Like many medical conditions and symptoms, a change in our ability to do something can be concerning and sometimes frightening. You might find one day that you or a loved one are struggling to swallow food, drink, or even your saliva, and do not understand what is happening.
This is a common symptom of a swallowing disorder, but it is not the only symptom.
To find out more about swallowing disorders, what to expect, and what to look out for, read this piece.
What is a Swallowing Disorder?
Someone with a swallowing disorder will have problems with their swallowing. This can be affected in two different ways. The first is by Dysphagia, this health condition occurs when there is a feeling of fluid or food that has been swallowed and feels like it is stuck in our chest, or that the body is trying to regurgitate it. This sensation might also produce coughing or choking during the act of swallowing because of throat discoordination. Odynophagia focuses more on the pain that is in the throat or the chest which is caused during swallowing. The causes of these swallowing disorders are varied and could be a symptom of something serious, such as tumors, lack of nerve co-ordination, or infections.
Being Unable to Chew Food Properly
A sign to look out for, especially in the elderly, are those who are struggling with chewing their food properly. Not only does not being able to break down your food efficiently cause a choking hazard, but a swallowing disorder can make the act of chewing painful in itself and cause discomfort or stiffness in jaw muscles.
For those who are finding chewing stodgy food difficult, or swallowing starchy drinks that can get stuck difficult, consider looking into SimplyThick, a non-starched based thickener that can make many drinks and foods enjoyable and comfortable for those who need it most.
A Gurgling Sound from the Throat
We all know our bodies can make a lot of strange sounds and a gurgling from the throat will probably not be an unheard-of noise to many of us. However, if this is happening too often, it could be a sign of the beginning of a bigger issue. This noise means that the throat is struggling to process what has been swallowed and might be trying to bring it back up, which could then cause dangerous issues such as choking.
Bringing Food Back Up
Another unfortunate symptom of having a throat disorder could also be regurgitating food back up and being sick. This can also include stomach acid, which can be extremely uncomfortable. It is also worth noting that the regurgitation can also come out of the nose, which can be thoroughly unpleasant. If this is something that is happening regularly to you, or you notice it becoming worse, it is important to contact a medical professional to make sure there are not more serious underlying causes and to help you find treatment.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, no matter how mild, make sure you get a proper assessment to prevent anything from getting worse.