Dysphagia is a term used to describe difficulty with swallowing. This issue may be caused by problems in the movement of food from the mouth into the upper portion of the esophagus, known as oropharyngeal dysphagia, or from the movement of food through the body of the esophagus, known as transit or esophageal dysphagia. There are neurologic, muscular, and mechanical conditions that can produce oropharyngeal dysphagia. Schatzki ring, esophageal stricture, achalasia, and esophageal cancer are a few examples. Dysphagia can be evaluated by certain testing such as endoscopy, x-ray, and motility studies. Functional dysphagia is defined as a sensation of solid or liquid food passing abnormally through the esophagus, without evidence of structural abnormalities like strictures, gastroesophageal reflux, or esophageal motility disorders as the cause. Hypersensitivity of the esophagus and nonspecific motility abnormalities are thought to be factors in functional dysphagia.
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