We present durational data on normal oral-pharyngeal swallows in adults obtained using ultrasound imaging. The effects of normal aging on the oral-pharyngeal phase of swallowing were studied in 47 healthy adults. Timing of the oralpharyngeal phase of swallow was determined from frame-by-frame analysis of ultrasound videos of the motion of the tongue and hyoid bone from initial rest to final resting position. Duration of unstimulated (dry) swallows was compared to stimulated (wet) swallows across four age groups and by sex and age. For most subjects, dry swallows were longer than wet swallows; moreover, swallow duration was longest for older women than any other group. As age increased (55+), oral swallows were accompanied by extralingual gestures. Ability to produce a timed series of continuously dry swallows was somewhat influenced by age. Findings are suggestive of an age change more typical in women, with a pattern of multiple lingual gestures commonly seen after age 55 in both sexes. We suggest that subtle, subclinical, oral neuromotor changes occur with normal aging to cause these findings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing