Swallow Study For Dysphagia Yields Important Information

Posted on June 30, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

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.

Most people with this condition are older adults, those with a disorder of the brain or nervous system and infants. It is not classified as such if you have difficulty once or twice. It is only when it happens with some frequency that it qualifies as a disorder.

A medical care provider identifies this condition through the use of tests. One involves the patient drinking a contrast material called barium. As food is chewed and swallowed, the barium will highlight any blockage

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.

When food or drink goes down the airway instead of the esophagus, it is a dangerous situation. It sometimes causes death. If someone drinks to excess and passes out, he or she may vomit and the airway may be obstructed if he or she is unconscious.

The endoscopy uses an endoscope, which is a lighted instrument, and threads it down the throat. This allows the physician to see the inside walls of your esophagus. Another invasive test passes a fiber optic tube called the laryngoscope in through the nose.

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.

After the results of these tests reveal and identify the disorder, specific treatment can be ordered for the specific type of disorder that is diagnosed. An oropharyngeal case is referred to a speech therapist. Exercises such as restimulating nerves that function as a trigger for the swallow reflex are used. Placing food in your mouth in a new way may be helpful.

The esophageal type can be improved by dilating the sphincter muscle located in the esophagus. In the case of pharyngeal diverticula or a tumor being found, surgical intervention may be needed. The condition called GERD will respond to medication in most instances.

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.

An elderly person who is dysphagic may be unable to get the proper nutrition. A liquid diet may be prescribed. In a case where the patient is in a comatose state, a feeding tube may be the only solution.

One research study was conducted to gauge the incidence of dysphagia and how it relates to pulmonary compromise in those who have suffered a cardiovascular accident, also called a stroke. This was done using existing databases. The risk factor of dysphagia patients developing pneumonia was investigated. The frequency of this comorbidity was the factor being studied.

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