Common causes of swallowing difficulty or dysphagia include esophagitis, esophageal cancer and epiglottitis, according to Healthline. Some of these health issues are considered medical emergencies, and urgent medical care should be sought once they are suspected.
Esophagitis refers to irritation of the esophagus, which is the muscular tube connecting the throat and the stomach, as defined by Healthline. In most cases, this problem is caused by acid reflux, infections and some medications. When it is severe, a patient may experience a sore throat, heartburn and pain when swallowing solid food.
Esophageal cancer is caused by a malignant tumor that forms on the lining of the esophagus, explains Healthline. As it continues to grow, it affects the muscles in the throat, making it extremely narrow. The condition causes swallowing of both solid and liquid foods to be extremely painful. Esophageal cancer can be lethal, especially when it is not detected and treated at an early stage.
Epiglottitis is the inflammation of the epiglottis tissue. The cartilage tissue is located beneath the tongue. The inflamed tissue can swell causing a total blockage in the throat and the airway, resulting in breathing difficulties. It is considered a medical emergency that requires urgent medical attention, as stated by Healthline.