Tag Archives: dysphagia therapy

Thoughts on “Swallow: A Documentary”

Back in 2011, the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders produced a documentary about dysphagia called “Swallow: A Documentary.”

Since it was posted on YouTube, the video has been viewed almost 90,000 times, and it’s a wonderful look into the lives of people with swallowing disorders. If you haven’t seen it, please check it out below:

As you can see, dysphagia affects people in all different stages of life for a large variety of reasons, but the consequences remain the same.

“When you can swallow, you have the luxury of wondering what you’re gonna wear, what you’re gonna eat…” says Sonia near the beginning of the video. “But when you can’t swallow, all you get to think about is that you can’t swallow.”

This is why we at Swallow Solutions and all the amazing speech-language pathologists and therapy professionals around the world do what we do. Dysphagia is a serious health condition, but it’s also a serious quality of life concern. We hope to help people regain their ability to swallow to improve both health and quality of life.

If you or someone you care about is having difficulty swallowing, reach out to your doctor and see if you can be connected with an SLP. Also consider checking out our website and learning more about SwallowSTRONG, our innovative therapy device.

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June is National Dysphagia Awareness Month – Dysphagia Facts

June is National Dysphagia Awareness Month, and we at Swallow Solutions are hoping to raise awareness for this serious medical condition. Let’s start off with some facts about dysphagia. How many of these did you know?

1) Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, affects more than 15 million Americans.

2) Stroke, neurodegenerative disorders, and head and neck cancers are common causes of dysphagia.

3) Dysphagia can occur for a number of reasons, and is common in people with weak lingual musculature. Muscles in your head and neck enable you to swallow regular foods and liquids.

4) Dysphagia can lead to life threatening health complications, such as dehydration, malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia (when food or liquid ‘goes down the wrong pipe,’ and gets to the lungs) and/or airway obstruction.

5) Modified diets (thickened liquids or pureed solids) are commonly recommended for people with dysphagia.

6) Dysphagia can also result in reduced quality of life. Just think of how many social events are centered around eating and drinking! Now imagine not being able to participate fully in those events with friends and family.

7) Dysphagia can cause people to feel socially isolated and withdrawn.

8) Clinical evidence supports strengthening lingual musculature (something that can be accomplished using the SwallowSTRONG device) to increase swallowing ability. Therapy for dysphagia is often divided into two “camps:” Compensatory (diet modification) or Rehabilitative (lingual strengthening). Both can be used together!

9) Therapy for dysphagia is often divided into two “camps:” Compensatory (diet modification) or Rehabilitative (lingual strengthening). Both can be used together!

10) Compensatory strategies are often used early on in therapy, and can be eliminated as a dysphagia patient gets stronger and swallows more safely.

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