Being able to swallow our saliva or food is something that many of us take for granted. It is something that we do constantly and is a necessity if we are going to live a healthy life. What we don’t realize is what it takes for us to be able to perform what we consider a simple action. The action of many muscles and nerves in good working order are required to execute a swallowing action.
Problems occur when something interferes with the swallowing process. There are many conditions that can cause this. Swallowing disorders are serious and when the problem occurs help should be sought immediately.
The medical term for difficulty in swallowing is dysphagia and is more common than many may realize. Although there are several causes for swallowing difficulties, one of the most common is the aftermath of a stroke. Added to the list of causes is brain trauma from an injury or from diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sometimes individuals who are taking some types of medications can end up with a swallowing disorder as a side effect of the drug.
Swallowing disorders can be categorized by the area affected during the swallowing process. For example, problems can occur in the mouth, throat, esophagus or any combination.
There are some very effective treatments that can be implemented for swallowing disorders and many times individuals who are suffering with this problem don’t realize that help is available that can really improve their quality of life.
Here at S.L. Hunter we assess and treat a variety of swallowing disorders that may be evident in any age group. If you suspect that you or someone you love may have a swallowing disorder, we can help.