Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia can commonly be mild choking, most often with liquids but can also be quite severe. The variation of MS involvement offers the potential for a wide variety of swallowing difficulties: a delay in triggering the swallow response is common, causing difficulty with liquids. A weakened pharyngeal wall contraction may result in food being left behind after a swallow and food aspiration in small amounts can pose risk of infection to lungs.
Treatment will focus on rehabilitative strategies and may include interventions in posture, thermal-tactile stimulation, counseling about eating habits, and voluntary swallow strategies.
Identification and assessment of swallowing difficulties by speech language pathologist, using videofluoroscopy may be very useful.
Key Healthcare Professionals
- Speech language pathologist