Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Elderly People
The number of elderlies in the world is increasing and healthy aging has become a salient issue. A health threatening factor quite prevalent among the elderlies is dysphagia. Dysphagia causes severe complications and may have negative effects on the functional ability of patients; therefore, it is known as a geriatric syndrome. Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a difficulty or an inability of forming the bolus in the mouth and safely moving it from the mouth to the esophagus. It is also interrelated to other health problems such as malnutrition and oral health. Dysphagia, malnutrition and oral health disorders are likely to cause life-threatening aspiration pneumonia in patients. As a geriatric syndrome, dysphagia should be diagnosed and managed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals. Beside health care professionals, other groups such as policymakers, researchers and scientists, industries, health funders, and the society can have their own unique role to improve the quality of care for the elderlies suffering from dysphagia.
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