There are many possible reasons why you may experience difficulty with swallowing but in most cases the cause is benign. However, some swallowing problems are also symptomatic of oesophageal cancer and for this reason it is always important to investigate if you have problems with swallowing. Many cases of swallowing difficulties are associated with benign processes, which include:
- spasms in the oesophagus or sphincter
- problems with the sphincter at the end of the oesophagus
- narrowing in the oesophagus (this is known as benign oesophageal stricture)
If you do experience problems with swallowing tests will be carried out to determine the cause. The most common test used in this scenario is a gastroscopy but other tests, including a barium X-ray and oesophageal motility tests may also be carried out.