What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a disorder that is related to consuming food or liquids through the mouth to the stomach. The patient suffering from Dysphagia may suffer from severe pain while swallowing the food. Dysphagia has got nothing to with the age of the patient. It can affect any person at any age. However it is found that older people are the ones who are the most affected by the disorder.
What are the symptoms of Dysphagia?
A symptom of Dysphagia is the difficulty in swallowing food. Other than this there are some related problems that one should consider before reporting to the doctor about your disorder. Other related symptoms include pain in the throat and the inability to swallow how ever hard you try. You can choke easily or come up with a cough while eating. You may experience a sensation that the food is getting stuck in your chest or the breast bone area while having your food. There will be intense pain in the chest like a heart burn. As the patient avoids food, he / she are likely to suffer from a loss of weight and tire easily.
Dysphagia in children is indicative by lack of inattention during feeding. Children take more than the normal required time for eating / feeding. Vomiting up the food or spitting up the food during feeds / during eating. The child may also be unable to co-ordinate eating with breathing resulting in chocking. The result is poor gain of weight and / or sudden loss of weight.
Other related symptoms include change in voice and recurrent pneumonia.
What Causes Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is caused when the patient has suffered from any head injury or injury to the spine. This causes the muscles of the throat and the esophagus to respond poorly and the result is Dysphagia.
In the case of older people, a person who has suffered from a stroke can also suffer from Dysphagia.
Any internal infections can also cause Dysphagia. People with born abnormalities of the throat are unable to swallow any food. Children born with a condition of the cleft palate can also suffer from Dysphagia.
People suffering from Parkinson’s disease also show up sign of Dysphagia. Others include motor neuron diseases, Poliomyelitis, Multiple sclerosis and old age related problems.
Complications of Dysphagia
Dysphagia itself has not caused any problems, but then problems that are associated with Dysphagia are a many. If the food that you eat gets in to your air way, this may result in chocking and the food particles causes infection in the air passage resulting in pneumonia. Other problems upper respiratory tract infections and sometimes liquid accumulates in the lungs. If liquid gets in to the lungs, it needs to drain out surgically.
Dysphagia can be treated. The types of treatment depend on how serious the condition of the patient is. If it is not of an acute nature, treatment is given by the form of exercises and medications. If the condition is quite serious then one should opt for surgical correction of the problem.