Swallowing may seem like a simple task, since it is typically automatic, however, it is actually complex, involving varied nerves and muscles. Dysphagia or impaired swallowing, can affect oral, pharyngeal and/or esophageal stages.
Some examples of medical diagnoses that may have dysphagia as a characteristic symptom are:
- CVA or stroke
- Parkinson’s Disease
- (aspiration) pneumonia
A swallow specialist targets reducing a person’s risk of aspiration (foreign matter passing through the vocal cords) and assisting in maintaining their nutritional status. Speech/swallow therapy addresses texture modification (least restrictive food/liquid consistency that a person can tolerate), compensatory strategies for safety and therapeutic exercises for strength, movement and coordination of the related muscles.
Aspen Rehab additionally provides specialized therapeutic intervention, tailored to an individual’s swallowing needs. These interventions may include: advanced oral-motor treatments, neuromuscular reeducation, functional computer retraining, intensive voice programs and traditional ST techniques.