Difficulty Swallowing in the Elderly

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Dysphagia is the difficulty in swallowing solid foods and liquids, and even saliva. It can cause choking, malnutrition and dehydration, and even respiratory infections.

People suffering from dysphagia present a series of signs and/or symptoms that help to identify the problem:

  • Coughing and/or clearing the throat during or after meals, and which tends to occur more when taking liquids
  • Choking and drooling
  • Changes to the voice at mealtimes
  • Need to swallow more than once for the same bite
  • Eating slowly and keeping food in the cheeks
  • Lack of interest in eating, as it involves a great deal of effort
  • Refusing certain foods that were previously accepted, due to fear of choking

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

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