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Dysphagia causes swallowing difficulties i.e. it takes more effort and time to pass food and liquid through the esophagus. Sometimes dysphagia can be caused due to pain that might make swallowing impossible. Persistent swallowing difficulty can be due to a serious condition requiring medical attention. People of any age can be affected by dysphagia. The underlying causes may vary. Treatment depends upon the cause of dysphagia.

Symptoms of Dysphagia

  • Pain in swallowing food (Odynophagia)
  • Oral leaking or drooling
  • Pocketing food (keeping it in the cheeks)
  • Inability to swallow
  • Having a sensation of food being stuck in the oesophagus
  • Being hoarse
  • Regurgitation (food coming out of the mouth)
  • Acid-reflux or heartburn
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Gagging or Coughing while swallowing

Complications of Dysphagia

Older adults are at a greater risk of dysphagia due to wear and tear to the esophagus with the course of time. Patients with neurological or nervous system disorders like MS are more likely to have dysphagia. Weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration are major things that can result from dysphagia. It becomes difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from food due to dysphagia. Person with dysphagia may experience infection of the upper airway or pneumonia as the food might enter the airway when the patient tries to swallow. Regular swallowing difficulties along with weight loss, regurgitation or vomiting is a matter of concern and must be reported to your doctor immediately. If you feel that the obstruction interferes with breathing or you feel food stuck in your throat or chest call immediately for help.

Treatment of Dysphagia

There are two ways to treat or manage dysphagia, aids that help in easier swallowing and a change in diet that also enables easy swallowing.

Dysphagia Diet

People with dysphagia need a special dysphagia diet which is easy to swallow. This diet can have different textures that are safe for patients to swallow. Textures should be such that it becomes easier for the food to move in the esophagus and it does not enter the windpipe or trachea. Every patient has their special needs and so food should be prepared accordingly. Food and beverage thickeners can be used to bring food to the required consistency so that it can be easily swallowed.

Aids for Dysphagia

There are several aids for dysphagia that help in either enabling easier swallowing or allow for an alternate swallowing technique.
  • Dysphagia Cups Dysphagia cups are designed for people suffering from dysphagia. They have a special designed mouth or spout that enables the user to insert the cups deeper into the mouth so that the liquid or food is delivered easily. They also have double handle options, and weighted bases to prevent spilling or tipping.
  • Electrotherapy Electrotherapy is used to stimulate the muscles of the throat or the esophagus to help in reducing the difficulty while swallowing.
  • Feeding tubes Feeding tubes can be inserted directly into the throat for easy feeding. Many a time, no aids can help in comfortably delivering food and so feeding tubes can be the most apt solution.

Where to Buy Dysphagia Aids and Dysphagia Diet Products Online?

Buy products for dysphagia from top brands including Thick-It, Boost, Resource and many more at HPFY with attractive discounts!