Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulties in swallowing. This condition can occur in any person, but mostly in children and seniors. If you or someone you know complains about swallowing difficulties, it’s wise to consult with your physician. After all, the food and drinks you swallow are direly needed for your health.
The swallowing problem can happen in three phases. As your source of home health & hospice in Wichita, Kansas, we share the following basic knowledge on how dysphagia can affect your loved one in each phase:
- Oral phase
Food first enters the body through the mouth. This involves chewing, munching, or sipping the food to be pushed to the throat. When dysphagia affects this phase, the patient will have difficulty moving the food from the mouth to the throat.
- Pharyngeal phase
If the food successfully enters the throat, it is being slowly pushed inward to the pharynx. In this area, the healthy person’s air passage is closed off to allow the food to proceed inside. However, when there’s dysphagia at this phase, the air passage can remain open resulting to the patient coughing out the food or getting choked in the process.
- Esophageal phase
The esophagus is the tube that pushes the swallowed food down to the stomach. In healthy persons, the esophagus squeezes in the food so that it slides into the stomach. But when a person has dysphagia at this phase, the esophagus doesn’t function normally. As a result, the food can be stuck inside it, or worse, be vomited by the person.
Dysphagia is a serious problem that needs the assistance of a healthcare professional in Kansas. Our speech therapists team at Providence Home Health and Hospice LLC can assist your loved one in working out their swallowing problems. As soon as dysphagia is being noted, the speech therapists can be consulted to perform necessary treatments.
Here are the common signs of swallowing problems:
- Shows discomfort each feeding time
- Difficulty in breathing while eating and/or drinking
- Difficulty in chewing food
- Liquid contents come out of the mouth or nose
- Keeps on throwing up
- Has weight below ideal figure
- Eating takes a long time to finish
- Gets picky about food types
- Repeatedly coughs while eating
- Doesn’t want to eat or drink at all
Your loved one with swallowing problems can benefit the assistance of a home health aide who will help them finish their meals or undergo the ideal treatment. If you’re in need of speech therapists or other care services, contact us at Providence Home Health and Hospice LLC.