Swallowing Disorders

Difficulty in swallowing is common in all ages, especially in the elderly. In this case, liquid and solid
difficulty in getting food from the mouth to the stomach. There are many reasons, most of them are not important and
it is temporary. Difficulty swallowing is rarely a sign of a growing tumor or neurological disease.
If the swallowing difficulty does not go away in a short time, it should be examined by an ear, nose and throat doctor.

How Do You Swallow?

Persons, their saliva, other internal secretions of the head and neck region, solid and liquid foods, during the day
They swallow hundreds of times. The swallowing process has four stages.

– Oral preparation: Foods are chewed and brought to a ready-to-swallow consistency.

– Oral Period: The tongue pushes the solid and liquid food to the back of the mouth and initiates the swallowing process.

– Pharyngeal period: The pharynx is the part between the mouth and the esophagus. Foods passing by meanwhile
they reach the esophagus.

– Esophageal period: Food passes through here and reaches the stomach.

The first and second periods can be controlled voluntarily, but the third and fourth periods are
It happens automatically, out of hand.

What Causes Swallowing Disorders?
Impairment at any stage of the swallowing process can cause this.’Bad teeth, bad dentures,
It may occur due to the common cold. One of the most common causes of difficulty in swallowing is that food comes out of the stomach.
esophageal reflux (gastroesophageal reflux). In this case, eating acidic stomach contents
It comes from the tube to the pharynx (back of the throat) and creates a burning sensation. Other causes: paralysis, progressive nerve
system disorders, presence of tracheostomy tube, paralyzed or immobile vocal cord, mouth, throat or eating
tube tumor, head, neck and esophagus region operations.

Symptoms of swallowing disorders can include:

– drooling

– An obsessive feeling in the throat or chest when swallowing saliva, solid and liquid foods

– Discomfort in the throat and chest (especially in the presence of gastroesophageal reflux)

– Foreign body or mass sensation in the throat

– Weight loss and malnutrition due to prolonged severe swallowing difficulties

– Due to the fact that liquid and solid foods do not pass easily through the esophagus, they escape into the trachea and
coughing up feeling of suffocation

Who Evaluates and Treats Swallowing Disorders?

Family physicians can evaluate and treat conditions such as ‘common cold, simple gastroesophageal reflux’.
In cases of further swallowing disorders or unknown causes, experts in this field are involved.
must enter. These people are otolaryngologists, nutritionists, neurologists, dentists.
and gastroenterology specialists.

Generally, a group work gives more successful results.

Evaluation of a persistent swallowing disorder: The swallowing disorder has become persistent and the cause is obvious.
if not, the otolaryngologist takes a good history of the disease and conducts an examination. This examination
mirrors or endoscopes can be used. If necessary, esophagus, stomach and duodenum
examination is carried out together with gastroenterologists. Barium x-ray films of the digestive system
may be requested.

Discuss with a neurologist whether the swallowing disorder is caused by the nervous system.
may need to be evaluated.

Possible treatments: Once the cause has been found, swallowing disorder can be treated with:

1) Medication
2) Swallowing therapy

Many of these diseases can be treated with medication. Muscle that reduces or neutralizes stomach acid secretion
Relaxing drugs are among them. Treatment is arranged according to the cause.

Gastro-esophageal reflux can be treated by regulating food and living habits.

For example :

– Eating small and frequent soft foods

– Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine

– reduce weight and stress

– Not eating, starting 3 hours before going to bed

– Raising the head of your bed

If these do not help, anti-acid medications may be helpful between meals and at bedtime.

Many swallowing disorders can be treated with the direct swallowing method. Speech specialist, swallowing muscles
the processes necessary to ensure regular operation and to stimulate the reflexes of the swallowing nerves.
can teach. Patients are asked to ‘take the food into their mouths in a certain position’ and to ‘swallow’
‘give an easy position’ can be taught.

In some cases, an operation can be applied. If there is a narrowing or adhesion, this area can be enlarged.
or can be opened. If an axle is too tight, it may be necessary to reduce the tension. This operation is called ‘myotomy’.
and is performed by ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgeons.

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