Swallowing difficulties are a common problem, meaning that healthcare professionals should always be vigilant for the symptoms, particularly in older patients. There are a number of studies which give estimates of the likely incidence:
- A survey conducted in 2005 reported that 60% of patients presenting to community pharmacists experienced problems swallowing tablets or capsules .
- In one study, 44% of retired people suffered swallowing problems sufficiently severe to interfere with their daily life .
- A study enrolled elderly patients who did not report dysphagia and only 16% showed normal swallowing i.e. 84% potentially had some degree of swallowing difficulty 
- Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) affect up to 68% of elderly people in institutionalised environments