Diet Modification for Dysphagia

Diet modification for dysphagia are suggested dietary changes, particularly regarding food consistencies, directed at improving a patient’s ability to swallow and at avoiding aspiration. For example, an individual who is struggling with aspiration might be advised to avoid thin liquids and use thicker or carbonated liquids instead. Or this individual might be advised to avoid […]

Swallowing Therapy

Swallowing therapy is typically provided by a speech-language pathologist (and, more informally and adjunctively, by other healthcare professionals). General areas of teaching might include: choosing wisely which food types and consistencies to eat; swallowing maneuvers such as tucking the chin, double swallow, effortful swallow, head turning, and supraglottic swallow; and direct exercises for the tongue, […]

Pharyngocutaneous Fistula

Pharyngocutaneous fistula is the leaking of saliva outside of the pharynx (“throat” part of the swallowing passage) through a defect in the pharyngeal mucosa lining. This may occur transiently in up to 20% of persons who have undergone total laryngectomy, with the sixth postoperative day the peak time of incidence. Prior radiation therapy seems to […]

Nasopharyngeal Reflux

Nasopharyngeal reflux is the inappropriate entry of saliva, food, or liquid into the nasopharynx during swallowing, usually due to palate weakness or dyscoordination (see palate elevation). Tags

Silent Aspiration

Aspiration that does not provoke an expected, normal response of coughing or throat clearing. Silent aspiration suggests a very high risk of aspiration pneumonia. Tags

Post-swallow Hypopharyngeal Reflux

Post-swallow hypopharyngeal reflux refers to when, shortly after a person swallows, some swallowed material returns from below the esophageal entrance back up into the hypopharynx. This finding is an almost certain diagnostic indicator of cricopharyngeal dysfunction, usually with an associated Zenker’s diverticulum. If this reflux occurs during a videoendoscopic swallowing study, the clinician will see […]

Inability to Initiate Swallow

When a person feels unable to initiate the swallow. Normally, after the oral preparatory phase of swallowing (chewing, mixing with saliva), a person can voluntarily initiate the swallow reflex by moving the liquid or chewed food back to the base of the tongue, triggering the reflex. Occasionally, however, a person with otherwise normal swallowing feels […]


Choking is a term that, as used popularly, can describe at least a few distinct scenarios or disorders: Minor aspiration. A person swallows and food or liquid “goes down the wrong tube” (down the airway), which provokes aggressive coughing. Life-threatening aspiration. A person swallows food (a piece of meat, for instance) that enters the airway […]

Food Lodgment

Food lodgment refers to when food gets stuck somewhere along its path from lips to stomach. Lodgment is more of a “full stop” of the food’s digestive journey, as compared with pooling. Lodgment usually occurs at one of these points: in the vallecula (usually in cases of presbyphagia); at the level of the cricopharyngeus muscle […]