Monday and Wednesday targeted the oral and pharyngeal stage of the swallow. Toda…
Monday and Wednesday targeted the oral and pharyngeal stage of the swallow. Today, we will discuss the esophageal stage of the swallow.
During the final stage, the esophageal stage, the bolus moves into the esophagus, the muscular tube that contracts to push the bolus into the stomach.
If the esophageal stage is affected, the patient might experience heartburn, vomiting, burping or abdominal pain. The reason this can affect the swallow is that when contents of the stomach regurgitate into the pharyngeal space, the path of least resistance is to enter into the airway. This increases the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
Speech therapy does not treat the esophagus itself, but rather can help make appropriate referrals to get you the help you need, such an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor or GI specialist.
Please contact our speech therapy department with any questions.