A swallowing disorder can be extremely unpleasant, and many of us do not have to experience it to imagine how awful it must feel not to be able to swallow food, water, or even saliva.
Around 9 million Americans, an average of 2%, experience swallowing difficulties, and it becomes more common the older the age bracket. Those who are in care homes or suffer from dementia can have a particularly difficult time with it.
Thankfully, thanks to modern medicine, innovative technology, and people that care, there are many treatments both in medicine and on the market that can help those with swallowing disorders get their life back on track and on the road to recovery.
This piece will discuss some of the treatment options available for swallowing disorders.
Medication is high on the list when it comes to treating those with swallowing disorders. This is because swallowing disorders are often can be in associated with certain illnesses. Using the medication to treat the illness can sometimes result in it being effective for the swallowing disorder too. Problems with weak muscles, inflammation of the muscles, thyroid issues, and those who experience tremors that are treated by medication might also find that the medication can help swallowing issues– depending on what is causing them.
In some cases where someone has a swallowing disorder, they might require a form of surgery. This will depend on the type of disorder you have been diagnosed with, though some surgeries that are linked to swallowing disorders usually involve the esophagus muscle. It is worth noting that surgery will often only be used if it is the best option for the patient, as it can be a lengthy process and will more than likely require a specialist.
Swallow Retraining Therapy
Swallow retraining therapy is something that almost everyone with a swallowing disorder can try, as long as they have not been advised by a medical professional not to do so.
Swallow retraining therapy is exactly as it sounds. The patient will be essentially learning how to swallow again and will use a variety of techniques administered by a trained speech-language pathologist to help them get back to swallowing easily and by themselves.
Other useful aids that might help those with a swallowing disorder are products that are designed to go down the throat easily. This can be anything from a cookbook that has been designed to be used by people who have issues with swallowing to formulas that have been specially developed to help those who have swallowing problems. SimplyThick food thickener is a puree food thickener that has been designed specifically to help those with swallowing conditions and has excellent reviews when it comes to the product’s success rate.
You can even get products such as specialist straws and regulating drinking cups to help with the disorders too.
Having a swallowing disorder can be extremely frightening and uncomfortable, but many are treatable, and there is access to help and specialists available to help you manage the disorder.