The danger of swallowing disorders is that they can lead to aspiration pneumonia and poor nutrition . Both conditions contribute to declining health and increased length of hospital stays. Symptoms of difficulty swallowing include: coughing choking food "sticking in the throat" drooling nasal drainage while eating weight loss fever from pneumonia The Diagnosis of Dysphagia When the above symptoms are noted by physicians, nurses or therapy staff, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) is consulted. Patients hospitalized for neurological disorders such as stroke, brain injury, Parkinsonism, or ALS likely are on the SLP caseload. Swallowing requires timely and effective coordination of many muscles. When these do not operate efficiently, ingested substances can enter the airway and endanger patient health. After the referral, an evaluation takes place. The SLP offers different food textures to assess difficulty swallowing them separately. Liquids, pudding, crumbling f
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