the flu then a nasty cough. Went to urgent care they said he had Bronchitis and since then has recovered, however he has difficulty swallowing with drinking and eating. His primary Doctor had him undergo a Endoscopy procedure however the results came up negative, no obstructions were found. My father is still not eating due to the fact he continues to have difficulty swallowing. He says when he eats or drinks the food feels like its coming back up and continuous belching occurs. He states if he doesn't belch his unable to breath. This has been going on four weeks and he is losing considerable weight lose. Been in and out of ER several times. Blood work good and chest x-rays negative. Frustrated with medical system with no real diagnoses. Please advise.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Dysphagia

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Welcome to HealthcareMagic and thanks for putting up the query
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing in old age can be due to some obstruction or it can be neurological. As you have said that endoscopic examination of throat comes out to be negative, it is likely to be neurological. My Advise is please visit a neurologist urgently for proper examination and treatment. Swallowing problem can be a presenting complaint in a neurological condition. There can be some weakness in hands or legs which can be easily ignored by the patient.
Give him semisolid diet and fluids to meet up his nutritional requirements. Ask him to eat in small bites with some fluid and in semi reclined position.
Also give him some antacid syrup.
Any further questions are always welcome.
Wishing him a speedy recovery
Thanks and regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Follow up: Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 1 hour later
Neurologist such as stroke?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Dysphagia

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Yes it can be stroke or some other neurological condition. An examination by a neurologist is advisable. Any further investigations like MRI if required will be done accordingly.
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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