Treatment for dysphagia is usually tailored to the particular cause or type of the swallowing problem. In some instances, surgery or medication may be used to treat an underlying condition. In other cases, you may be referred to a speech-language pathologist, who can test your ability to eat and drink and teach you new ways to swallow.
A speech-language pathologist speech can help you learn:
- Exercises that can help strengthen or improve coordination of weak facial muscles
- New ways of eating to make swallowing easier
- Which foods and drinks to avoid
- New ways to prepare food and drinks to make them easier to swallow
Someone who is completely unable to swallow may have to use a feeding tube to nourish and hydrate the body. A feeding tube bypasses the part of the swallowing mechanism that isn’t working properly.