Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others can't swallow at all. 

 

Most of us enjoy eating and drinking which supports good health and brings enjoyment. Some people, however, experience difficulty with the process of swallowing, a condition known as dysphagia.

 

This condition may lead to other health issues, such as poor nutrition, dehydration, pneumonia and other respiratory conditions. 

 

For treatment, you may be referred to a speech-language pathologist to improve the strength of your swallowing muscles.

Causes

 

Dysphagia may be caused by certain medical conditions, including: 

  • Stroke 

  • Traumatic brain injury 

  • Cancer of the mouth or throat 

  • Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 

  • Age-related changes in older adults 

 

Signs/Symptoms

 

If you experience any of these problems while eating/drinking discuss them with your physician: 

  • Food or liquid spilling out of your mouth 

  • Trouble chewing 

  • Prolonged mealtimes 

  • Unintentional weight loss 

  • Frequent throat clearing 

  • Coughing 

  • Change in voice quality after eating and drinking 

  • Feeling of food getting caught in your throat 

  • Bringing food back up (regurgitation) 

  • Having frequent heartburn 

Swallowing Assessment

 

A speech-language pathologist, may begin by asking you questions and testing the strength and movement of your jaw, lips and tongue. 

The clinician may then perform one or more of the following swallowing assessments: 

  • Clinical (bedside) swallow evaluation. You will consume a variety of foods and liquids while the clinician watches and makes note of any outward sign of swallowing difficulty. 

 

  • Modified barium swallow (MBS). You will be asked to swallow small portions of different consistencies of foods/liquids containing barium. Both the clinician and a radiologist will watch via imaging as the barium passes through your throat, documenting any variation from normal swallowing. 

  • Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). A narrow scope is passed into your throat through the nose so the clinician may observe what is happening in the throat while you swallow foods and liquids. 

Swallowing therapy

 

Depending on the outcome of your evaluation, your clinician may develop an individualized treatment plan which may include:

  • Modification of diet textures and consistencies 

  • Strategies to improve swallowing ease and safety 

  • Swallowing exercises to improve swallow 

During therapy:

  • You may learn exercises designed to improve the movement and strength of the muscles involved in swallowing.  

  • You may learn techniques to improve the safety of swallowing during meals.  

  • You may learn about the food textures and liquid consistencies that are most appropriate for you. 

  • You may be empowered with a personalized "in home" program to continue strengthening between therapy sessions. 

The goal of SFS Therapies is to give you the means to achieve a safe swallow that supports your nutritional and hydration needs while allowing you to enjoy the widest variety of food textures and liquid consistencies possible. 

Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday - 8AM - 6PM Fridays by Special Arrangement 

For more information or to book an appointment, please call

 TEL.702.979.4268

ADDRESS

1333 North Buffalo Dr. #260

Las Vegas, NV 89128

 

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