Oropharyngeal dysphagia is defined as difficulty swallowing, caused by weakness or dyscoordination with the muscles of the mouth and/or throat. Dysphagia can have an impact on nutrition, hydration and quality of life. So many social situations involve food and drink. Swallowing difficulties can have a major impact on quality of life when someone cannot eat or drink safely and easily. Swallowing therapy may help train the muscles of the mouth and/or throat. Some swallowing therapies can be used not only as exercise but also as a compensation to help assist a client to swallow safely.
A videofluoroscopic swallowing study or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing may be required prior to initiating swallowing therapy. Based on these evaluation results, a program will be tailored to the specific areas of difficulty identified during evaluation.
A variety of swallowing exercises can be utilized to help achieve a positive outcome. Device-facilitated therapy tools may be trialed based on specific problems with swallowing.
MD referral may be required.
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