Swallowing & Dysphagia
Difficulty with eating or drinking? Feeling pain when attempting to swallow?
Start overcoming swallowing challenges at home through online speech therapy.
Improve Swallowing Abilities
In certain diseases and disorders, their oral motor functions may become impaired. These can reduce one’s quality of life, affecting daily activities like eating and drinking.
If your loved one is having these challenges and would like to…
eat and drink more safely
avoid risks of choking or aspiration (food/drinks entering the lungs)
reduce drooling because of excess saliva
reduce acid reflux or regurgitation
lessen the pain when swallowing
chew food enough and properly
feel less like something is stuck in their throat
It may be caused by certain disorders such as:
Stroke or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that may impair the brain’s communication with muscles
Parkinson’s Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Dementia or other degenerative diseases.
Muscular dystrophy (muscle weakness or loss of muscle mass)
Head & Neck Cancer or Head & Neck Surgery
If untreated, dysphagia can lead to further issues such as aspiration, which is when food or liquids go into the airway instead of the stomach. This can lead to a lung infection or pneumonia, which is why it’s important to place emphasis on safety.
How do you treat/cure dysphagia?
Dysphagia is often a symptom of a disorder or a disease, so recovery may be dependent on what caused the swallowing challenges. For example, a majority of stroke survivors often recover swallowing abilities within 7 days.
In severe cases of dysphagia, they may be recommended to also use a feeding tube. For other cases such as degenerative diseases, absolute cure or medical treatment may not be possible.
However, speech and language therapists can help you and your loved one. You will learn new swallowing exercises and compensatory swallowing techniques that can ease the difficulties.
Phases of Swallowing
How do speech therapists help with swallowing?
Speech-language pathologists can help as well with dietary modifications. Some examples include softer foods or thicker drinks to make swallowing easier. It may also mean breaking down more solid foods for better intake.
If dysphagia is severe, your doctor may recommend a feeding tube. Speech therapists can guide you in using these devices more effectively and safely.
How Apheleia Speech Therapy Can Help
Owner & Speech-Language Pathologist