Dysphagia, or difficulty with swallowing, is a medical disorder that impacts up to 15 million Americans with up to one million receiving a new diagnosis of dysphagia each year. Dysphagia can occur as a result of conditions such as stroke, head and neck cancer, other neuromuscular conditions like Parkinson's and ALS, or deconditioning as a result of the aging process.
If one or more of the following signs and symptoms of dysphagia is present, you or your loved one may be a candidate for dysphagia therapy:
- Difficulty initiating a swallow
- Coughing or throat clearing during, or after eating
- Wet voice quality
- Recurring chest infections
- Difficulty completing a meal
- Feeling of food being stuck in throat
All of our speech therapists are licensed, certified health care profesionals with a master's degree in speech pathology.
An Evaluation Including:
- Oral motor examination and clinical dysphagia evaluation
- Education on safe swallow and prevention of aspiration pneumonia
- Recommendations for further services
Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study
(Modified Barium Swallow):
- Conducted by speech-language pathologist in conjunction with radiologist
- Provides x-ray video of swallow to identify specific impairments with swallowing mechanism and determine presence of aspiration
- Allows for determination of appropriate diet and further treatment recommendations
Comprehensive treatment including:
- Identification of safest food and liquid consistencies
- Identification of safe swallowing protocol to reduce risk of aspiration pneumonia
- Individualized swallowing exercise program.
- Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (VitalStim) treatment modality as appropriate
- Stimulation (VitalStim) treatment modality as appropriate
- Ongoing patient/caregiver education and support
- Dysphagia (Swallowing) Program Fact Sheet
For more information, call (850) 494-6161.
A referral from a Florida licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant is required.