Patients who suffer from swallowing difficulties are actually fairly common. Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. Dysphagia can affect many different groups of patients, but some groups are more vulnerable to it than others.
Because swallowing involves many different muscles and nerves, patients with certain diseases are more prone to suffering from dysphagia. These diseases include tumors, stoke, Alzheimers disease, Parkinson’s disease, Motor Neurone disease, and chronic Type 2 diabetes.
Patients with tumors in their head or neck are more affected by dysphagia. About 80% of stroke patients have or had dysphagia. About 50% of Parkinson’s disease have some degree of dysphagia. As the chronic type 2 diabetes progresses, so does the dysphagia.
The side effects of some medications may cause dysphagia. These medications may influences the patient’s gastrointestinal motility. Some of these medications include some antidepressants, opioids, and calcium antagonists.
Other medications may cause dysphagia by causing a dry mouth. Not producing enough saliva can make swallowing difficult or impossible. Some of these medications include certain beta-blockers, some allergy medications, and certain antipsychotic drugs.
Age is a major factor when it comes to swallowing difficulties. As you age, a number of conditions can lead you to have dysphagia due to disease and medication. In fact, a study found that 33% of older patients were taking some type of medication that could cause dysphagia.
Dysphagia is more common in older adults and seniors than any other age group. About 1 in 25 adults struggles with swallowing. About 69% of patients admit to missing doses of their important medications due to their difficulty swallowing.