Swallowing and Dysphagia Help in Asheville
Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists (SLPs), play a crucial role in helping individuals with swallowing issues, medically referred to as dysphagia. Here's how they can assist:
Assessment and Diagnosis: SLPs start by assessing the individual's swallowing function. This typically involves observing the swallowing process and identifying any underlying issues that may cause difficulties, such as muscle weakness or coordination problems. If aspiration is suspected while eating/drinking, a referral can be made for a modified barium swallow study.
Customized Treatment Plans: After diagnosing the specific swallowing problem, SLPs create personalized treatment plans. These plans may include exercises and strategies to improve swallowing function and safety.
Swallowing Techniques: SLPs teach techniques to help individuals swallow more effectively and safely. This can involve altering the consistency of foods and liquids, improving posture during meals, and coordinating the swallowing process.
Diet Modification: Depending on the severity of the dysphagia, SLPs may recommend dietary modifications. This may include transitioning to softer or pureed foods and thickened liquids to reduce the risk of choking.
Rehabilitation: For individuals recovering from conditions like stroke or head injuries that affect swallowing, SLPs play a vital role in rehabilitation. They work to restore swallowing function to its fullest extent.
Educating Patients and Caregivers: SLPs provide education to both patients and their caregivers on proper swallowing techniques, exercises, and safety precautions to minimize the risk of aspiration (inhaling food or liquids into the lungs).
Monitoring and Adjustments: Throughout the therapy process, SLPs monitor progress and make necessary adjustments to treatment plans to ensure the best possible outcomes.
A speech therapist like Janet Bennett, M.Ed. at Asheville Speech is highly skilled in evaluating and treating swallowing issues. Her expertise in dysphagia therapy helps individuals regain their ability to eat and drink safely, improving their quality of life and reducing health risks associated with swallowing disorders. If you or someone you know experiences swallowing difficulties, consulting a speech therapist is essential for effective management and potential improvement.
Contact Asheville Speech for swallowing and dysphagia support in Asheville and North Carolina
Reach out to Janet Bennett, M.Ed., Speech Pathologist at (828) 285-8814 or using the contact form below. Janet works with both adults and children. She has over 40 years of experience. Therapy is available for symptoms that may not always be identified as problematic. However, they can result in medical issues. The cause must be treated to find a cure.