There are few things more fundamental to life and as reflexive as being able to swallow. That’s why it is so frustrating and scary when you can’t do it, due to dysphagia, which is the clinical term for difficulty swallowing. What happens is that the muscles used to swallow become weak, or those muscles and/or their supporting structures become hindered, not allowing the normal process of swallowing to occur. Fortunately, we can help with our Upper East Side geriatrics swallowing. Among the consequences that are associated with dysphagia are aspiration and aspiration pneumonia. This involves debris entering the lungs through the trachea instead of the esophagus as it normally would.
What causes dysphagia to begin with? There are a variety of issues that can lead to it, such as stroke, acid reflux, progressive neurologic disorder, having a tracheotomy tube; a tumor in the mouth, throat, or esophagus; a paralyzed vocal fold; or as a side-effect of cancer or surgery to the head, neck or esophagus. Knowing why it develops is important, but not as much so as doing something to address it. And that is where our Upper East Side geriatrics swallowing becomes so useful. We don’t want you to be at risk for difficulties and complications such as the ones mentioned earlier. And without being able to swallow consistently and efficiently, it has a negative impact on your entire life.
Here is what we can do: Our speech-language pathologist can minimize or even eliminate the impact that dysphagia may cause. This is done with special exercises that serve to coordinate the swallowing muscles. That is just one method used in our Upper East Side geriatrics swallowing. Others include recommending changes to your diet that will lessen the effects. The overall goal is to minimize the possibility of suffering with aspiration or aspiration pneumonia or needing to be hospitalized. We can even help with assisting both you and your caregiver in being able to monitor for signs of aspiration. Patient and caregiver education and counseling may also be of use. With perseverance and dedication, we’re confident that we can make a difference.