"For five years after throat surgery, I'd been struggling with not only food, but even fluids I would find to be stuck in my throat, and I would struggle to get them down. After one session, I felt a 75% increase in my ability to swallow. After the second visit, I felt like I was 100% better than I was for the entire previous five years. Now my food and fluids are going down with no difficulty whatsoever."
Douglas Smith, Swallowing Problem
Chewing for a long time
Delayed swallow initiation
These can be signs of a swallowing problem known as dysphagia. Eating may be tiring, or even dangerous, as food and drink can go down the wrong way. If the food/drink ends up in the lungs, the lungs can get infected, which is called aspiration pneumonia. There are many things that can help improve the swallow and minimize the danger.
For example, your speech therapist can gently massage your swallow to get the muscles/tissues to work faster (manual therapy). She can work with you to strengthen your tongue and throat through exercise, and use different textures, tastes and temperatures to make swallowing safer. Your therapist will teach you safe swallowing guidelines to prevent pneumonia, and restore the pleasure associated with eating and drinking.
Treatment frequency: Based on individual needs, but usually between one and four times per week. The number of sessions depends on the individualís severity of impairment and response to treatment.