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Speech-Language Services

Swallowing (Dysphagia)

What is dysphagia?

Children and adults with swallowing concerns may experience difficulties that interfere with safe and successful intake of nutrition and hydration. These difficulties may affect using utensils, opening the mouth, chewing food, moving liquid, and/or protecting the airway. Poor oral care, saliva or food loss, pain when swallowing, a wet voice quality during eating or drinking, and/or a cough when eating or drinking are some symptoms of swallowing disorders. These experiences associated with dysphagia may make it difficult to eat and swallow safely and independently.


Swallowing concerns, or dysphagia, may accompany a variety of other conditions.  Individuals with nervous system disorders, prematurity, reflux, cleft lip or palate, stroke, traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders may experience these symptoms. Dysphagia may also result from problems affecting the head and neck, such as cancer, chemoradiation, trauma, and more.


Treatment for swallowing disorders at the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic is aimed at developing the strategies and skills necessary to eat and swallow safely and successfully.


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