Getting Started with Swallowing Therapy
Feeding and Swallowing Therapy is applicable to both Adults and Babies. Some adults may endure specific circumstances that cause them to have difficulty swallowing, including operations or accidents.
At SpeechAim we use a variety of tailored techniques to help adults or infants swallow and feed by providing them with specific instructions to help them eat their food.
We also provide recommendations on the type of food to eat, how often, and how to help swallow the food so that they can get the nutrition that they need. We use a variety of food consistencies to determine the level of difficulty and work around that to ensure that the appropriate help is provided.
The act of swallowing occurs in three stages. In fact, it is possible to have swallowing difficulties in more than one of these phases.
Oral Phase: This phase occurs as you chew and move food or liquid into the throat.
Pharyngeal Phase: This occurs when the person starts to move the food down the throat. The airway is closed when doing so.
Esophageal Phase: This stage is when the esophagus is opened and closed. The esophagus is responsible for moving food down to the stomach. If a person has a problem with their esophagus, food may get sit there or they may throw up.
Signs Requiring Swallowing Therapy
There are many signs for potential feeding and swallowing disorders. If discovered early, we can help to treat you easily and prevent any side effects that can occur with swallowing issues. Here are some of the symptoms that you should look out for:
General signs of a swallowing problem may include:
Coughing while you are eating, or straight after
A 'wet' sounding voice while you are eating or right after you have finished
A noticeable amount of extra time and effort is needed to chew or swallow food
Food or liquid leaking from your mouth on a regular basis
Food getting stuck in your mouth during meals
Breathing difficulties while eating
A loss of weight due to the lack of nutrients in your body
There are many side effects of having difficulties swallowing. It will often affect your diet and the way in which you can eat on a daily basis. Here are some of the most common effects:
You will often feel dehydrated
You will often feel tired and exhausted due to poor nutrition
Food or liquid frequently going into your airways, sometimes causing choking
A range of lung problems, including pneumonia or other lung infections
It is very common to embarrassed when eating. You may struggle to eat around others, which may cause social distance between you and people around you.
Speech Therapy for Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
At SpeechAim, our professional staff provide you with a range of methods and techniques that can be used to aid your disorder. We will try a range of all of the following:
Trying a range of different foods, or adding calories to your food to help growth and maintenance,
Introducing you to a range of ways to try new foods or textures,
Interchanging how hot or cold food is or how crunchy or soft it is to help try new textures,
Testing various new ways to handle your reactions to food and swallowing,
Exploring strategies to sit or hold your head while you eat,
Introduce you to softer or thicker foods in order to help you swallow easier.
All of our treatments will be specially tailored to meet your particular issue. The treatment that you require will depend on the difficulties you have.
All of our staff are on hand to help you and you whenever you should require us. Whether you are at home, work or at therapy, we are here to help.