Dysphagia

Dysphagia is a term used to describe a swallowing disorder, characterised by difficulty in oral preparation for the swallow, or in moving material from the mouth to the stomach.

Found in 12-13% of hospital patients, dysphagia is more common in nursing homes where it seen in 60% of residents. 1 Up to 100% of patients following a stroke or with Motor Neurone Disease present with dysphagia. 2 People with acute and chronic neurological conditions and those who have undergone surgery or radiotherapy to the upper aero-digestive tract are at high risk of dysphagia. 3

Dysphagia affects nutritional status and patient's lives. Over 50% of older people with dysphagia living in either nursing homes or attending clinics report that they eat less, 44% report weight loss and 41% anxiety or panic attacks during mealtimes. Over one third of patients avoid eating with others because of their dysphagia. 4

If undiagnosed, dysphagia can lead to inadequate food and fluid intake, impaired nutritional status, chest infections, sepsis and pneumonia. Avoidance of eating may lead to social isolation. 1,5

Modification of the consistency, temperature and/or taste of liquids and food may help to maintain or improve the nutritional status of patients with dysphagia. 3 When managing people with dysphagia, healthcare professionals with relevant skills and training in the diagnosis, assessment and management of swallowing disorders should consider (amongst other factors) the risks and benefits of modified oral nutrition support and/or enteral tube feeding. 3

Nutilis Clear is a specially designed powder to thickened fluids and food to help make them easier to swallow.