According to Chandra M. Ivey, MD, director of laryngology, voice, and swallowing disorders at Columbia Doctors Eastside in New York City, “dysphagia affects between 7% and 35% of the population.” This statistics is higher among adults. Adult dysphagia can be mild and easily overlooked. Ivey noted that half of dysphagia patients do not discuss their symptoms with their doctor. As a result, some patients remain undiagnosed for years, which can be dangerous as dysphagia could result to serious complications if not properly addressed.
Here are two serious complications of adult dysphagia:
Poor nutrition and weight loss
For some older adults, eating can become extremely challenging due to deterioration in their swallowing function. They may experience reduced ability to chew food due to missing or weak teeth, difficulty swallowing food due to dry mucosal surfaces or due to loss of muscle strength in the mouth and throat.
Patients who suffered a stroke may experience loss of muscle strength, speed or muscle movement coordination involved when swallowing. These difficulties when not addressed could lead to loss of appetite and result in poor nutrition and weight loss.
Adult dysphagia can also lead to improper intake of their medications, which could further lead to poor health and more serious illnesses.
Joseph R. Spiegel, MD of the Jefferson Voice and Swallowing Center in the otolaryngology department at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals contended that aspiration is the most life-threatening complication of dysphagia. Aspiration is the inhalation of foreign material such as food, liquid, or secretions into the lungs.
Aspiration may result to chocking and coughing which may lead to chest infection. This is dangerous among the elderly due to the high incidence of lung disease and general weakness in their lungs. According to Spiegel “Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of hospitalisation and death in nursing home residents.”
The myliquitab unit helps people with dysphagia take their medications easily and avoid the risk of aspiration. Contact us to pre-order your myLiquitab unit today!