Swallowing disorders are disorders caused by Novartis or nervous system deficiencies while water or solid food is sent to the esophagus during swallowing.
What Are Swallowing Disorders Divided Into?
Mouth (Oral) phase: difficulty chewing and carrying solid or liquid nutrients to the throat
Pharyngeal phase: difficulty in initiating swallowing, pushing solid or liquid nutrients into the throat-esophagus, and blocking the airway so that nutrients do not go the wrong way.
Stomach tube (esophageal) phase: difficulty opening and closing holes in the throat and stomach and pushing food along the esophagus.
What are the causes of swallowing disorder in adults?
Nervous System Damage
Stroke, brain trauma, spinal cord injury
Parkinson's, Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy
Problems affecting head and neck
- Cancer of the mouth, throat or esophagus
- Head, neck injury or surgery
- Missing teeth or false teeth are not appropriate
Other than these, many other diseases, conditions, or surgical interventions can cause trouble swallowing.
How do swallowing problems affect individuals?
- Malnutrition or dryness
- Aspiration risk
- Decreased eating and drinking pleasure
- Do not be disturbed in social activities related to food
What are the symptoms of swallowing disorders?
- Coughing during or after eating, drinking
- Wet sound during or after eating or drinking
- It is also important to remember that you are taking more time or effort than you need to chew or swallow.
- Oral solid or liquid nutrient leakage, or stick into your mouth
- Obstruction in the chest after eating
- Weight loss due to not eating enough
Where can I get help?
You can contact a language and speech therapist who is an expert in the field.
What does a language and speech therapist do to assess swallowing disorders?
- Gets the patient's medical history and history of symptoms.
- Controls the movement and strength of swallowing-related muscles such as lips, tongue, jaw, and hard palate.
- Performs tests to assess swallowing problems affecting the mouth and throat.
How Is Swallowing Disorders Treated?
Treatment usually varies depending on the cause, symptoms, and type of swallowing problem. Language and speech therapist;
- Exercises, postures, and methods to help you swallow more effectively,
- Recommends specific solid and liquid foods for safer, easier to swallow.
VitalStim Therapy Method For The Treatment Of Swallowing Disorders
The VitalStim therapy method is known to be the treatment method used to treat dysphagia (swallowing disorder) and to provide the most effective results. Approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), VitalStim therapy applications are used with neuromuscular electrical stimuli (NMES) to strengthen the swallowing muscles and provide motor control of swallowing. Studies of many field literature on swallowing therapy reveal that the VitalStim therapy method is effective and that there is considerable success in gaining swallowing ability as a result of the stimulus.
It is a non-interventional method that aims to stimulate the weak swallowing muscles in the pharyngeal and laryngeal areas with low electrical currents and has been developed specifically for the treatment of oral and pharyngeal swallowing disorders. VitalStim therapy practices aim to help achieve motor control by strengthening and re-coordinating weak muscles. It enables the activation and swallowing function to be performed in sync with electrical stimulation on the novelties needed to achieve pharyngeal movement, which is the precursor to the swallowing process. VitalStim is used as an auxiliary tool during swallowing therapy. It also helps shorten the rehabilitation process and provide patient comfort.
Swallowing Disorders Can Be Treated…
VitalStim can be used in all individuals who have trouble swallowing and difficulty swallowing and who do not have paralysis in any of the nerves involved in the anatomy of swallowing. It can be applied safely in the rehabilitation of all swallowing difficulties caused by neurological and mechanical problems.
Before applying VitalStim therapy, the swallowing processes are evaluated and the placement of the novelties in the muscle group that is weak is decided. After the electrodes are inserted into the patient, the most appropriate current intensity and excitation type required for swallowing is determined. Once the device is connected to the patient, the clinician applies to swallow therapy. During therapy, electrical stimulation lasts between 20 min and 45 min. Each step of the VitalStim therapy process consists of approximately 10-12 Sessions. After the therapy sessions, the effectiveness of the therapy is evaluated by various imaging studies.
What can family members or carers do to help?
- Ask questions about the recommended treatment and understanding of the problem.
- They help maintain the treatment plan.
- They help him exercise.
- Prepare the recommended foods and drinks.
- They follow up on how much of the patient's nutrients are finished.
* The language and speech therapist is the professional expert responsible for managing the case as a team member.
Source: Asha (AMERICAN SPEECH-LANGUAGE HEARING ASSOCIATION)