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SWALLOWING PROBLEMS (DYSPHAGIA)

Dysphagia can result in difficulties such as coughing, choking or discomfort when eating and/or drinking - overt aspiration. 
Alternatively, however, swallowing problems can be very subtle resulting in recurrent chest infections due to food/drinks ‘going down the wrong way’. While there may not be any coughing or choking, there may be less obvious signs such as a wet or gurgle voice or changes to breathing.
 
Dysphagia can be caused by:


  • neurological causes

-damage to the brain from stroke, tumours or traumatic brain injury. 

-progressive neurological conditions i.e. dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis etc. 

  • developmental and congenital conditions

-cerebral palsy

-learning difficulties. 

  • structural damage to the throat or oesophagus

-cancer

-pouches

-reflux

-infections

  • respiratory conditions 

-COPD

-lung cancer

-conditions requiring ventilation