Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder involving the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, or gastroesophageal junction. Consequences of dysphagia include malnutrition and dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, compromised general health, chronic lung disease, choking, and even death. Adults with dysphagia may also experience disinterest, reduced enjoyment, embarrassment, and/or isolation related to eating or drinking. Dysphagia may increase caregiver costs and burden and may require significant lifestyle alterations for the patient and the patient’s family.
Intervention may concentrate on swallowing exercises, compensatory swallowing strategies (including posture considerations), bolus consistency modification, and caregiver/patient education.