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What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing, and it can be caused by many different medical reasons. 

When we swallow, many muscles and nerves work together to get food or drink from our mouths into our stomachs. Trouble with swallowing can originate anywhere in the mouth, throat or esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube in your throat that carries food and water to your stomach.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are the preferred providers of dysphagia services and are integral members of an interprofessional team to diagnose and manage oral and pharyngeal dysphagia. SLPs also recognize causes and signs/symptoms of esophageal dysphagia and make appropriate referrals for its diagnosis and management. Dysphagia intervention may concentrate on swallowing exercises, compensatory swallowing strategies (including posture considerations), bolus consistency modification, and caregiver/patient education.

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