An estimated 15 million people in the United States have a diagnosis of dysphagia with nearly one million people receiving a new diagnosis of dysphagia each year.

Nearly 60,000 people die each year from complications associated with swallowing disorders.*  In looking to our geriatric population, the complications associated with dysphagia greatly increase, with 40-75% of long term care residents experiencing symptoms of dysphagia.

People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing and may also experience pain while swallowing. Some people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble swallowing liquids, foods, or even saliva. When eating becomes a challenge, dysphagia can make it difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish the body. Other serious health risks can occur such as aspiration, pneumonia, dehydration, weight loss and airway obstruction.

At SDX, our expert FEES testing not only diagnoses the cause of dysphagia but also determines dietary and compensatory strategies for treatment.

COMMON DYSPHAGIA SIGNS & SYMPTOMS REPORTED

  • Coughing and choking with swallowing
  • Difficulty initiating swallowing
  • Pain while swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Food sticking in the throat (globus)
  • Avoiding certain foods
  • Pressure or pain in chest
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Bringing food back up (regurgitation)
  • Sialorrhea (hypersalivation)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition & Dehydration
  • Taking a long time to eat (30 min or more)
  • Change in dietary habits
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Change in voice or speech
  • Gurgling sound in throat
  • Bad breath
  • Nasal regurgitation

*National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control.​

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DYSPHAGIA

  • Stroke or traumatic brain injury
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Parkinson's
  • Cervical osteoarthritis
  • Thyroid enlargement
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Status/Post general surgery
  • Intubation and/or tracheostomy
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Developmental problems due to premature birth or low birth weight
  • Myopathy
  • Laryngectomy
  • Pharyngectomy
  • Head and neck surgery (oral cavity cancer)
  • Cervical brace, cervical spondylosis
  • Aging
  • Cerebal palsy
  • Use of certain medications: antihistamines, anticholinergics, antidepressants and antihypertensives that affect salivary gland function or the neurology of swallowing can result in xerostomia (dry mouth) or swallowing dyscoordination.

Dysphagia / Swallowing Disorders