Swallowing Disorders or Dysphagia

Swallowing Disorders or Dysphagia Treatment

Difficulty chewing, moving food from mouth to throat, pushing food down the throat, and closing off airway to not choke. Can lead to problems like:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Pneumonia or chronic lung disease due to constant aspirations
  • Loss of pleasure eating foods
  • Being embarrassed or wanting to be isolated during mealtime
  • The potential need for tube feeding or other alternatives

Signs of Dysphagia:

  • Coughing or gagging during or right after drinking or eating
  • Voice sounds wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking
  • Needing to cut food into smaller pieces or take extra time chewing in order to eat
  • Recurring pneumonia, or congestion after eating
  • Weight loss due to not eating enough

What can an SLP do for Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) Treatment:  

  • Looks at medical history and history of symptoms
  • Views the strength and movement of all muscles involved with swallowing (i.e. lips, tongue, jaw)
  • Evaluates if the mouth and throat are causing swallowing problems
  • Give exercises and strategies to improve swallowing
  • Provide a list of specific safe and easy foods and liquids for you to swallow
  • Over half of patients in an acute care or rehabilitation hospital had feeding tubes removed by the time of discharge after receiving SLP services for dysphagia (ASHA).

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