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4 Common Signs of Esophageal Obstruction

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4 Common Signs of Esophageal Obstruction

Jun 05, 2023

The sensation of something being stuck in your throat or not being able to swallow properly is one of the most uncomfortable. Some may attribute this sensation to anxiety, and while it can definitely be a sign of anxiety, it could also indicate a blockage. 

Esophageal obstruction is a blockage in the esophagus, which is the long tube connecting your mouth to your stomach. And while many associate esophageal blockages with food or foreign objects stuck in the esophagus, that’s not always the case. 

Chronic acid reflux can lead to the development of scar tissue in the esophagus, which can cause narrowing. Tumors that grow inside the esophagus can also cause partial blockages. 

If you’re worried, don’t fret. Here on your side, our experts at Carolina Digestive Health Associates are sharing the four most common signs of esophageal obstruction, and some solutions to eliminate a blockage. 

1. Coughing or choking when swallowing food 

When there’s a foreign object, a tumor, or scar tissue in the esophagus, the most common symptom is having a hard time passing food. Some sufferers may even develop anxiety while eating due to fears of choking. 

2. Unintended weight loss 

As a consequence of having a hard time swallowing and even having a few choke scares, many sufferers of obstructions eat less, and, as a consequence, they lose weight and may even develop nutritional deficiencies.

If you’ve had a few choke scares, the anxiety can make your esophagus tighten even further, making it more difficult for you to feel comfortable when eating and reducing your desire to eat. 

3. Pain when swallowing and pain in the upper chest

Pain when swallowing and pain in the upper chest are usually experienced by sufferers of esophageal obstruction caused by chronic acid reflux.

4. The regurgitation of food 

Another unpleasant symptom of esophagal obstruction is food regurgitation. In obstruction sufferers, food has trouble reaching the stomach due to the blockage. 

Eliminating obstructions in the esophagus 

Esophageal obstructions are rarely serious, but they can cause a lot of discomfort. Sufferers may experience pain, weight loss due to discomfort and anxiety related to eating, and nutritional deficiencies. 

Fortunately, as uncomfortable as a blockage can be, it’s also highly treatable. Depending on the cause of your blockage, our experts can either dilate your esophagus or eliminate the foreign object or the tumor causing the blockage. If acid reflux is the cause of your symptoms, you may receive a treatment to manage your reflux and stop the development of scar tissue. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment