10 Oct Are You Having Difficulty Swallowing?
The feeling of having food stuck in your throat, experiencing any sort of uneasiness, or having difficulty swallowing can fall in the category of having dysphagia. Although many times, issues in swallowing food can be associated with eating too fast without actually chewing our food thoroughly. In such instances, there is nothing to worry about, but if signs of dysphagia persist, you’ll need to visit the emergency room as the difficulty may be a symptom of a larger medical condition.
How you Swallow
Swallowing our food takes more than we think. It is a three-stage process in actuality, where it involves 50 pairs of muscles and various nerves. We mostly enjoy eating and do not pay attention to the mechanism behind eating our food. It is, however, important to take note of the fact that while we eat for nourishment, we must follow the stages in order for the food and liquid to get from our mouths to our stomach.
Causes of Dysphagia
We asked our friend, Dr. Fardi Farhat, a Sterling Heights dentist, about the causes of dysphagia. Dr. Farhat says that although dysphagia can happen at any stage, it is most common in those people that fall in the bracket of older adults. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, about 60 percent of patients in nursing homes are affected by dysphagia.
Moreover, it’s pointed out by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) that illnesses such as cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease affect the nerves and muscles that are needed for swallowing which in return bring about dysphagia.
Signs and Symptoms of Dysphagia
Symptoms include the inability to swallow. In instances where you are unable to move food from your mouth to the upper esophagus, you are experiencing oropharyngeal dysphagia. You may be regurgitating liquid through your nose, experiencing a choking sensation, coughing and gagging as you swallow.
In the case of esophageal dysphagia, moving food through the esophagus to the stomach is difficult. You may feel pain as the food gets stuck in your throat. In severe cases, there may be pressure and pain in your chest.
It is important to consult a doctor and schedule an appointment at your earliest.
The treatment may depend primarily on the severity of the case. In issues where there is a complication, the treatment will be according to that.
In the case of oropharyngeal dysphagia, you may be referred to a speech therapist by your doctor. This will assist you in exercising the coordination of muscles and help in the stimulation of nerves that are responsible for the swallowing process.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Apart from taking smaller bites and making sure to chew carefully, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and schedule for dental check-ups regularly with your dentist in Georgetown, KY. In a scenario where you may experience symptoms of dysphagia, consult a doctor immediately.