Quick Answer: What Causes Difficulty Swallowing In Elderly?

Quick Answer: What Causes Difficulty Swallowing In Elderly?

Throat dysphagia can be caused by conditions, including: Cancer and/or cancer treatments. Neurological damage from stroke, spinal cord injury or brain injury. Neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy.

Why do elderly lose ability to swallow?

Older adults’ teeth are often weak or absent. The mucosal surfaces in the mouth and throat are less moist. There is a loss of muscle strength in the mouth and throat that slows swallowing and makes it difficult to swallow hard or dry solid foods.

How can elderly improve their swallowing?

As example, you may be asked to:

  1. Inhale and hold your breath very tightly.
  2. Pretend to gargle while holding your tongue back as far as possible.
  3. Pretend to yawn while holding your tongue back as far as possible.
  4. Do a dry swallow, squeezing all of your swallowing muscles as tightly as you can.

How is dysphagia treated in the elderly?

For oropharyngeal dysphagia, doctors will likely recommend a combination of exercises (designed to help re-coordinate muscles used during swallowing) and speech therapy. Esophageal dysphagia may be more involved. If there is a stricture, a doctor may need to dilate the esophagus in order to expand its width.

When should I be concerned about difficulty swallowing?

You should see your doctor to determine the cause of your swallowing difficulties. Call a doctor right away if you’re also having trouble breathing or think something might be stuck in your throat. If you have sudden muscle weakness or paralysis and can’t swallow at all, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

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What medications cause trouble swallowing?

Drug classes that may contribute to difficulty swallowing include neuroleptics, chemotherapy agents, antihypertensives, tricyclic antidepressants, anticholinergics, antihistamines, antiparkinsonian agents, and other drugs that impair saliva production.

What to feed someone who has trouble swallowing?

Choose foods that are easy to swallow. Try breakfast foods like instant oatmeal, grits, pancakes, waffles, and cold cereal that has been softened in milk. For a main dish, try chicken, tuna or egg salad, soups and stews, soft cooked fish, tofu, and meatloaf.

How do you feed an elderly person who can’t swallow?

Avoid feeding them breads with raisins, nuts or seeds, along with hard, dry crackers or cereals. If they can tolerate thin liquids, first moisten the cereal, bread or crackers with milk or another liquid. Rice or pastas that are well-cooked are also good choices for those with a swallowing impairment.

How do you cure swallowing problems?

Treatment for dysphagia includes:

  1. Exercises for your swallowing muscles. If you have a problem with your brain, nerves, or muscles, you may need to do exercises to train your muscles to work together to help you swallow.
  2. Changing the foods you eat.
  3. Dilation.
  4. Endoscopy.
  5. Surgery.
  6. Medicines.

What is the best medicine for dysphagia?

Diltiazem: Can aid in esophageal contractions and motility, especially in the disorder known as the nutcracker esophagus. Cystine-depleting therapy with cysteamine: Treatment of choice for patients with dysphagia due to pretransplantation or posttransplantation cystinosis.

Can heart problems cause trouble swallowing?

— Difficulties in swallowing are rarely caused by cardiovascular diseases. In patients with chronic mitral valvar lesions such symptoms have occasionally resulted from direct mechanical compression of the esophagus by the elevated pressure in the dilated left atrium.

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What are the signs that a person may have dysphagia?

Other signs of dysphagia include:

  • coughing or choking when eating or drinking.
  • bringing food back up, sometimes through the nose.
  • a sensation that food is stuck in your throat or chest.
  • persistent drooling of saliva.
  • being unable to chew food properly.
  • a gurgly, wet-sounding voice when eating or drinking.

What is the most common cause of dysphagia?

Acid reflux disease is the most common cause of dysphagia. People with acid reflux may have problems in the esophagus, such as an ulcer, a stricture (narrowing of the esophagus), or less likely a cancer causing difficulty swallowing.

Does dysphagia go away?

Dysphagia is a another medical name for difficulty swallowing. This symptom isn’t always indicative of a medical condition. In fact, this condition may be temporary and go away on its own.

What are three disorders that cause dysphagia?

Some neurological causes of dysphagia include:

  • a stroke.
  • neurological conditions that cause damage to the brain and nervous system over time, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and motor neurone disease.
  • brain tumours.
  • myasthenia gravis – a rare condition that causes your muscles to become weak.

Alice Sparrow

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