Dysphagia is the medical term utilized when referring to swallowing difficulties. It is normally caused by strokes and other injuries or conditions that affect the surrounding nervous systems. In some instances, dysphagia is easily resolved before causing any complications; however, it can be a life-threatening situation if the issue continues to worsen. Many people diagnosed with dysphagia find help in consuming liquid medicines when they are unable to swallow their medicine in pill form.
A special measuring spoon is used to make sure the right amount of liquid medication is provided each time. Since teaspoons are not made in a standard size, a recent study revealed that the dosage size varied a great deal when the special spoon that was supplied with the medication was not utilized. If utilizing the spoon proves to be problematic, request a medicine cup or syringe to allow more accurate measurement of the dose.
It is necessary for liquid formulations to be created in a somewhat different manner so that the patient receives the proper dosage without having to consume large amounts of liquid in the process. It also must include ingredients that mask the taste of the medication, which is frequently quite bitter and foul tasting. The average dosage for children is usually 5 ml, but adults normally must take more. The medicine is given in a syrup formula, a mixture or solution, and has sweeteners and flavourings to cover the taste of the drug, thicker fluids are frequently used since they are less likely to get spilled or accidentally inhaled. Other substances may be included to keep the medication suspended in the liquid and to ensure that it does what it is supposed to do.
Medication must be stored safely and properly. All instructions regarding when and how much medicine to take should be followed closely, and any residual medications should be taken to a pharmacy for proper disposal.
The brain controls swallowing, which is a complex neurological process. It begins with the act of chewing food until it forms a small, soft ball of food called a bolus. The bolus passes into the pharynx where several automatic small muscle movements work in unison to move food into the oesophagus (food tube) and to the stomach. All of this takes place while the body is at the same time blocking the entry of any food or liquid into the wind pipe and lungs. Many areas of the brain are involved in the action of swallowing, so damage to any of these areas, such as a stroke, can result in dysphagia.
Various medical conditions can cause issues with swallowing. In order to formulate an effective treatment plan, the discovery of how the problem developed is a critical step. Stoke dysphasia is the most frequent cause. Following a stroke, many patients find that utilizing food and medicines in liquid form can ameliorate the problem. Swallowing ability can be improved with exercise, but insertion of a feeding tube may be necessary in persistent cases.
If the dysphagia is so marked that even liquids cannot be swallowed, a feeding tube may have to be inserted on a temporary or permanent basis. This is a last resort if alternative treatments do not provide the desired result. Before reaching this stage, swallowing can be eased by taking smaller mouthfuls of food, chewing more thoroughly, adding liquid to the food or by actually liquefying the food. It is also helpful to remain calm; when swallowing difficulty arises, many patients become upset and this only makes the problem worse.
Inflammatory muscle disease is the most common cause of dysphasia in younger people; in older patients, dysphagia is frequently caused by central nervous system issues, like Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, bulbar palsy and stroke. Achalasia is another issue that may cause swallowing problems. This condition occurs when the oesophagus is unable to relax and allow food and liquids to pass through it to the stomach. Food regurgitation, loss of weight and chest pain are the result.
Without treatment, dysphagia may result in the oesophagus becoming dilated and damaged. When that occurs, patients who previously had trouble swallowing solids but were still able to swallow liquids may eventually find that their ability to swallow liquids has become compromised as well. This could result in the necessity of inserting a feeding tube into the person so that s/he can obtain essential food and water. Don’t put up with dysphagia more than you need to. Utilize medicines in liquid form, mash up your food, take little bites, chew well and discuss the problem with your doctor because, if this condition is not treated, dysphagia could potentially be fatal.