An inappropriate contraction of the back of the throat to stimuli; usually caused by a herniated disc in the cervical spine or damage to the brainstem itself.

Dysphagia simply means difficulty swallowing. Oropharyngeal Dysphagia takes place when the esophageal sphincter fails to function properly and fluids (including saliva) and/or solids go into the respiratory system (aspiration; leading to the lungs) instead of down the esophagus and into the stomach where it belongs. This type of dysphagia is dangerous (can be life threatening) and is common to those with herniated cervical discs (Degenerative Disc Disease is related to Connective Tissue Disorders such as Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrom) and/or those that have suffered damage from a compressed brainstem.

Recommended Doctor for Diagnosis: Neurologist
Testing: swallow test

See also: Esophageal Dysphagia

The act of inhaling fluid, food, saliva or vomit into the airways.