Dysphagia - Part I
D Y S P H A G I A Series
What is Dysphagia? It is a difficulty with swallowing. It typically results from the weakening of mouth and throat muscles and can be caused by aging, diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease, or from a medical trauma like a stroke. Dysphagia affects an estimated 6 million seniors in the United States!!
Why you should be concerned about swallowing problems
Dysphagia is important to be aware of because it can cause serious health problems for seniors, including:
Not taking medication properly
Aspiration pneumonia – a lung infection caused by food or liquid particles in the lungs and leading cause of hospitalization and death in nursing home residents
What causes dysphagia?
Any problem in the swallowing process can cause trouble.
There are many potential causes for dysphagia, which is why it’s so important to get checked out by a doctor.
Common causes include:
Teeth in bad condition or poorly fitting dentures
Normal aging (weakening of mouth/throat muscles)
Acid reflux (GERD)
Cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s or dementia
Cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus
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