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Dysphagia: We do that, too!

Did you know Speech Language Pathologists can help people with swallowing difficulties? 'Dysphagia' is the term for disordered swallowing, and it can be caused by many different factors. Swallowing is broken down into three different stages: oral (in the mouth), pharyngeal (in the upper throat) and esophageal (in the lower throat/chest). Dysphagia can occur at any of the three stages or in a combination of them.

Symptoms of oral dysphagia include:

  • Difficulty keeping food in your mouth

  • Difficulty clearing remaining food from your mouth after you’ve swallowed

  • Chewing for an extended amount of time without creating a bolus (cohesive mass of food)

  • Difficulty moving the food to the back of the mouth to swallow

Symptoms of pharyngeal dysphagia include:

  • Pain with swallowing

  • Feeling of food being stuck in your throat

  • Coughing or throat-clearing when eating or drinking

  • Hoarse or “wet” voice after eating or drinking

  • Reflux

Dysphagia, swallowing, speech pathology

People with dysphagia may have

difficulty with solid foods, liquids,

or both.

Some causes of dysphagia include, but are not limited to:

  • Neurological conditions or injury, such as stroke, dementia, Parkinson's Disease, etc.

  • Obstruction due to oral/throat cancers, infection, or scar tissue build-up (for example, following radiation treatment or due to reflux)

  • Age-related muscular changes

  • Breathing difficulties, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

If you or a loved one is experiencing swallowing difficulties, a consultation with a Speech Language Pathologist may be appropriate. Give our office a call at 541-371-2782 for a free 10-minute consultation to determine whether a swallowing evaluation is appropriate.

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