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Dysphagia's Signs and Causes

General signs may include:

  • Coughing during or right after eating or drinking
  • Wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking
  • Extra effort or time needed to chew or swallow
  • Food or liquid leaking from the mouth or getting stuck in the mouth
  • Recurring pneumonia or chest congestion after eating
  • Weight loss or dehydration from not being able to eat enough


  • Poor nutrition or dehydration with weight loss
  • Risk of aspiration which can lead to pneumonia and chronic lung disease
  • Less enjoyment or even fear of eating or drinking
  • Embarrassment or isolation in situations involving eating

The causes of swallowing disorders in:



Damage to the nervous system, such as:
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Stroke
  • Brain Injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Dementia

Infants & Children

  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Developmental Disability
  • The RoseCup system is not currently suitable for use in babies

Problems affecting the head and neck, including:

  • Cancer in the mouth, throat or esophagus
  • Injury or surgery involving the head and neck
  • Decayed or missing teeth, or poorly fitting dentures

Early diagnosis

An estimated 75% of cases are un-diagnosed. Early diagnosis allows for rehabilitation before complications make rehabilitation increasingly difficult.

Speech Pathologists have a pivotal role in the assessment and management of Dysphagia.

It is recommended that any person who knows or suspect they have a swallowing disorder should contact a local Speech Pathologist that specialise in Dysphagia, to assist them to evaluate their swallowing and perform special tests necessary for assessments and screenings.


The RoseCup has been developed in Australia and is a TGA registered, Class 1 Medical Device. It has been designed to assist with access to nutrition and hydration for anyone struggling with feeding and swallowing or who has been diagnosed with dysphagia.