Treatment of Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)


We determine if you are at risk of aspiration (food / liquid entering the airway instead of the stomach) on a variety of food / drinks. Assessment may involve all or some of the following:

  • Observing you eat / drink.
  • Feeling your throat as you swallow.
  • Listening to your throat with a stethoscope (cervical auscultation).
  • Referral to a videofluroscopy (modified barium swallow) if necessary.
  • Fluid consistency and / or diet modification can assist some people to eat and drink safely.
  • Swallowing exercises can help some cases to improve their swallowing function. These may target the oral stage of your swallow and/or the pharyngeal (throat) stage.
  • We may be able to give advice on how to stimulate a swallow more effectively, eg adopting a certain position when swallowing or using particular foods / drinks, using exercises.
  • Advice on posture and saliva management will be provided as appropriate. For the latter problem, we can organise exercises and / or prescriptions of appropriate medication from your GP.
  • If you have severe swallowing difficulties, we can give advice on methods of alternative feeding (eg NGs (naso-gastric tubes) and PEGs (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) alongside the dietician.