Essay On Dysphagia

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Although the term “dysphagia” is often regarded as a symptom or sign, it can be used to describe a medical condition in its own right. Many people that suffer from dysphagia are unaware of it – in such cases, it may go undiagnosed and untreated. This raises the risk of aspiration pneumonia, a serious lung infection that can develop after the accidental inhalation of saliva or food particles. Undiagnosed dysphagia may also lead to dehydration and malnutrition. A physical examination and a variety of tests can be carried out to determine the cause of the patient’s swallowing problem. These may include a visual examination of the esophagus, referred to as a fiber-optic endoscopic swallowing evaluation. A small endoscope enters the esophagus through the nasal, allowing visualisation of the foods movement through the esophagus. Another test that may be performed is an esophageal muscle manometry. The process of a manometry involves a …show more content…
For oropharyngeal dysphagia, treatment is carried out by a speech or swallowing therapist, and can involve strengthening exercises to help coordinate swallowing muscles or re-stimulate the nerves that trigger the reflex action. Learning ways to place food in the mouth or how to position the body and head may also help ease the swallowing process. Treatment approaches for esophageal dysphagia are more invasive, such as esophageal dilation or surgery. For a tight esophageal sphincter or an esophageal stricture (an abnormal narrowing of a bodily passage), an endoscope with a special balloon attached may be used to gently stretch and expand the width of the esophagus (dilatation). Surgery can be carried out to clear the esophageal path. Severe dysphagia may require special liquid diets or a feeding tube in some cases. This helps maintain a healthy weight and avoids dehydration. A feeding tube enters the nose and bypasses the swallowing mechanism entirely, feeding nutrients directly to the

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