Dysphagia and Medication
Dysphagia is the medical term to describe difficulty in swallowing.
For clinical purposes, dysphagia can be classified into two distinct categories: oropharyngeal dysphagia, and oesophageal dysphagia.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is the inability to initiate the act of swallowing. It is a ‘transfer problem’ due to impaired ability to transfer food from the mouth to the upper oesophagus. On the other hand, oesophageal dysphagia is a ‘transport problem’ and is defined as the sensation of difficult passage of solids from the mouth to the stomach.*
Dysphagia, as with all medical conditions, is characterised by a spectrum of severity. Some patients may only experience slight discomfort or difficulty swallowing, while others experience severe difficulty and require the assistance of a Doctor or Speech Therapist to advise of the most appropriate treatment to manage their condition.
For a lot of people experiencing swallowing difficulties, the intake of medications can be particularly challenging. Tablets and vitamins are often large, powdery, and don’t taste particularly nice. As a result, they can be extra difficult to swallow. In addition, many medications should not be crushed or split as this can alter the affect they have on the body, sometimes with dangerous side effects.