If you have recently been diagnosed with dysphagia (a condition which affects, to varying degrees depending on the individual, your ability to and comfort in swallowing) or else have been living with dysphagia for a long time, it can often feel overwhelming.
With this in mind, continue reading to learn about four things that will hopefully make living with dysphagia more manageable.
Making Changes To Your Diet Can Make A Real Difference
The extent of your dysphagia signs and symptoms will tend to dictate which foods are more palatable and easier to digest than others, but having said that, there are certain foods which more or less any person living with dysphagia can usually manage to chew and swallow relatively easily.
Such foods include, but are not limited to:
- Meats which have been pureed
- Pre-gelled breads
- Soft vegetables with no lumps, seeds or chunks
- Mashed potatoes made with milk
- Mashed fruit
- Fruits which have been pureed
Additionally, a natural and affordable food thickener, such as SimplyThick, can transform a meal that you would love to eat yet physically are unable to, into one that you can consume and enjoy.
Medication Can Be Prescribed (Mainly For Oesophageal Dysphagia)
Oesophageal dysphagia, which occurs once the food has been swallowed, can be caused by a wide plethora of different things, but the good news is that there are certain types of medication that has been found to make a significant difference for some people.
Such medications that have been proven to have an overall positive effect for people who are living with oesophageal dysphagia include antacids, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids and PPIs (proton-pump inhibitors.)
Proven-To-Be-Effective Exercises For Oropharyngeal Dysphagia
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is concerned specifically with the act involved with, or inability to perform, swallowing itself and can be caused by anatomic, neuromuscular or structural irregularities.
One of the most effective ways to reduce, and in some people’s cases minimise, the struggle with swallowing is to regular practice at home certain exercises. Arranging an appointment with a speech and language therapist will provide you with all the information you need about certain exercises and a basis on which you can build your own experience and knowledge of the right exercises that seem to work for you.
Surgery Is An Option For Severe Dysphagia
Contrary to popular belief, there are certain surgical procedures that your medical doctor or physician may well recommend if the above different measures have little or no effect.
Specifically, surgery is usually recommended for people whose dysphagia is caused by either an obstruction or due to a narrowing of oesophagus. Usually, before you are approved for surgery relating to your dysphagia, you will have a series of x-rays with a contrast material (meaning you will be given a solution or barium, so it is easier for your doctor to identify the issue) and then have an evaluation of your swallowing process through a Fiber Optic endoscopic evaluation.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Lifestyle category