Patients with a swallowing complaint or disorder can no longer drink normal liquids since their swallowing reflex is only triggered with a delay, if it functions at all, and liquid can enter the trachea as a consequence. If the patient is unable to solve this through the natural urge to cough, serious complications can occur. This so-called “silent aspiration” is induced by a reduced sense of feeling in the throat.
A thickening of liquids is therefore very important for such patients since it influences and slows down the flowability of the food or beverage. This gives the patient the possibility to sense the liquid in his mouth himself and trigger the swallowing reflex. Patients with a swallowing disorder should be watched when they are eating or drinking so that no signs of aspiration are overlooked or detected too late. These include, amongst others, increased mucous congestion in the throat, nose and ear tract without the patient having a cold, coughing and clearing of the throat before, during or after a meal, breathlessness, or repeated bronchial infections.