Dysphagia (Swallowing Problems) (cont.)
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Depending upon the cause of the dysphagia, the difficulty swallowing can be mild or severe. Some affected individuals may have trouble swallowing both solids and liquids, while others may experience problems only when attempting to swallow solid foods. Occasionally, there is more trouble with liquid than solid food.
If dysphagia is associated with aspiration of food into the lungs, aspiration pneumonia may occur with all of the symptoms of pneumonia (fever, chills, and respiratory distress). This is a particular danger in individuals who have had a stroke. Dysphagia is present in approximately 51%-73% of individuals with stroke, and poses a major risk for the development of aspiration phneumonia.
Other symptoms associated with dysphagia depend upon its exact cause and are specific to the condition that results in dysphagia, such as stroke, cancer, etc.
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