Patient Comments: Dysphagia - Experience

Please describe your experience with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

Comment from: Leon, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 24

I have been having swallowing problems most of my life but the dysphagia has gotten worse over the last few months. I have to use a straw to drink, and even then, I have to hold my breath otherwise it will go down my windpipe. I have had two esophagrams and have been tested by a speech therapist, neither could identify the cause. When I put food or drink in my mouth, I have a gag reflex action. It's as if my system does not want me to swallow. When I think swallow I have to hold my head down and make an effort to swallow. I do have hypothyroid but in the past I have had problems swallowing pills but not food and drink. Now it's a major effort to swallow anything. Best wishes to everyone.

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Comment from: gardener, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I have had dysphagia for about 6 months. It started with occasional choking and coughing when I ate or drank, and sometimes just choking on my saliva. Now it happens every meal. I had a barium swallow test, which was normal. Tomorrow I see an ENT. I"m hoping to find out what is causing this and get a solution.

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Comment from: ELMRSLP, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 02

While in rehab, work with the speech-language pathologist on swallowing exercises to improve your swallowing. If you have "passed" bedside swallowing evaluations and are not being upgraded to more regular foods and liquids, you may request a modified barium swallow (MBS) study. Typically, patients who experience swallowing difficulty after intubation (and have no other pre-existing swallowing difficulty) recover quite well and return to regular foods and liquids.

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Comment from: jimmy w, Male (Patient) Published: March 20

I had pneumonia and was diagnosed with COPD. I am now in rehab—feeling very weak and need strengthening exercises for my legs and arms. The doctor has me on a pureed diet because I had a ventilator tube for two weeks and I couldn't swallow when they removed the tubes. Now I don't seem to have a problem, I've passed a swallow test, but they're still feeding me baby food and thick water. I've lost 10 or more pounds and I was already thin. How do I improve my swallow so I can eat?

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Patient Comments

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Swallowing - Cause Question: What was the cause of your swallowing problems?
Dysphagia - Symptoms Question: Besides difficulty in swallowing, what other symptoms did you experience with dysphagia?
Dysphagia - Treatment Question: What forms of treatment did you receive for dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)? Did you require a feeding tube?

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