The Speech Therapist


When you have difficulty with swallowing food, liquid and/or saliva.

There are many causes and it may be temporary or permanent:

  • Neurological (stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, and others)
  • Respiratory (COPD, pneumonia, etc.)
  • Cancer (in the head and/or neck, chemo medication, etc.)
  • Gastrointestinal (reflux disease, GERD, blockage, etc.)
  • Acute infections

Types of dysphagia:


Difficulty in the mouth

May not chew food well.
Tongue not moving well to manage food or drinks.
Soft palate lets food go down the throat too easily.


Difficulty in the throat

May not be able to initiate the swallow and/or clear the throat.


Difficulty in the esophagus

Food not moving through the esophagus into the stomach.



Treatment and management of dysphagia:

We evaluate and treat according to the type of dysphagia, symptoms, reason for the difficulty, cognitive skills, and other factors. This may include exercises and manoeuvres, compensatory training and modification of diet.


Dysphagia may lead to serious medical conditions.

  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Weight loss and/or poor appetite
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Choking and/or death



[With permission from MedSLP]