Understanding Swallowing Disorders and How to Get Help
October 31, 2022
A swallowing disorder, also known as dysphagia, refers to difficulty eating or drinking and can occur in both children and adults. While there can be many causes, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, head/neck cancer, and cerebral palsy, the side effects can be serious and lead to malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, and compromised general health.
Common symptoms of dysphagia include:
- Poor oral control and/or drooling
- Food/liquid remaining in mouth after swallowing
- Feeling of food/liquid stuck in throat
- Pain when swallowing
- Wet or “gurgly” voice after eating/drinking
- Coughing and/or choking
- Watery eyes when eating/drinking
Should you be concerned that you or a loved one may have dysphagia, a qualified speech-language pathologist can assist with the diagnosis and management of the condition. Various treatment methods and techniques can be used to assist in the ability to safely and effectively swallow and improve quality of life.
References: The American Speech-Language Hearing Association