One of the first things that a newborn baby learns to do after breathing is the ability to eat and swallow its food. However, some people whether infants all the way up to seniors have difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) is defined as the ability to carry a solid, liquid, gaseous or mixed texture bolus from the mouth to the stomach keeping food and liquids out of the trachea. When there is weakness or impediment to the muscles of structures involved with the swallow mechanism, aspiration and aspiration pneumonia can occur. Our practice led by Maia C. King, MS, CCC-SLP works with Upper East Side geriatric swallowing patients to provide swallowing training and re-training to help seniors eat in a safe manner and enjoy the experience again.
Upper East Side geriatric swallowing problems may be caused by factors such as poor dentition; acid reflux; stroke; progressive neurologic disorder; the presence of a tracheotomy tube; a paralyzed vocal fold; a tumor in the mouth, throat, or esophagus; or after cancer or surgery to the head, neck, or esophagus. Our speech-language pathologist will work with this population either to help minimize the risk of a re-occurrence of aspiration pneumonia or screen, evaluate, and treat the condition. Our speech-language pathologist can assist the individual with dysphagia in preventing aspiration pneumonia by recommending dietary modifications and/or special exercises to help coordinate the swallowing muscles.
Our speech-language pathologist can help minimize the risk of frequent re-occurring hospitalizations secondary to the development of aspiration pneumonia by recommending oral-care strategies, the safest, least-restrictive diet texture, assisting the individual and caregiver in monitoring for signs and symptoms of aspiration, as well as counseling as well as patient-caregiver education. Many Upper East Side geriatric swallowing disorders may be helped by swallowing therapy provided by our speech-language pathologist, so call our office for an appointment.