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Over the past few years, we’ve seen many new developments in the field of Neuromuscular Electronic Stimulation for Dysphagia. It is estimated that 15 million Americans have some level of Dysphagia.
People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing and may even experience pain when swallowing. Some patients may be completely unable to swallow and others may have trouble safely swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva. The challenges associated with this condition often make it difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish the body and can lead to additional serious medical problems.
There are different treatments for various types of Dysphagia. For some people, treatment may involve muscle exercises to strengthen weak facial muscles or to improve coordination. Bristol Regional Speech and Hearing Center is proud to introduce our new VitalStim Therapy. This Neuromuscular Electronic Stimulation or NMES is non-invasive and it uses small electrical currents to stimulate the muscles used for swallowing.
Who is at high risk?
Risk factors for dysphagia
Aging — older adults are more at risk. This is due to general wear and tear on the body over time. Also, certain diseases of old age can cause dysphagia, such as Parkinson’s disease. Neurological conditions — certain nervous system disorders make dysphagia more likely.
If you feel that you or someone you know may have a swallowing problem, please call 276.669.6331 to schedule an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist.