How Is A Swallowing Test Performed?

Is an Esophagram the same as a barium swallow?

Your doctor has requested a procedure called an esophagram or barium swallow.

This exam is performed to assess frequent heartburn (pain), gastric reflux (food/acid coming back up), aspiration (food or fluid in your wind pipe), difficulty eating, drinking, or swallowing..

What triggers swallowing reflex?

The reflex is initiated by touch receptors in the pharynx as a bolus of food is pushed to the back of the mouth by the tongue, or by stimulation of the palate (palatal reflex). Swallowing is a complex mechanism using both skeletal muscle (tongue) and smooth muscles of the pharynx and esophagus.

How long does a swallow test take?

A trained radiology technician will perform the procedure. From start to finish, a barium swallow takes about 30 minutes. You will get your results within several days of your procedure.

How do you know you have a swallowing reflex?

You may need to perform movements like smacking your lips together or sticking out your jaw, and you might be asked to make sounds such as coughing or clearing your throat. The SLP may check your reflexes for gagging and coughing. You will likely swallow a series of substances.

Can you brush your teeth before a barium swallow?

Can I Eat Before a Barium Swallow Test? Do not eat or drink anything, including chewing gum, for eight to 12 hours before the exam – so your stomach and upper digestive tract are completely empty. You may brush your teeth but avoid swallowing any water.

What can a barium swallow detect?

Barium swallow can diagnose GERD, heartburn, hiatal hernias, and other conditions. A barium swallow is a test that may be used to determine the cause of painful swallowing, difficulty with swallowing, abdominal pain, bloodstained vomit, or unexplained weight loss.

Can you drive after a barium swallow test?

More serious reactions to the barium are possible but rare — contact your doctor if you experience any symptoms that are unusual for you after a barium meal or swallow. If a muscle relaxant is used it can cause blurred vision for a short time so you may not be able to drive home straight away.

What disease causes swallowing problems?

Neurological conditions that can cause swallowing difficulties are: stroke (the most common cause of dysphagia); traumatic brain injury; cerebral palsy; Parkinson disease and other degenerative neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis, …

Why is a swallow test done?

Why is a swallow test done? A barium swallow test may be done to look for and diagnose problems in the pharynx and esophagus. You may need a barium swallow test if your healthcare provider thinks that you have: Cancer of the head and neck, pharynx, or esophagus.

What are the side effects of drinking barium?

Barium sulfate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:stomach cramps.diarrhea.nausea.vomiting.constipation.weakness.pale skin.sweating.More items…•

Does a barium swallow show ulcers?

A barium swallow is used to help diagnose conditions that affect the throat, esophagus, stomach, and first part the small intestine. These include: Ulcers.

Why do I feel something stuck in my throat?

The most common causes of globus pharyngeus are anxiety and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a form of acid reflux that causes the stomach’s contents to travel back up the food pipe and sometimes into the throat. This can result in muscle spasms that trigger feelings of an object caught in the throat.

Is swallowing a natural reflex?

Swallowing is basically an involuntary reflex; one cannot swallow unless there is saliva or some substance to be swallowed. Initially, food is voluntarily moved to the rear of the oral cavity, but once food reaches the back of the mouth, the reflex to swallow takes over and cannot be retracted.

What is the prep for a barium swallow?

People who are undergoing a barium swallow should not eat or drink for a few hours before the test. In some cases, the doctor may ask the person to stop taking medication before the test. Some hospitals recommend not chewing gum, eating mints, or smoking cigarettes after midnight the night before a barium swallow test.

What does failing a swallow test mean?

Test failure is defined as the inability to drink the entire amount continuously, any cough up to 1 min after the swallowing attempt, or the development of a wet, gurgly, or hoarse vocal quality.

Why is it harder to swallow when you get older?

A new study finds that as the loss of muscle and function in the throat occurs it becomes more difficult for efficient constriction to occur while swallowing — which leads to an increased chance of food and liquids being left over in the throat.

What kind of stroke affects swallowing?

Dysphagia affects the vast majority of acute stroke patients. Although it improves within 2 weeks for most, some face longstanding swallowing problems that place them at risk for pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, and significantly affect quality of life.