Aspiration occurs when the normal protective reflexes of the larynx are defective (Laryngeal incompetence). It is often associated with hoarseness and cricopharyngeal malfunction with swallowing problems. As a result ingested food and liquids “go down the wrong way”, passing through the vocal cords into the trachea and lower airway with a real risk of pneumonia. Patients may cough and splutter due to the protective cough reflex, but some patients with neurological swallowing disorders have lost sensation to these areas. Chronic aspiration may therefore cause few if any symptoms until a secondary chest infection occurs.
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Dr Gerald Brookes is regularly consulted by the media for his expertise. He has been interviewed by the Daily Mail, featured on Channel 4's Embarassing Bodies, looked after The X-Factor contestants and recently, appeared on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans.
Media: Channel 4
Adele was experiencing dizziness and balance problems so severe that she could barely function. In desperation, after consulting her GP to no avail, she got in touch with Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies team. The show then contacted Dr Gerald Brookes, who was able to diagnose her rare condition as Basilar Migraine.
Catherine Eade was having dizzy spells and balance problems. When inexplicably she started suffering memory loss too, she consulted Dr Gerald Brookes at The Harley Street ENT Clinic who correctly diagnosed her problem as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
The Harley Street ENT Clinic looked after The X-Factor TV show contestants for many seasons. At the end of the 2010 season, Dr Gerald Brookes was interviewed by Nicky Broyd of Boots WebMD on the perils of high pressure performing.