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The Swallowing Difficulty Spectrum

23 March 2020

During our research into how to make pills, tablets and capsules easy to swallow for those with dysphagia, we discovered some interesting facts.

As a result, I want to share the concept of a Swallowing Difficulty Spectrum.

The research highlighted that most people that cannot swallow pills have a normal swallow. They have no other swallowing difficulty except with pills, tablets or capsules. Their main worries are: a pill etc. will get stuck, they will gag on them and they don’t like the taste. The numbers are staggering. According to Harris Interactive 40% of American adults have a difficulty with pills.

They are suffering with a swallowing difficulty but accept it and don’t seek professional help.

This made us stop and think.

How many people have slight difficulty swallowing foods and drinks and haven’t been diagnosed with dysphagia? There must be millions more than those diagnosed with it.

These people believe it’s just a fact of life that they cough during or after swallowing, have a gurgly voice, have a constant feeling of a lump in their throat or suffer any of the other symptoms listed here: Signs of Swallowing Difficulty.

Consequently, they have never seen a Speech Therapist/Pathologist and won’t seek professional help until the side effects of their slight swallowing difficulty escalates and they can’t cope.

It would be impossible for healthcare professionals to see all those with a slight swallowing difficulties and so can we help them identify they have a problem and seek help? We’ve already put Signs of Swallowing Difficulty on our landing page but can we – together do more?

What do you think?

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