Difficulty swallowing can lead to:

  • Malnutrition and dehydration. Dysphagia can make it difficult for you to take in enough food and fluids to stay adequately nourished and hydrated. People with difficulty swallowing are at risk of malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Respiratory problems. If food or liquid enters your airway (aspiration) as you attempt to swallow, respiratory problems or infections can occur, such as frequent bouts of pneumonia or upper respiratory infections.
Oct. 21, 2011

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