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Swallowing Difficulties Causes

Although patients of any age may develop swallowing difficulties, older people are particularly prone because:

  • The prevalence of several diseases linked to swallowing problems - such as Alzheimer's disease, transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) and stroke – is higher among older people than in younger ones.
  • Oesophageal motility and salivary gland function, which contribute to the swallowing process, often deteriorate with advancing age.
  • Many drugs commonly prescribed to older people, including diuretics, antidepressants and beta blockers, can induce xerostomia (dry mouth), which may compromise a person’s ability to swallow [2].