What is the difference between Dysphagia and Odynophagia?

Both are the common symptoms found mostly in the surgery patients; which is difficulty in swallowing. Dysphagia is the medical condition for the symptom of rough sensation or obstruction of swallowing without hurting. It takes little more effort than normal swallowing. While Odynophagia expressed a pain e.g. an ache, a stabbing pain that expands to the back, and a burning sensation, during swallowing.

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Odynophagia, which is often confused with dysphagia, is a pain with swallowing. It is important to distinguish between dysphagia and Odynophagia or hyposalivation as they have different differential diagnoses and evaluation algorithms. Globus is the feeling of having a “lump in the throat” while normal swallowing is preserved. As opposed to dysphagia, it is often present between meals and improves with eating.

Difference between Dysphagia and Odynophagia

Here is a brief article about the difference between dysphagia and odynophagia.


Probably, It has no serious hidden problem, but, if it is getting worse, it should be checkered by a doctor immediately. There are various reasons why dysphagia happens that’s why medication depends on the underlying cause.

Normally, dysphagia caused by nerve or muscle problems. It can be painful and more common in babies and older people. Complexities may include weight loss, dehydration, aspiration, and pneumonia etc. Dysphagia is classified into the three major types. For instance,

  • Oropharyngeal dysphagia (caused by tongue weakness after a stroke).
  • Pharyngeal dysphagia (caused by a neurological problem that affects the nerves).
  • Esophageal dysphagia (usually because of a blockage or irritation in the esophagus. Often, needs a surgical procedure).


Painful swallowing of solids or liquids from the oral cavity to the stomach. Again, odynophagia can create pain without swallowing troubles.

Odynophagia occurs due to some behavioral causes, such as: taking certain medications, very hot or cold drinks and foods, trauma or injury to the mouth, throat, or tongue, using drugs, tobacco, or alcohol, HIV, candida infection (a fungal infection in the mouth) etc.

For the most part, the patients with odynophagia also have upper respiratory tract contaminations, ulcers, abscesses, Inflammation or disease of the mouth, tongue or throat (like esophagitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, epiglottitis), resistant scatters, and oral or throat tumor.

Meanwhile, it often results in unintended weight loss. Based on the necessary medical condition, surgery and medications can resolve the painful swallowing problem.

An individual can have odynophagia without dysphagia (pain without dysfunction), dysphagia without odynophagia (dysfunction without pain), or both together.

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