Dysphagia is a swallowing difficulty, which has been growing significantly in our elderly
population. The changes that arise in the body with age and all the age-related illnesses are
major contributors to this condition. The recent statistics of the US showed that dysphagia
affected 300,000-600,000 people yearly. Scientists have been trying to discover the exact
reasons and factors that cause dysphagia in different regions, but there isn’t any concrete
answer. However, rough estimates suggest that 15% of the old population is suffering from
The diseases that come with age play a major contribution to the severity of dysphagia. For
instance, when a person gets old, their cognitive abilities start to diminish, and in worst cases,
they develop dementia, stroke issues, or Alzheimer’s. All these diseases can cause dysphagia.
It’s important to learn the symptoms of Dysphagia if you have adults living with you.
The Symptoms Of Dysphagia
A patient suffering from dysphagia will face great trouble in swallowing. They will experience
severe pain in their throat while eating or drinking, and may even choke or cough when they
swallow. If the condition gets severe, people even suffer from inflammation, a burning
sensation, and they feel as if food is stuck in their throats.
Not getting the necessary treatment for dysphagia results in rapid weight loss, because it gets
really hard to push food down the throat. Consequently, the patient suffers from malnutrition.
In addition to this, the elderly people going through this condition also get dehydrated and as a
result, they faint. This happens because of the lack of fluids flowing through their throats. Other
signs that indicate dysphagia are severe diseases like pneumonia and respiratory problems.
These are caused when a person starts coughing while swallowing food. As a result, the food
gets lodged in the lungs and the patient gets infected.
Treatment For Dysphagia
Seniors who have recently taken treatment for dysphagia require special attention and care.
This can be done through a proper diet that is prescribed by the doctor or practicing how to
swallow again. The best diet for dysphagia is foods and fluids that can be swallowed
conveniently so that the patient does not experience pain when they intake food.
Generally, doctors suggest cutting anything you give to the patient into small pieces to ease
swallowing. Moreover, it is highly recommended to keep dysphagia patients away from alcohol,
tobacco, or any kind of drug as this causes indigestion, and will only deteriorate the condition.
In some cases, the doctors recommend surgery for dysphagia patients to heal the blockages in
their oesophagus. Surgeries are a guaranteed way to ease throat pain and enable the patient to
resume their eating habits without any complications. However, for seniors whose conditions
are extremely severe, they might need a feeding tube so that their nutrition levels are
maintained and they don’t end up picking another disease.
For patients that have gone through brain disorders and as a result developed dysphagia, can
be taught the practice of using their muscles. Technicians help them in placing food properly in
their mouth, swallowing it, and then exercising their oesophagus muscles to eat without
suffering from pain.
Dysphagia is a severe illness and if your adults are going through this problem, you must take them to a specialist. Gastroenterologists and neurologists are professionals who are trained to
deal with these kinds of issues. They are trained to identify the symptoms and can determine
the most suitable plan of action to follow for easing the swallowing problems. Furthermore,
they will also devise a proper treatment plan to get rid of all the symptoms and help the patient
Keeping a senior with you isn’t an easy task. They require medical attention and supervision at
all times. If you’re too caught up with your work and responsibilities to cater to your elderly
loved ones, hire the best personal caregiving service from My Nurse Family at the earliest. We
will provide you with highly-trained, experienced, and professional caregivers who know how to
provide the seniors with the care they deserve.