Swallow Assessments and mealtime management
Comprehensive Dysphagia management
Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) can result after a stroke or brain injury, or from neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease and dementia.
Here are common symptoms:
- Coughing or choking when eating or drinking
- Food or fluid remaining in the mouth after meals
- Poor lip closure
- Food or fluid spilling from the mouth
- Persistent drooling of saliva
- A sensation that food is stuck in throat or chest
- Pain when swallowing
- Wet or ‘gurgly’ sounding voice when eating or drinking
- Being unable to chew food properly
- Difficulty coordinating breathing and swallowing
- Changes in eating habits — for instance, avoidance or over-consumption of certain foods/drinks
- Recurrent chest infections or pneumonia
Swallow Assessment and Therapy
Speech Pathologists at iBrain have the expertise to complete a dysphagia assessment to diagnose where the problem is happening, potential causes, and create a personalised treatment plan.
The treatment plan may involve strategies for safe swallowing, recommendations on food textures or swallowing exercise program. This will help to improve your swallow and will make eating and drinking safer and enjoyable.
Further referral for diagnostic tests (e.g. X-Ray) may also be required. And we will always liaise closely with your GP and treating medical team to ensure the most appropriate management.
Some people may experience discomfort and embarrassment due to reduced saliva control. This may be excessive drooling or dribbling.
Speech Pathologists at iBrain can identify the underlying cause of this and provide treatment to help you manage your saliva problem.
Respiratory Muscle Strength Training
We also have experience in helping our clients to use the Respiratory Muscle Strength Training (RMST) Pressure Threshold Devices, such as EMST150 or the Breather.
Respiratory muscle strength training (RMST), including inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) and expiratory muscle strength training (EMST), has been shown in the literature to be an effective exercise-based intervention to address deficits in respiration, swallowing, airway protection, voicing, and other issues relating to respiratory function in people with various etiologies.
They provide opportunity for people with swallowing disorders (dysphagia) to improve swallow and cough function in a simple and easy way. There are evidence that shows it helps people with neurodegenerative diseases slow the progression of cough and swallow deterioration and enhance quality of life!
They are clinically validated and have been proven effective in reducing choking and aspiration risks.