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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 779-785

Dysphagia in the elderly: A multidisciplinary approach

1 Department of General Medicine, Lifecare Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of General Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of General Medicine, School of Medical Science and Research, Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Monica Gupta
Department of General Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_194_22

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The process of eating and swallowing is a complex physiologic process requiring volitional as well as reflexive activities and involving multiple structural and functional elements. Dysphagia is a geriatric syndrome resulting in multiple negative health consequences. Dysphagia can have profound adverse influences, including malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, and depression poor quality of life in the elderly. With the aging of the population across the globe, health-care providers are encountering older patients with dysphagia either due to oropharyngeal or esophageal disease. Barium swallow remains a low-cost initial alternative for luminal and esophageal motility assessment. A variety of emerging modalities can help detect anatomical and functional deficits. These include fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, videofluoroscopic swallow study, high-resolution pharyngeal manometry, and esophagogastroduodenoscopy. This review provides a comprehensive review of diagnostic modalities and addresses several issues regarding the collaborative management of elderly persons with dysphagia, including a brief discussion on how swallowing mechanisms are affected by the aging process.

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