Aspiration is a term utilized to characterize when an individual breathes foreign objects into the airways that feed into their lungs. The most common objects that cause aspiration include food, saliva, and stomach contents from vomiting, heartburn, and swallowing. Many individuals describe aspiration as when food goes down the wrong way. Aspiration that occurs in a healthy individual occasionally does not cause a problem because they can cough and expel the object before it gets into their lungs. The most common individuals affected by chronic and frequent aspiration that can cause serious complications are the elderly population and infants. Aspiration may also occur when patients are under anesthesia and the contents of their stomach enter their trachea and lungs. Chronic aspiration produces symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and a hoarse voice after they drink, eat, experience heartburn, or vomit.
Aspiration has numerous causes and risk factors. Get familiar with them now.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive and irreversible disorder of the nervous system where an individual slowly loses function and movement in their body. Individuals affected by Parkinson's disease have neurons or nerve cells in their brains that die or slowly break down over time. The lack of functional neurons in the brain causes patients to have a lower than normal amount of dopamine in their brain. Low dopamine keeps electrical impulses from moving from nerve to nerve properly. This abnormal activity in an affected individual's brain causes them to experience symptoms like tremors, rigid muscles, impaired posture, poor balance, loss of automatic movements, writing changes, changes in speech, and slowed movement. When a Parkinson's disease patient has problems with swallowing, they can experience aspiration as a result of their impaired ability to move food down their esophagus instead of into their windpipe.
Discover additional causes and risk factors associated with aspiration now.