Often when I eat it can be very hard to swallow food. Should I take this seriously? My lower throat feels as if its swollen and it somtimes hurt.

Yes. Not being able to swallow can cause food to get lodged in your throat restricting your ability to breath. Go get this check out as to why you are having this trouble. Go see an ENT physician.
Depends. If this is a persistent problem, you should see an md for an evaluation and treatment.
Yes . Yes you should take this problem seriously. You could be dealing with thyroid enlargement, a tumor or polyp in your throat or esophagus, esophageal stricture (narrowing), reflux disease, and even a foreign body lodged in your throat or esophagus. You will need to see your doctor for this issue. A prompt evaluation and testing is in order. Best of luck.