Dysphagia is associated with a wide range of medical conditions and is a result of damage to the nerves and muscles used for swallowing. Symptoms of dysphagia include choking and coughing on swallowing and food sticking & causing discomfort.
Dysphagia is a serious condition – there is a high risk of food and/or drink passing into the airways if not managed properly which can cause pneumonia. People with dysphagia are also at risk of poor nutrition because of the effort required to eat and/or drink.
People with dysphagia frequently require modification of the texture of food (soft, minced and moist or smoothly pureed) and/or their fluids to be thickened in order to make swallowing as safe as possible.
If you or a family member has dysphagia, a specialist medical practitioner or speech therapist will advise you on the modification level that is right for you.
It is recommended that any person with a swallowing disorder should be screened and assessed by a Speech Pathologist. You can go to www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au where you can make contact with a Speech Pathologist in your area.