Tijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie vol:45 issue:5 pages:261-272
PRESBYPHAGIA: THE INFLUENCE OF PRIMARY AGING ON SWALLOWING FUNCTION: Elderly often get confronted with swallowing difficulties. It is important to differentiate between presbyphagia, which describes the influence of primary aging on swallow function and dysphagia, which is a pathological swallowing disorder caused by age related diseases and their treatment. In this literature overview the focus is on presbyphagia. The influence of primary aging on the oropharyngeal swallowing function and on other body functions that are indirectly related to swallowing will be discussed. From the literature we learn that in primary aging a number of functions stay preserved, a number of functions deteriorate, and some compensatory mechanisms are evident. The swallow safety as such however, stays preserved. To conclude with we discuss some clinical implications concerning both the detection of swallowing disorders in the elderly and the establishment of preventive action for the healthy elderly.