Do you know what Dysphagia means?
Are you suffering from swallowing difficulties?
Then there is a high chance that you are suffering from Dysphagia. Here in this article, we will cover all the necessary pieces of information about Dysphagia. Let’s start with what Dysphagia is.
What Is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a special health condition where people face difficulty in swallowing. Or, in some cases, while swallowing. Some people cannot swallow or might have trouble swallowing medicines, foods, liquids, or saliva.
You can imagine the difficulty or challenges the person with Dysphagia faces while eating. As a result of these, the body often does not get enough liquid or nutrition and ends up getting more health issues. Here, a medication swallowing gel helps a bit in swallowing medicines.
Though there is no age boundary for this special health condition, Dysphagia is more common among the elders. While the treatment is totally based on the causes, and the causes vary in different cases.
What Causes Dysphagia?
Swallowing is complex and involves a number of muscles and nerves. Any condition which damages the muscles or nerves and is responsible for swallowing can cause this condition.
Sometimes, the narrowing of the back of the throat, also called the esophagus, can also result in Dysphagia. Here are the categories of Dysphagia.
It is the sensation of food getting caught or sticking in the base of one’s throat. Here are some of the causes of this type of Dysphagia.
- Esophageal stricture.
- Diffuse spasm.
- Esophageal ring.
- Esophageal tumors.
- Foreign bodies.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis.
- Radiation therapy.
Another category of Dysphagia is Oropharyngeal Dysphagia. Some conditions can weaken someone’s throat muscles and make it really difficult to move food from your mouth to the throat when one starts to swallow.
In this condition, you might gag, cough, or choke when you try to swallow. You might also have a sensation of fluids or food going down your trachea or windpipe or up your nose. This also can lead to pneumonia.
Here are the causes of this type of Dysphagia.
- Zenker’s diverticulum, or Pharyngoesophageal diverticulum.
- Neurological damage.
- Neurological disorder.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dysphagia?
Now that you know the basic details of dysphagia, it is time to know its common symptoms.
- Inability to swallow.
- Pain while swallowing.
- Frequent heartburn.
- A sensation of foods getting stuck on the chest, or throat, or behind the breastbone.
- Regurgitation of food coming back up.
- Weight loss.
- Stomach acid, or food rising backing up into the throat.
- Gagging and coughing at the time of swallowing.
What Are The Complications You Can Get From Dysphagia?
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing can lead to several complications and other health issues. Here we are also mentioning them for your reference.
1. Aspiration Pneumonia
During an attempt to swallow, food or liquid can enter the airway and it results in aspiration pneumonia. It is the result of food introducing bacteria into the lungs.
2. Malnutrition, Dehydration, And Weight Loss
Dysphagia can make it really difficult to swallow food or even fluids and medicines. As a result, the body does not get enough nutrition. So, in this case, dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss are natural.
When a food lump gets stuck in the throat, it can result in choking. In case the food you are taking completely blocks the airway, and in this case, if no one intercedes with a successful Heimlich maneuver, they might be dead.
Swallowing difficulties can not be prevented. However, you can reduce the risk of occasional swallowing difficulties by chewing the food properly and eating slowly. In case you have the symptoms and signs of Dysphagia, you should consult with a doctor immediately.
A medical professional might be able to help you with the required treatment or medications. Do not try to force the swallowing as other accidents might occur in that case.
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