Dysphagia - EMST150

Dysphagia

EMST150 training helps improves swallow and cough strength.

Dysphagia is a disorder of swallowing that impacts an individual's ability to eat and/or swallow liquids properly. In order to swallow, muscle strength and muscle coordination are critical so that the foods can be guided into the esophagus and not be detoured into the airway/trachea.

Dysphagia can be devastating to quality of life and can result in physiological changes leading to life-threatening conditions like aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, and dehydration. EMST150 training helps improves swallow and cough strength.

Some common causes of dysphagia in adults include head/neck cancer, TBI (traumatic brain injury), progressive diseases like Parkinson’s and ALS, stroke, esophageal dysfunction, and normal aging.

Expiratory muscle strength training with the EMST150 has shown to improve swallow strength. Results on a large randomized clinical trial show that EMST improves swallowing by increasing the muscle strength of some of the swallow muscles.

EMST150 Improves cough strength.

We all cough, but are we aware of the importance of a cough and its protective abilities for our lungs and health. Coughing is responsible for clearing of particulate matter from the airway and to avoid aspiration.

When we cough, the initial phaseis triggered by inhalation or breathing in. The greater the inhalation the greater the amount of pressure is generated for the cough. The second phase, compression, is initiated when the glottis (vocal folds) closes which maintains lung volume as pressure builds and promotes contraction of expiratory muscles., The final phase of the cough, expiratory, happens when the glottis (vocal folds) open. A short blast of air through the opening glottis occurs, forcing the exhalation and clearing material from the airway.

A productive cough can act as a defense mechanism for the lungs as it assists with clearing material from the airway. A productive cough is essential for patients with dysphagia who are at high risk for penetration and aspiration.

In addition, coughing (and cough strength) the body’s process for removing foreign particles from the lungs, diminishes with age and therefore increases the risk for development of pneumonia.

(EMST) Expiratory muscle strength training with the EMST150 focuses on improving maximal expiratory pressure (MEP or PEmax) along with the abdominal muscle and expiratory muscles (Sapienza & Troche, 2012). Our training program can improve cough strength and subglottic pressure, associated with improvement of the coordination and accuracy of the swallow function, reducing the risk for penetration and aspiration.