Aphagia vs. Dysphagia

By Jaxson

  • Aphagia

    Aphagia is the inability or refusal to swallow. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek prefix α, meaning “not” or “without,” and the suffix φαγία, derived from the verb φαγεῖν, meaning “to eat.” It is related to dysphagia which is difficulty swallowing (Greek prefix δυσ, dys, meaning difficult, or defective), and odynophagia, painful swallowing (from ὀδύνη, odyn(o), meaning “pain”). Aphagia may be temporary or long term, depending on the affected organ. It is an extreme, life-threatening case of dysphagia. Depending on the cause, untreated dysphagia may develop into aphagia.

  • Dysphagia

    Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. Although classified under “symptoms and signs” in ICD-10, the term is sometimes used as a condition in its own right. People with dysphagia are sometimes unaware of having it.

    It may be a sensation that suggests difficulty in the passage of solids or liquids from the mouth to the stomach, a lack of pharyngeal sensation, or various other inadequacies of the swallowing mechanism. Dysphagia is distinguished from other symptoms including odynophagia, which is defined as painful swallowing, and globus, which is the sensation of a lump in the throat. A person can have dysphagia without odynophagia (dysfunction without pain), odynophagia without dysphagia (pain without dysfunction), or both together. A psychogenic dysphagia is known as phagophobia.

  • Aphagia (noun)

    The condition of difficulty in swallowing.

  • Dysphagia (noun)

    Difficulty in swallowing.

  • Aphagia (noun)

    Medicine. Inability to swallow.

  • Aphagia (noun)

    Chiefly Physiology. Inability, failure, or refusal to eat; absence or loss of the desire or need to eat; an instance of this.

  • Dysphagia (noun)

    difficulty or discomfort in swallowing, as a symptom of disease

    “progressive dysphagia”

Oxford Dictionary

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