Dysphagia treatment in Panama
What does Dysphagia means?
Dysphagia is a swallowing problem, in other words, a situation that makes it impossible or difficult to swallow. In some cases, dysphagia can be painful and is considered a pathology when it is persistent or continuous.
When the person suffering from dysphagia eats fast or can’t chew food well, this condition appears. The discomfort is sporadic and should not cause any concern; however, if the problem is very frequent you will need the help of a specialist to find a solution.
For the diagnosis, the otolaryngologist will ask for the history of the frequency of dysphagia and will do a physical examination to verify and recommend the best treatment.
Dysphagia can be classified according to different criteria, such as location or progression. these types are:
Arises from abnormalities of muscles, nerves or structures of the oral cavity, pharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter. This type of pathology hinders the passage of food from the first step of the swallowing process, these are cases where neither solids nor liquids are tolerated for swallowing.
People with severe cases suffer from constant choking due to aspiration during the swallowing process.
Is a form of dysphagia where the patient presents difficulty when food (solids or liquids), pass through the esophagus. That means, it is successful when passing through the pharynx, but when it reaches the esophagus, it becomes difficult.
Patients with advanced pathology of this type may experience constant vomiting resulting a nutritional problem.
Dysphagia in adults:
It happens in a percentage of 15% of adults between the third or fifth decade, most of the cases due to allergies.
Dysphagia in children:
Dysphagia in children is common, it happens in children younger than 10 years and it presents with symptoms related to feeding.
Dysphagia in the elderly:
Is called a geriatric syndrome because of loss of muscle strength and neurological coordination. It affects the patient’s quality of life and independence. Most cases of dysphagia occur in older adults.
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Tratamiento para la disfagia
The treatment will depend on the diagnosis, for example; in cases where dysphagia is caused by infection the doctor will try to treat the infection with antibiotics in order to improve the situation and get the patient to regain the ability to swallow.
Other cases of dysphagia are due to consequences of neurological problems in which motor therapy is recommended until the patient recovers his capacity and quality of life.
Medications that reduce stomach acidity are also a treatment for cases of esophageal dysphagia as they improve the acceptance of the food consumed.
Treatment methods are manual dilatation and surgery. Manual dilatation is performed through an endoscope with which a balloon is introduced to widen the esophagus.
Surgery is recommended for patients with very advanced tumors where there is no other option but to perform a surgical intervention to achieve improvement or the application of a gastric tube to provide the patient with the necessary nutrition.
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What are dysphagia causes?
Various muscles and nerves are involved in the swallowing process. If any of these are damaged the process becomes more complicated and gets worse as time goes by. The most common causes are:
Is a failure of smooth muscle fibers to relax, which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to remain closed
Is a condition characterized by uncoordinated contractions of the esophagus, which may cause difficulty swallowing or regurgitation
A narrowing of the esophagus that can cause pieces of food to get stuck
They can be benign or malignant and present a blockage in this organ
The lower part of the esophagus is narrowed.
The presence of items or objects that remain in the throat is a common situation in children and older adults.
Damage to tissues from stomach acid.
The formation of hardened scar like a tissue in the esophagus that interferes with its function.
Is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus.
Inflammation or damage to esophageal tissue may be found as a side effect of cancer treatment.
It can be due to stroke, brain injury and even spinal cord damage can disrupt the ability to swallow.
Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, etc. can be the cause of dysphagia.
Reproduction of malignant cells and even some cancer treatments can cause dysphagia.
To identify if you are suffering of dysphagia you should consider the appearance of some or all of these discomforts: