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Difficulty swallowing due to paraquat exposure

Eating and swallowing problems, also known as dysphagia, typically occur in Parkinson’s disease, and the main associated risks are:

  • Dehydration - lack of fluids can lead to further problems such as constipation
  • Malnutrition - lack of nourishment harms the body’s ability to fight infection
  • Drooling - decrease in mouth sensitivity and reduction in swallowing saliva frequency can cause drooling
  • Choking or asphyxiation - occurs when food or liquids enter the airway, preventing breathing
  • Aspiration pneumonia - can cause lung infection when food or liquids enter the lungs
  • Increased secretion - occurs as a reaction to food or liquids entering the lungs
  • Difficulties in ingesting medications
  • Anxiety
  • A decrease in quality of life

Regrettably, people with Parkinson’s experience swallowing troubles due to reduced control and muscle tone, especially in the later phases of the disease. This motor function includes three stages:

  • The oral phase - food is mixed with saliva to form a soft ball called bolus, which is pushed to the back of the mouth, triggering the swallow reflex
  • The pharyngeal phase - the larynx closes involuntarily, which temporarily inhibits breathing
  • The esophageal phase - the bolus moves into the esophagus, contracting to push it into the stomach

Patients with Parkinson's also experience poor saliva control, causing excessive drooling (sialorrhoea), a dry mouth, and further eating difficulties leading to the risk of choking and infections.

Difficulty swallowing and paraquat exposure

Swallowing and eating difficulties can affect eating habits and cause anxiety or embarrassment. Signs to consider include:

  • food stuck in the throat or left in the mouth after swallowing
  • hesitation in swallowing or choking
  • the need of swallowing to clear food
  • food that is swallowed backs up and enters the nose
  • coughing during or after swallowing
  • the need to clear the throat
  • a hoarse voice
  • pain in the throat or chest
  • difficulty chewing
  • heartburn or reflux
  • change in voice quality
  • gurgled voice after swallowing
  • the frequent need to sip water to swallow food
  • difficulty swallowing medications
  • taking longer to finish a meal
  • refusal to eat or the loss of appetite

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that often begins gradually and knows no cure. It is typically caused by nerve cell damage and may result from prolonged paraquat exposure.

This chemical is not intended for public use and is forbidden in residential areas. Paraquat exposure operates through an oxidative stress mechanism damaging sensitive brain areas, and a loss of function in these areas can become a cause of Parkinson’s.

Paraquat is destined only for agricultural areas, and users must follow the Environmental Protection Agency training to become licensed applicators. People are most exposed to paraquat when they directly handle the chemical substance while mixing, filling, or applying paraquat.

Paraquat product manufacturers were aware of the adverse consequences of exposure but failed to provide adequate warnings to the general public, making them liable. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you suffer from swallowing difficulties associated with a Parkinson's diagnosis following paraquat exposure.

File a paraquat exposure claim with the help of Atraxia Law

Atraxia Law has extensive experience in helping clients receive the reparations they deserve, assessing whether they are eligible for filing a paraquat claim.

Our experts will thoroughly determine your circumstances of exposure and the severity of your Parkinson's diagnosis. Despite the process being complex and tedious, it will require minimal involvement on your part, as our team will handle the majority of documents on your behalf since we are aware that our clients are in profound physical and emotional suffering.

Do not hesitate to call us right away or fill out our free case evaluation form, and we will promptly address any other queries you might have.

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