Stroke & Dysphagia: A Deeper Look
Because May is National Stroke Awareness Month, it is especially important to learn how to recognize symptoms of dysphagia that can occur after a stroke, which include:
Coughing while eating or drinking
Food or drink going down the wrong way
Food or drink left in the mouth after swallowing
Taking a long time to swallow or finish a meal
Not being able to chew properly
A wet voice
In addition to difficulty drinking, eating, swallowing, and controlling saliva, dysphagia can cause aspiration, which occurs when food or fluids enter the lungs. Dehydration and malnutrition are also common in stroke patients with dysphagia.
Dehydration and malnutrition are also common in stroke patients with dysphagia.
To begin addressing dysphagia, the patient’s healthcare provider will recommend an instrumental assessment which involves and x-ray and/or using a small camera to evaluate the swallow.