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:
-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
structural damage to the throat or oesophagus
-conditions requiring ventilation