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At the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic, persons with increased difficulty swallowing and eating safely, or persons with a dysphagia diagnosis, may receive comprehensive treatment and evaluation by licensed speech-language pathologists and graduate students.

What is dysphagia?

Children and adults with feeding and swallowing concerns may experience a number of difficulties that interfere with safe and successful nutrient intake. These symptoms may include the struggle to pick up a fork, difficulty opening one’s mouth to take food in, or chewing food and moving liquid in preparation for a swallow. Poor oral management, drooling, pain when swallowing, a wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking, and coughing during or right after eating or drinking are also among symptoms of feeding and swallowing disorders. For a person with dysphagia, these experiences occur very often, making it difficult to independently feed oneself and swallow comfortably.

Feeding and swallowing concerns, or dysphagia, may be attributed to a number of possible etiologies. Difficulty in this area may be secondary to nervous system disorders, prematurity, reflux, cleft lip or palate, stroke, traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and so on. Dysphagia may also result from problems affecting the head and neck, such as cancer, chemoradiation, trauma, and more.

Assessment and treatment

Treatment for feeding and swallowing disorders at the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic is aimed at developing the strategies and skills necessary to eat and swallow safely and successfully.

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