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Do you remember those meals at school where the food was so overcooked that it was impossible to swallow? You might take a sip of water to wash it down or even get a hard pat on the back from an over-enthusiastic friend, but most of the time, it’s all over before you know it. For some people, however, this problem persists regardless of what they may be eating. If you regularly have difficulty swallowing, you may be suffering from what’s known as Dysphagia. But don’t worry! We’ll walk you through a few tips that’ll help you cope with it through thick and thin.
What is Dysphagia?
The medical term Dysphagia is used loosely used to describe a variety of issues related to swallowing. This can include coughing or choking when trying to swallow, feeling like food is stuck in your chest, or even persistent drooling. It’s not uncommon either; around 25% of people above the age of 29 will experience some variation of Dysphagia in their lifetime. This is most often a side effect of another condition, such as a head injury or problems with the mouth or throat. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to help mitigate these effects.
What Can You Do?
There’s plenty of things that can be done to help with Dysphagia, the first and foremost being to change the food and drink consistency. Thickening agents significantly improve those with Dysphagia’s ability to swallow their food and drinks and are the first recommended products to try out. SimplyThick is a fantastic example of this. A food thickener developed by John L. Halahan, it was the result of a class project which grew into an industry-changing product. It works by instantly thickening the food and drink, making it far easier for those with this condition to swallow.
Another great alternative for those who may not want to alter their diet is Dysphagia-specific equipment. These include cutlery, crockery, drinking cups, and airway clearance devices. There are plenty of products available, all of which are specifically designed to encourage recovery and assist with therapy.
Or, if you’re just looking for a guide on how to live better with Dysphagia, self-help books are a good idea to own. Swallow Safely is just one of these. It’s a quick and easy reference book for those who suffer from Dysphagia or think they may have some of the symptoms. If you’re unsure of what Dysphagia looks like or want to know some quick tips on how to deal with its effects, it might be a good idea to pick this one up.
Finally, although Dysphagia can’t currently be cured, knowing that there are solutions to mitigate its effects can help you to make a more informed decision. It’s always good to know that there are a variety of products and treatments available to suit whatever your preferences may be.
Now you know there’s no shortage of things that can help! And once you find the one that works for you, you’ll be back to enjoying your meal and drinks in no time at all.