Dysphagia Solutions is a comprehensive approach to dysphagia/swallowing management provided by Speech-Language Pathologists.

Dysphagia is defined as the inability to efficiently move food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. This includes all of the behavioral, sensory and motor acts used in preparation for the swallow, including the following:

  • Cognitive awareness of the anticipated eating situation
  • Visual recognition of the food
  • Physiological responses to smell and presence of food/liquid as well as sensory stimulation

Although dysphagia is especially prevalent in the elderly, dysphagia impacts people of all age groups and can arise from a wide variety of causes, including the following:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Parkinson’s
  • Dementia
  • Weakness due to a medical condition
  • Aging

Examples of symptoms of dysphagia include the following:

  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing food/liquid
  • feeling of the food getting stuck in the throat
  • Coughing/choking during meals
  • Food remaining in the mouth either after a swallow or after a meal
  • Recurring respiratory illness such as pneumonia
  • Decreased voice quality (wet, hoarse, weak)

The goal of treatment is to ensure that individuals safely maintain adequate nutrition and hydration with the least dietary restriction.

An individualized plan of care is established through assessment of swallow function. Treatment approaches may include the following:

  • Food/liquid modifications
  • Increased range of motion and strength for swallow musculature that may include the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to allow for an improved contraction of the muscles responsible for swallowing and thereby improving overall swallow function.
  • Compensatory strategy education
  • Individual and caregiver education

The Speech-Language Pathologist is responsible for skilled therapeutic intervention and effective ongoing restorative care, which are essential for dysphagia management.

Centrex Rehab Offers an Exceptional Cost-Effective Instrumental Procedure Called

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation Of Swallowing (FEES)

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is an accurate, portable, and safe instrumental assessment of swallowing and swallow function that provides clinically useful information relative to swallowing anatomy and physiology. FEES can also be performed to determine the usefulness of appropriate strategies that can increase swallowing function and lessen the risk of aspiration while eating and drinking.

FEES services are performed by highly-trained Centrex Rehab professionals. The procedure involves passing a flexible endoscope across the floor of a client’s nasal passage into the pharynx. The client is given food and/or liquids mixed with food coloring in order to determine if they are swallowing safely and to assess overall swallow function. Unlike the Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS), FEES is a mobile procedure that is well tolerated and can be performed at the client’s bedside and requires no radiation.
FEES can be performed on clients with isolation precautions, obesity, medical complexity, pressure ulcers/bed bound, dementia, various types of feeding tubes, supplemental oxygen (nasal cannula), tracheostomy tubes, speaking valves, and ventilator dependence.

centrex-TammyTamara Althoff, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Speech-Language Pathologist Specialist

Email: talthoff@centrexrehab.com
Direct: 952-495-6010