Today, I would be discussing one of the most common symptoms found in the patients of General Surgery departments; which is “Difficulty Swallowing”. There are two main types of it; Dyphagia and Odynophagia.
Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing, but not hurting. There are three most common types of dyphagia:
  1. If it is progressive from solids to liquids most commonly it is due to carcinoma.
  2. If it is chronic for many months to years; the most common cause is Achalasia.
  3. and if it is paradoxical (i.e. swallowing of solids is OK but swallowing liquids elicit difficulty than it is also due to Achalasia.
Odynophagia is the medical term for painfull swallowing; it comes form the Greek words odyno– meaning pain and –phagia meaning swallowing. Mostly the patients with odynophagia have linear ulcerations on the surface of mucosa on endoscopy.
Most commonly odynophagia is found among immuno suppressive patients.
  1. The No. 1 cause among them is Candida albicans,
  2. the No. 2 cause is Cytomegalovirus and
  3. last but not the least; it is Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).
If the patient is not immunocompromised and otherwise healthy but still complaints of odynophagia; check out the drugs , if found anyone causing discountinue them.