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ORGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 34-36

Swallowing in the elderly


1 Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence Address:
MD, MSc, FRCSC Khalid Al-Qahtani
Khalid AL-Qahtani Medical Director,King Abdul Aziz University Hospital, King Saud University
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-8491.290346

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Objectives: To better define the limits of normal swallowing in the elderly, our study aims to relate objective sensory and mechanical deficits measured during flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with sensory testing(FEESST) to subjective quality of life data from patients and evaluate the significance of these changes. Methods: Patients with perceived normal swallowing were recrtuited from the Montreal General ifospital. The study group were > 65 years of age and the control group <65 years of age. All patients underwent FEESST and filled the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory. Clinical findings and subjective opinion about swallowing capacity were assessed. Results: The mean age was 76 in the elderly group and 21 in the control group. Patients in the study group demonstrated some mechanical impairment. There was no significant difference in sensory testing between groups. There was a significant difference in swallowing-associated quality of life between the two groups. Conclusion: Changes in swallowing occur as a continuum over time and elderly have significant changes in function that can alter normal physiology. The normal physiology of swallowing while aging needs to be better defined to define the limits of normal and allow true definition of pathology requiring intervention.


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