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Dysphagia (Swallowing Problems) (cont.)

Dysphagia Treatment

Patient Comments

The treatment of dysphagia can involve both medical and surgical procedures, and depends upon the underlying condition or reason for the dysphagia. For example, treatment may be directed at an underlying condition such as cancer or stricture due to GERD. Treatment goals are to improve swallowing, to reduce the risk of aspiration, and/or to improve the nutritional status of the affected individual.

Dysphagia Self-Care at Home

Depending upon the individual situation, dietary modifications may be a necessary step in the treatment of dysphagia, particularly when the underlying abnormality is functional. A soft or pureed diet may be recommended.

Physical therapy may be an important component of treatment for some patients. Physical therapy and rehabilitation measures may include recommendations such as:

  • changing the head position while eating,
  • exercises that retrain the musculature involved with swallowing, or
  • strength and coordination exercises for the tongue, lips, or jaws.

A speech-language pathologist may be a member of the evaluation and treatment team and can be of help in prescribing rehabilitation exercises for the muscles of the mouth and tongue.

If the individual has symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), avoidance of eating prior to bedtime, smoking cessation, maintaining an upright posture after eating, and certain medications (see below) may help relieve symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Dysphagia:

Dysphagia - Treatment

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Dysphagia - Causes

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