Dysphagia (Greek. Dys + phagein – eat, swallow) – is a violation of swallowing, in which there is a feeling of discomfort or difficulty in transporting the food bolus from the mouth to the stomach. Because the disorder of the act of swallowing in stroke is usually of neurogenic origin and is defined by a number of neurologic disturbances and dysfunctions, it is better to use the term "neurogenic dysphagia" for patients with acute disturbance of cerebral circulation. The urgency of this problem is especially emphasized in the development of a set of therapeutic exercises for such socially important disease as acute cerebrovascular accident. One of the formidable complications of stroke is a violation of the act of swallowing. This leads to a significant reduction in quality of life increasing the risk of secondary complications, which, in turn, significantly increases the likelihood of death.
Violation of the act of swallowing is observed in 26–45% of patients due to acute ischemic stroke. Dysphagia leads to the development of life-threatening complications such as aspiration pneumonia, dehydration, and significantly reduces the quality of life of such patients. Thus, the correction of the act of swallowing by means of physical rehabilitation after brain injury is a very important task of the rehabilitologist. For a long time, speech therapy was the only method of rehabilitation of dysphagia; now we can widely use therapeutic exercises to restore the functions of facial muscles and masticatory muscles.
Screening for swallowing disorders allows us to assess the function of the masticatory muscles in five stages, which makes it possible to develop a more individual and thorough set of therapeutic exercises after each stage of the screening study. Depending on the phase of swallowing in which disorders are observed, we have developed an individual set of therapeutic exercises that will be performed by the patient in each of the five stages of the screening study, if the patient could not overcome this stage.
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