It is difficulty or discomfort when swallowing that may affect a person's ability to eat or drink safely. The medical term for a swallowing problem is dysphagia ('dis-FAY-juh').
Aspiration happens when food or liquid enters the lungs instead of the stomach. When food or liquid goes the wrong way, individuals typically cough. If coughing or throat clearing does not occur this is known as silent aspiration. Aspiration can cause pneumonia.