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Dysphagia - Part III

Signs and symptoms of dysphagia

Having trouble swallowing once in a while, usually because of eating too fast or not chewing well, isn’t the same as showing signs of dysphagia. But if you’re noticing frequent signs of dysphagia, it’s essential to have your older adult visit their doctor for an examination as soon as possible.

Signs of dysphagia include:

  • Coughing while eating or drinking

  • Choking on food, liquids, or medication

  • A gurgly sounding voice, especially after eating or drinking

  • Difficulty swallowing food or drinks

  • Drooling

If you aren’t able to eat meals with your older adult, here are some questions you can ask to find out if they’re having a swallowing problem:

  • Do you often cough or choke after eating or drinking?

  • Does it sometimes feel like food is going down the “wrong way”?

  • Do you often feel like food is stuck in your throat?

  • How long does it take you to eat a meal?

  • Is eating sometimes less enjoyable than it previously was?

  • Have you lost weight recently (without trying)?

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