What is Dysphagia?
Swallowing to eat, drink and manage our saliva is a multiple step process which includes the ability to taste the food, chew and mix the food with saliva into ball like shape (called a bolus)(oral stage), move the “ball” from our mouth, through the throat (pharyngeal stage) and finally into the esophagus. A swallowing problem or disorder occurs when any one or more of the steps to swallowing are impaired, thus changing either the speed, safety and effectiveness of the swallow. Some swallowing problems cause discomfort, coughing and/or choking and may be a serious health risk due to the possibility of food/liquid entering the lungs. Some swallowing problems may not be noticeable to the patients, but they have serious repercussions to the health.