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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31692
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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My father who is turning 80 in June has been having balance

Customer Question

My father who is turning 80 in June has been having balance issues and he has dysphagia (always clearing the throat ,feels like there is something in there) He has had no luck with ent and I'm trying to convince him to go to a gastroentologist and a neurologist.. parkinson's seems unlikey as he does not have tremors.. what else could be going on and is it likely the two symptoms are related ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Hi. We've discussed this before. First off, clearing the throat and feeling as if there's something there isn't really medical dysphagia which is basically difficulty in swallowing. So can you tell me any more about that specific problem?

And once again what exactly is his balance problem?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He just gets off balance if instance if he is mowing the lawn...He is not listening about going to a neurologist or gastroentologist...As far as the dysphagia he gets horse as well after talking for a little while and feels like food is stuck in his throat

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay. So how exactly can I help you with this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I want some other suggestions of what these symptomscould point to?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well, Parkinson's is still a possibility, even without the typical tremors. As for the balance problem it could be a cerebellar disorder or a spinal disorder like spinal stenosis. As for what we're calling dysphagia, that would need a scope to look for esophageal strictures, possibly a Zenker's diverticulum, or achalisia-- narrowing of the gastroesophagel junction. But if he won't see both a neurologist nor a gastroenterologist then there's no way to know for certain
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

why could it still be a possibility of Parkinsons?... I frustrated with him that's why I'm still searching sorry

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Just the combination of dysphagia and the balance problem if you want to put them together. That doesn't mean he has Parkinson's but it would really take a neurologist to examine him to determine that
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I bought him the balance belt we talk about in Feb conversations he says it helps.What other common symptoms should I look for? I get info from my mom on the QT

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Problems with writing, slowed speech, rigid muscles, tremors if they finally occur, and loss of most of the expression in his face
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

None of that. He has beautiful handwriting. No slowed speech. I haven't seen him in a while he lives far away. No tremors. Typically how long can the onset be before it could'nt go unnoticed

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
You asked what to look for as I assumed in the future. Sometimes it goes undiagnosed for a year or more before it's actually diagnosed. But I really don't know what else to tell you because I myself can't examine him and we shouldn't be trying to do that in this kind of format
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That answer still helps me though. Its been going on for just about a year now. Thanks. Could it be vestibular problem?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
the balance problem could be inner ear but not the dysphagia problem, and, again, it's only if we try to tie both into just one diagnosis does the question of Parkinson's arise
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

True. Thanks! I wish I could get a neurologist to cold call him.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure--let me know how it goes