Nikki Martin Speech Pathologist

Swallowing Disorders & How Speech Pathology Helps

Swallowing Disorders & How Speech Pathology Helps
Swallowing disorders (also known as Dysphagia) can occur from difficulties during swallowing. Eating, drinking and swallowing are an extremely essential part of peoples lives, and something, I believe as Speech Pathologist, that should be taken very seriously. Unfortunately, these automated functions never get a second thought from most people – until it all starts to go wrong. Whilst most of us take our swallowing for granted, to the point where we don’t even think about what we’re doing while we’re eating and drinking, it is actually a coordinated and highly complicated system that involves many different steps.
  1. The first step is when food or drink is put into the mouth, chewed and pushed to the back of the throat.
  2. The second step involves the food or drink being pushed through the throat, breathing stops briefly, and the voice box shuts so that the food or drink doesn’t go down the wrong way into the lungs.
  3. The third, and final step is when the food or drink passes from the throat to the top of the foodpipe.
Swallowing disorders and swallowing difficulties can occur at any of the 3 steps mentioned. The ‘difficulty swallowing’ symptoms are completely varied, and differ from person to person. If it happens at the first step, the person will have difficulty swallowing food as they are unable to chew. They may also have issues managing drinks and saliva and may lose some out of their mouth or it may tip into the throat too quickly. If it happens at the second step, the person may get food stuck in the throat, may cough when food or drink goes down the wrong way (some people don’t cough when this happens), some people have pain on swallowing. Swallowing difficulties at the third step can cause food to get stuck at the top of the foodpipe. This can cause the person to bring food back up into the mouth, feel like they have a lump in the throat or that they have a persistent sore throat.
Swallowing disorders require immediate attention, as they can be potentially life threatening. If someone has food or drink going down the wrong way into the lungs (with or without coughing) they can develop a pneumonia that may require hospitalisation.
Experiencing any of the difficulties mentioned, please contact me for an appointment, as there are a variety of treatment options available to improve your swallow function and your quality of life.

Contact me for Swallowing disorders speech therapy helps, Difficulty swallowing Australia. Swallowing disorders while eating and drinking and swallowing require immediate attention. I am an experienced and professionally trained speech pathologist based in North Sydney. If you have a enquiry regarding Swallowing disorders, don’t hesitate to contact me or call on 0410 777 034.

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