Oropharyngeal dysphagia is the inability or difficulty swallowing. That is, comprises alterations in the passage of food bolus from entering the mouth to the esophagus passes through the upper esophageal sphincter. These disorders are diagnosed in the doctor's specialist in Otolaryngology. Alterations of the passage of the bolus through the esophagus and into the stomach are treated by a specialist in digestive health and are called Esophageal Dysphagia.
What oropharyngeal dysphagia patients may suffer?
Oropharyngeal dysphagia can affect patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors. In the case of cerebral palsy or middle-aged people with sudden onset of neurological diseases such as stroke or stroke; or chronic such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis or various myopathies. Another important group is people with sequelae of surgery for brain tumors or head and neck area and that due to an accident have a major brain damage that prevents them from eating properly. The elderly by the aging process itself may also have swallowing problems.
What are the symptoms of oropharyngeal dysphagia?
Sometimes the symptoms are subtle and among them are: to reject certain types of foods, take a long time to eat or coughing up fluid intake. At other times, however, patients suffer significant choking and have real difficulties for safe swallowing. They drool, even with saliva and are unable to handle a spoonful in your mouth. In these cases the feed is introduced directly into the stomach by gavage.
Consequences of oropharyngeal dysphagia
These alterations lead to patient often to malnutrition which further deteriorates overall. On the other hand, swallowing disorders are responsible for the food is diverted to the respiratory tract causing fever peaks and aspiration pneumonia.
How oropharyngeal dysphagia diagnosed?
The diagnosis is made through a detailed study of the swallowing process where the main evidence is the video-fluoroscopic swallowing. This radiology test informs us in real time of all the alterations of the swallowing process, laying the groundwork for a personalized treatment.
Is there treatment for oropharyngeal dysphagia?
Oropharyngeal Dysphagia is by enabling techniques, and various praxias deglutition maneuvers or exercises. There is also the nerve stimulation by VitalStim System and surgical treatments on the larynx and upper esophageal sphincter.
It is important to note that treatment will lead to success which will be based on an accurate diagnosis that correctly identifies alterations swallowing process.