People with swallowing problems have airway obstruction or dysphagia. Dysphagia is caused by physical pain in the esophagus, which can be caused by surgery, stroke, or gastroesophageal reflux. It may also be caused by anxiety or a phobia.
Medications come in many different forms; some can be more difficult to swallow than others. If you have trouble swallowing pills, you must know that you are not alone. There are techniques to help you swallow them better, and you should talk to your healthcare provider if you think you have a problem. Here are some tips to help you take the big capsule.
Tilting Your Head Down
While it's not the most fun way to swallow, tilting your head is the easiest and least risky way to get a big pill down. A study by the University of Calgary's Centre for Health Studies surveyed 151 adults to find the best pill-swallowing technique. Although the study did not have the opportunity to compare pill swallowing techniques side by side, the tilt-your-head-down method was a hit with 88.5% of participants, including healthy men and women with no history of swallowing difficulties.
- Put a capsule on the tongue
- Take a sip of water but do not swallow
- Then tilt your chin towards your chest
- Finally, swallow the water and the capsule while keeping your head down
The Pop Bottle Method
Researchers in Germany have found that the pop bottle method can help improve how you swallow tablets. The technique is 60% easier than swallowing tablets on your own. This technique works because the bottle presses down on the pill, which forces it down your throat.
- Fill a soda or plastic bottle with water
- Place a pill on your tongue and close your lips around a plastic bottle filled with water
- Drink water, keep your lips and mouth in contact, and use a sucking motion to swallow the pill and water
Products That Help Swallow Pills
Whether you suffer from dysphagia or anxiety about taking your pills, some products can help you to swallow them easier. Such as:
- Coat with a gel
- Spray on lubricant
- Pill-swallowing cup
All of the above products can help you swallow capsules more easily. Try one of them while you still can't get over the difficulty swallowing capsules.
Some More Tips
Until you've settled on your pill swallowing, here are some tips you can try to make swallowing a little easier:
- Drink with lots of water: Try to drink plenty of water before you take your pill. Water will help you transport the pill through your stomach quickly.
- Trick your brain: You can put the pill in pudding or apple sauce. Its texture will make it easier to swallow the pill.
- Grinding: Grind a pill into a powder and add it to pudding or applesauce.
- Splitting: Split a pill with a pill divider and swallow small pieces.
- Chewing: Depending on your situation, you may want to chew your pill before swallowing it.
But before taking any method, you must consult a medical professional to see if it is okay. Sometimes, they will exchange the medicine for you in a different form, such as a liquid, cream, or powder.