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Adult Service Areas Swallowing Disorders/Dysphagia


Swallowing disorder or dysphagia refers to difficulty in oral preparation for the swallow, or in moving material from the mouth to the stomach. These difficulties increase the risk of food or drink “going down the wrong way”. Instead of going down the esophagus to the stomach, food/drink may slip into the trachea and down to the lungs. This is known as aspiration, or choking . In some cases, the medical pathology has damaged sensories in place to detect choking. The individual may be choking silently without any outward signs. This is known as silent aspiration.

The most common causes of swallowing disorders are:
1) neurological damage such as stroke, or brain injury, and
2) degenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    Symptoms of dysphagia include:
  • Drooling, or food spilling out of the mouth while eating
  • Pocketing of food in the mouth
  • Delayed ability to initiate a swallow despite prolonged chewing
  • Inability to chew
  • Coughing or throat clearing after each swallow
  • Wet or gurgly sounding voice after swallowing
  • Frequent pneumonia
  • Chest congestion after meals
    At Speech Pathways we can provide a swallowing assessment with the following objectives:
  1. determine the presence of a swallowing disorder
  2. recommend appropriate diet and texture of food
  3. provide education regarding positional techniques and feeding tips to optimize diet choices

(905) 302-0264

Speech Pathways is offering speech therapy in Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, Etobicoke, Oakville, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Cambridge, and Kitchener/Waterloo.