Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) conservatively affects approximately 8% of the world's population - that is a sobering 98,931,680 individuals from the developed world.
Dysphagia affects individuals across the lifespan with the young and elderly being most frequently affected. It is estimated that approximately 60 - 75% of people in care homes and 22% of the world's population over the age of 55 years are affected by dysphagia.
There is growing evidence to show that the prevalence of dysphagia in babies and children is increasing due to advances in medical care for children with disabilities and higher survival rates of premature babies.
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The different levels of thickening
Thickened fluids help slow the liquid when entering the back of the throat. This allows time to help the swallowing to be triggered with enough time to protect the airway. Thin (Level 0) fluids are more difficult to control and will flow with gravity meaning these can slip down the throat too quickly, ending up in the lungs.