The person who has difficulty swallowing may have the condition, dysphagia. There are tests to confirm whether an individual has it or not. Researchers conducted a swallow study for dysphagia that was able to yield useful information that will ultimately be of value to many sufferers.
The disorder strikes elderly adults and people who have some type of brain or nervous system dysfunction. When someone has one or two esophageal spasms it does not necessarily indicate she or he has this disorder. If it happens frequently, testing can be done to confirm the malady.
There are tests routinely used to identify dysphagia and what caused it. An x-ray using barium as a contrast material shows the physician the shape and muscular activity occurring in your esophagus. As the food passes through, any blockage will be highlighted.
In another, the dynamic test, the patient swallows food of various consistencies that are first coated with barium. The doctor observes as they move through the esophagus. The goal is to see how well these muscles function.
Aspiration is what occurs when any food or drink goes down your airway rather than your esophagus. This is extremely dangerous. In fact, it may cause death in an individuals gets drunk, passes out, regurgitates and swallows the vomit.
An endoscopic examination passes a lighted instrument down the throat. The medical expert then sees what the interior walls of the esophagus looks like. There is another invasive exam that threads a fiber optic tube called a laryngoscope through the nose rather than the mouth.
A manometry is a test that uses a small tube and threads it into the esophagus. Next, it is connected to a diagnostic device that measures muscular contractions as you swallow. All these are valuable diagnostic tests.
When the disorder is confirmed, the optimal treatment can be arranged based on the type. For example, an oropharyngeal case is treated by a speech language pathologist. Nerves that activate the swallowing reflex are restimulated. The position of the food placed in the mouth may improve function as well.
Esophageal dysphagia is treated by dilating the sphincter muscle of the esophagus that is constricted and causing the difficulty. If there is a tumor or pharyngeal diverticula identified, surgery may be required. If the causative factor is a condition called GERD, medication may be needed.
If someone has one or two spasms that cause temporary swallowing difficulties, it may not be dysphagia. The tests will indicate a normal esophagus. Medication can be prescribed to reduce discomfort. If it occurs again, the individual can be retested.
For the most serious cases the only solution may be a special liquid diet. This allows an elderly individual to get the nutrition he or she needs. A feeding tube is reserved as a last resort.
Researchers set out to measure the comorbidity rate in those with dysphagia and pulmonary compromise. The subjects were patients who suffered a cardiovascular incident, or stroke. Existing databases from previous studies were examined to glean the information. The frequency of the two disorders occurring concomitantly in one patient was the focus of this study.
Read more about Swallow Study For Dysphagia Yields Important Information.