Dysphagia, which is the term used to describe swallowing issues, can strike whenever it pleases and is caused by a multitude of underlying issues. In some cases, if left unchecked, dysphagia can lead to aspiration and then pneumonia. Also, with the nature of dysphagia, maintaining a nutritious diet and sustaining proper weight levels can become difficult. Luckily, your doctor can prescribe treatments and there are plenty of over-the-counter solutions that can speed up recovery.
If you’re suffering from swallowing issues without any obvious cause, you need to seek medical attention. It may be tempting to shrug it off as something that will pass, but it can point to severe underlying conditions. Throughout this article, we will tell you why you should have a doctor check you out.
What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is the medical jargon for what the common people call swallowing difficulties. If you’ve got dysphagia, you may have problems directing liquid, issues with manipulating food, and your mouth may become subject to drooling. Having swallowing issues can be embarrassing and inconvenient, especially if swallowed medications are needed for other conditions. Luckily, you can easily get your hands on over-the-counter solutions. For example, adding SimplyThick Easy Mix to your liquids will make them easier to swallow.
Nutrients are crucial for maintaining a healthy diet. However, if you’ve got dysphagia, you may struggle to intake the right amount. Therefore, you may need to seek the help of a doctor, who will work with you to create a sensible diet, and they can flush your body with missing nutrients.
When left to its own devices, dysphagia can damage the body beyond repair, which leaves surgery as the last treatment option. Guessing which surgery you’ll need is impossible because dysphagia comes in too many forms. However, it’s safe to say that you’ll likely need one of the following:
- Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy. During this invasive surgery, the sphincter is removed completely, which should allow food to make its way to the stomach with ease.
- Stent Insertion. Stents are metal or plastic tubes that are placed in the body surgically and often removed later. You will find them used to treat minor heart attacks, and their job is to keep arteries open. For dysphagia, it’s the airways where stents are inserted.
- Esophageal Dilation. If you’ve got a tight sphincter, you may need to have an endoscope passed through the esophagus. Inside, a balloon will be inflated to try and stretch your muscles.
Brushing off the symptoms of dysphagia can have serious consequences. For example, you can develop aspiration issues, which is when food wrongly travels through the airways and enters the lungs. Unfortunately, this will lead to pneumonia if left unchecked.
Dysphagia refers to difficulties with swallowing and can be caused by a variety of conditions. When left untreated, dysphagia can cause further issues, and in the worst-case scenario require surgery to treat. Through medical attention, you can create a better lifestyle and hopefully recover from the condition.