Dysphagia

What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the medical term used to describe swallowing problems.
It is caused by any medical condition which affects the structure, strength and co-ordination of chewing and swallowing muscles.

This might be due to stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, neurological conditions and mouth or oesophageal cancer. Dysphagia is also common in children or adults with developmental or learning disability. (1)

Dysphagia can cause many problems including (2,3):

  • Dehydration
  • Poor nutrition and weight loss
  • Coughing/choking episodes
  • Limited enjoyment of food
  • Anxiety at meal times
  • Isolation from social activity where food is involved
  • Chest infections from inhaled food or liquid

How do I recognise dysphagia?

If you or anyone you know has signs of the following they may be having difficulty with swallowing: (4)

  1. Coughing or clearing the throat at meal times

  2. Food residue left in the mouth after a swallow

  3. Difficulty chewing or moving food around the mouth

  4. Loss of liquid from the mouth when drinking

  5. Difficulty holding food in the mouth or initiating

  6. a swallow

  7. Wet or gurgling voice after eating or drinking

Dysphagia is a serious medical condition, for which you must seek advice from a suitable medical practitioner.

The Importance of Hydration

Water intake is often a secondary consideration in dysphagia management (5). Water makes up 75% of the volume of the body. Many older people and those with dysphagia do not drink adequate amounts of water, consuming only 480–960 mls 2-4 glasses per day (7).

Drinking enough fluid can assist in preventing or treating the following ailments (8)

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Urinary infections and incontinence
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes management
  • Dizziness and confusion leading to falls
  • Skin conditions
  • Constipation
  • Kidney stones
  • Low blood pressure

Preventing aspirating with smaller sips

Limiting the amount of fluids swallowed may make swallowing safer. For example those recovering from a stroke, with dementia or learning difficulties who gulp may benefit. 

(references available on request)

 

Dysphagia

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DYSPHAGIA CUP

Dysphagia

DYSPHAGIA CUP

DYSPHAGIA CUP

Safer swallowing...every time The Dysphagia Cup has been carefully designed, and is shaped to allow sufficient nose clearance - to empty contents without having to tilt the head back. Key Features Suitable for warm and cold liquids Competitively and economically priced Bite-safe and shatterproof - smooth moulded ...


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DRINK-RITE CUP

Dysphagia

DRINK-RITE CUP

DRINK-RITE CUP

Providing safe, controlled flow of fluids The Drink-Rite System provides the safety and knowledge that users can start to take fluid carefully and without the risk of tilting the head. Drink-Rite® - Key Benefits Specially designed to encourage safe delivery of fluids Controlled flow, 5cc or 10cc every time...


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KAPI-CUP RANGE

Dysphagia

KAPI-CUP RANGE

KAPI-CUP RANGE

Kapi-Cups have a cut out on the non-drinking side, so that they can be tilted without interference by the nose. Description These semi-flexible lightweight cups are carefully shaped to encourage safe drinking and swallowing - as the user does not need to tilt the head whilst drinking.  Key Benefits Helps direct fl...


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SURE GRIP MUG

Dysphagia

SURE GRIP MUG

SURE GRIP MUG

Safer swallowing... every time Ergonomically designed, easy to hold, even in small or weak hands. With Sure Grip mugs the user has complete control over the flow of liquid. Key Features Easy to hold - even with weak hands Suitable for warm and cold liquids Dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe CE marked  ...


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MAROON SPOONS

Dysphagia

MAROON SPOONS

MAROON SPOONS

Ideal for feeding therapy Adults and children with feeding problems such as poor lip closure, tongue, throat and oral hypersensitivity, will find it easier to use the Maroon Spoons. Key Benefits No sharp edges and produced from polycarbonate Shatter-proof (not suitable for severe bite reflex) Dishwasher saf...


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ORASTIM ORAL STIMULATOR

ORASTIM ORAL STIMULATOR

OraStim Oral Stimulator A dedicated tool for the Therapist to encourage stimulation in the oral cavity following surgery, stroke or other neurological injuries. Description OraStim has been designed to help Speech Therapists to access the sensitivity of the oral cavity following surgery, stroke or other n...


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ORA-LIGHT SETS

Dysphagia

ORA-LIGHT SETS

ORA-LIGHT SETS

Dedicated to effective therapy in speech and swallow The Ora-Light® System aids the Speech Therapist/Pathologist to target and maximize rehabilitation outcomes of patients with oral motor deficits. Background The Ora-Light® System of oral motor exercise tools is a major step forward for the Speech Language ...


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