I have had trouble swallowing on and off at times and it is a horrid symptom indeed and actually a potentially serious one. If your are coughing and choking in the attempt to get the food down you may run the risk of inhaling some food particles which can then cause a chest infection. It is actually really important to get this assessed as there are ways of dealing with it.
Your GP is the best starting point and they should refer you to a speech therapist aftyer having checked ypur lungs etc to make sure you haven’t already picked a infection. Speech therapists are trained in swallowing problems as well as in talking so don’t be surprised by this referral.
They will assess exactly what is happening to your mouth, tongue and throat when you swallow. You might need to have some special x-rays done to help clarify this. They may do some cool video x-rays of you eating different consistency foods and see how the muscles deal with it. It isn’t the nicest lunch they will serve you as it is barium meal in varying consistencies. So you might have to eat barium on toast, barium crackers, barium soup, barium juice etc Yum, yum
Then when the exact problems are identifed the speech therapist can help you to manage the problem. Just some simple tips which I have found helpful are to tip your chin down towards your chest when swallowing to help things go down. And if things do get stuck, stick your chin out and make a loud, “Aaaach aaach aaaach” noise and repeat several times. It helps prevent the violent coughing but clears the blockage quite effectively. Makes you look a right idiot though
But don’t leave it, do see your GP.
All the best,