The inability to swallow or having difficulty swallowing is referred to as dysphagia. This condition can develop as a result of a variety of illnesses and conditions. For instance, if you have had to undergo surgery on your throat or mouth for some reason, you can find that your swallowing muscles are too weak to swallow properly.
Other things that can result in dysphagia include acid reflux issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as well as more serious conditions like throat cancer. Sometimes dysphagia is the result of another condition altogether.
Ultimately, living with dysphagia can be incredibly difficult. You might find that you are unable to get the nutrition that your body needs from food without the ability to swallow food and liquid properly. However, certain things can be done in order to help you better cope with the condition.
If you suffer from dysphagia or if you are responsible for caring for someone who has the condition, here are a few things that you can do in order to help.
Change the Consistency of Your Food
Some people who suffer from dysphagia cannot swallow anything at all. Liquids and solids alike cannot be tolerated properly by the swallowing muscles and the throat. These, however, are the more extreme cases and likely will require surgical intervention or a feeding tube in order to get the body the nutrition it needs.
However, less severe cases can often be managed by altering the consistency of the food consumed. It is possible to turn foods into purees that will be easier to tolerate when consuming them. It can also be helpful to use a quality food thickener in order to get the consistency of the purees and other foods just right.
There are a variety of products out there that are designed to do just that. Products like Simply Thick are easy to use and will help you to obtain the consistency of the food that is going to be the most comfortable for your particular situation.
Work to Strengthen Your Swallowing Muscles
There are multiple muscles that are located in the mouth and throat that work together so that a person can swallow things properly. When one or more of these muscles is damaged or weakened by an underlying condition, dysphagia can occur. In some cases, depending of course, on the particular underlying condition that you are dealing with, it can be possible to regain some of the strength in these muscles.
By working on a daily basis to strengthen your swallowing muscles, you might be able to regain some of the ability to swallow things properly without issues. While it might never be possible to regain complete strength in these muscles, you might very well be able to achieve enough to ease your dysphagia and some of the discomfort associated with eating and drink that comes as a result of the condition. Moreover, these exercises are simple enough to be done at any time.