Swallowing is an automatic process that we don’t consciously need to think about. So when something goes wrong with our ability to swallow it is a very unpleasant experience. Dysphagia is the term used to refer to difficulties with eating and/or swallowing, and often occurs following and stroke or head injury. Dysphagia can include a range of symptoms from dribbling as the lips are unable to keep food/drink from falling out the front of the mouth, to coughing when eating or drinking. Other factors can also influence ones swallowing ability such as the time of the day (morning vs. evening), texture of food, and medications.
While working closely with your GP and/or Dietitian, a speech pathologist can help with strategies and exercises to improve swallow function and can advise on modifications of food and fluid to ensure safety when eating and drinking.