ENT-Examination by an ENT-Doctor
- Examination of the facial muscles, chewing apparatus and the tongue’s and soft palate’s mobility
- Manual testing of the hyoid’s and laryngeal mobility
- External examination of the muscles responsible for swallowing
- Endoscopic and/ or fibroendoscopic inspection of the laryngial functionality, possibly using methylene blue staining (colour marking)
External Endoscopic Examinations
For a more detailed examination of the anatomy and it’s functionality a transfer to other specialists might prove necessary. These may be an
- Oesophagoscopy (visualisation of the oesophagus)
- Contrast medium radiography of the oesophagus: with the patient lying on the examination table his act of swallowing is observed closely by an x-ray scan. This way, even the slightest peristaltic irregularities can be determined.
- Digital high-frequency x-ray cinematography: The act of swallowing is recorded in slow-motion. This technique is only possible in larger medical centres.
A thin pressure catheter is pushed painlessly from the nose into the stomach. It measures the pressure gradient in the area of the oro-oesophageal passage, the oesophagus itself and the oesophago-gastric passage when relaxed and during the act of swallowing.
This enables determination and location of any disturbed pressure gradient.
Electrophysiological Examination of the Act of Swallowing
This examination is optional and enables to determine any functional disturbance of the muscles or of the cranial nerves involved in the act of swallowing. This is possible thanks to the electrical discharge measured in the disturbed muscles. In addition, magnetic stimulation can stimulate the cranial nerves involved.
Speech therapists are trained to treat dysphagia originating within the pharynx. We provide prescriptions at our surgery.
Dysphagia involving the oesophagus is treated by your general practioner.
Occasionally an operation might be neccessary.
Functional swallowing problems require a change of diet, medicinal therapy and possibly a psychosomatic treatment.