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Dysphagia Treatment

Treatment of dysphagia depends on the underlying cause. Treatment strategies are broadly categorized into three:

1. Compensatory Strategies

  • these are techniques that can be used in order to facilitate safer swallowing
  • these techniques need to be constantly and consistently used in order to be effective
  • some examples of swallowing compensatory strategies include:
  1. modifying diet textures; avoiding harder solids or taking in puree textures
  2. using thickening agents for the liquids
  3. giving small bite size pieces of food
  4. taking small, single sips of liquids from cup
  5. turning your head to the right or left when swallowing
  6. alternating solids and liquids
  7. Supraglottic swallow
  8. Super-supraglottic swallow
  9. use of prosthesis such as palatal lifts


2. Rehabilitation Exercises

  • these exercises are used in order to help regain some muscle strength or coordination in order to effectively swallow.
  • these exercises are done on a regular basis to have an effect.
  • some examples of swallowing rehabilitation exercises include:
  1. Oro-motor exercises such as lip protrusion, lip retraction, tongue protrusion, tongue elevation, tongue lateralization and tongue rotation
  2. Effortful swallow exercises
  3. Masako Exercise
  4. Mendehlson Maneuver
  5. Shaker's Exercises


3. Medical or Surgical Interventions

  • these procedures may include:
  1. prescription of medications such as muscle relaxant if the there is identified muscle spasm
  2. surgical removal of a tumour or structure such as the tongue, due to cancer
  3. enlarging the opening of the esophagus if there is some constriction in the esophagus identified, a procedure known as esophageal dilatation
- Last updated 16 Jun 2017,8:45 am




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