Tallahassee Speech Center provides skilled speech language pathologists to complete a thorough dysphagia evaluation. Collaboration with physicians, ENTs, nutritionists, and family are critical to remediation. We offer neuromuscular electrical stimulation (VitalStim) carryover of skilled activities to the home environment is recommended to ensure safety.
Dysphagia – Difficulty Swallowing
Dysphagia is defined as difficulty swallowing. Symptoms of dysphagia can include coughing while swallowing or after swallowing, choking on food or liquid, the sensation of food getting stuck in the throat, pain during swallowing, shortness of breath during feeding and onset of pneumonia.
Patients with Dysphagia can be at risk for aspiration or a blocked airway.
Dysphagia can occur at different stages in the swallowing process.
- Esophageal Phase: Relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat (esophagus) and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach.
- Oral Phase: sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat.
- Pharyngeal Phase: Starting the swallowing reflex, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the) airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway (aspiration) or to prevent choking
Treatment with VitalStim
The VitalStim Therapy System is a revolutionary treatment for swallowing disorders that we utilize here at Tallahassee Speech Center.