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Message From the President: National Dysphagia Awareness Month

Wednesday, June 19, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DRS

Message from the President for National Dysphagia Awareness Month:

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing,  has been called the “forgotten” malady.  It is always caused by a medical or behavioral condition that may have other consequences in addition to dysphagia – and the problem swallowing  may not catch the public’s eye.  However, for someone with this problem, it can be the major impediment in their life. They may be only able to eat soft food or thickened liquids.  They may not be able to eat anything and have to get their nutrition from a feeding tube. Their quality of life is significantly reduced.  Dysphagia may also lead to health problems if material goes the ‘wrong way’ – into their lungs.

In most developed countries, dysphagia is recognized by physicians and referred to a group of specialists who can evaluate the problem and treat it.  Professionals who manage neonates, pediatrics, adults, or geriatrics work together to ameliorate the problem and help the person regain their ability to eat as normally as possible.  In less developed countries, dysphagia awareness is growing and in some countries it is barely recognized.  This is a worldwide problem, affecting people in all countries, at all socioeconomic levels.  It is vital that funding for research, education, and clinical care for dysphagia be supported, in  the US and throughout the world.  We salute all the dedicated professionals who strive to make dysphagia a ‘treatable’ condition.

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